Smith-Magenis Syndrome and Social Security Administration's Compassionate Allowances Initiative: An Evaluative Review of the Literature

Intellect Dev Disabil. 2016 Aug;54(4):273-84. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-54.4.273.


The Social Security Administration (SSA) launched the Compassionate Allowances List (CAL) in 2008. This created a mechanism for expediting review and delivery of disability benefits, while decreasing application backlog. This study hypothesized that developmental disorders, such as Smith-Magenis syndrome, may meet criterion for inclusion. An evaluative review of the literature was undertaken to determine if the expedited review criterion was met. Ten databases were searched and articles meeting pre-defined criteria were coded according to the SSA definition of disability to determine if severity indices screen in or screen out certain severity levels or exclude Smith-Magenis syndrome entirely in relation to the CAL program. It was strongly recommended that Smith-Magenis syndrome receive consideration for inclusion in the CAL.

Keywords: Compassionate Allowances List; Intellectual disability; Smith-Magenis syndrome; Social Security Administration; chromosome 17p11.2.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Smith-Magenis Syndrome / economics*
  • United States
  • United States Social Security Administration*