In their recent Advocacy Alert, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) encourages patient organization representatives to attend the following announcement:

NORD President and CEO Peter L. Saltonstall to Speak at Capitol Hill Event

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, will announce the expansion of the list of conditions that qualify under the Compassionate Allowances Program at a Capitol Hill event on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Members of the media, patient advocates and other interested parties are invited to the event, which will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building, Constitution Ave. and 2nd Street NE, Washington DC.

NORD President and CEO Peter L. Saltonstall will be among the invited speakers.  He will talk about the impact of the Compassionate Allowances Program on the rare disease community.

The Compassionate Allowances Program is designed to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.  Since its inception, the initiative has helped ensure that Americans with devastating disabilities receive their benefit decision within days instead of months or years.

Commissioner Astrue will be announcing the expansion of the list with an additional 35 diseases, bringing the total number of diseases on the list to 200.

Members of the media may direct questions about the event to the SSA Press Office at 410 965-8904.  Patient organization representatives interested in attending the event may register online or contact James Edrington ( or 410 966-2153).

Reporters seeking comment from NORD about the Compassionate Allowances Program may contact Mary Dunkle ( or 203 744-0100 ext. 217).