It’s unfair to think that the Social Security Administration is a thoroughly heartless entity designed to make things harder for beneficiaries. It might not seem that way when you are the person, or loved one of a person, in New Jersey going through the arduous steps of obtaining benefits to which you believe you are entitled. But the SSA is there to help.

It’s important to remember, though, that the agency has to operate within the limits of laws enacted by Congress. Because of that, even some of the common sense policies employed by SSA adjudicators can seem at once generous and on the other stingy. As we noted in a post last month, compassionate allowance determinations might be viewed this way. The allowances mean faster decisions, but recipients still have to wait six months to receive the assistance.

Still, the allowances are made and the list of conditions recognized as being so serious that the need for benefits is obvious continues to grow. Included on that list are individuals who happen to be in need of a heart transplant. They might be among those who are in such dire need of a transplant that they have to be hospitalized, however those classified as being Status 1B are also eligible.

The government estimates that the number of individuals in the U.S. waiting for a heart stands at about 3,000. But estimates from the United Network for Organ Sharing put the figure at nearly 4,000. Of course, on any given day, a certain number of those individuals die for lack of a donor organ.

For patients like these, swift determinations are helpful and minimizing the risk of a denial is essential.