How Do I Speed Up My Disability Claim?

Submitted by Elizabeth on

Many Social Security disability (SSD) benefit claims take months, if not longer, for a claimant to get a decision. However, there are some ways that you can help speed up the process which may reduce your wait time for disability benefits. These ways are explained below.

1. Compassionate Allowance

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has something called the Compassionate Allowance Program. Through this program, the SSA can grant certain disability applicants with something called a compassionate allowance. A compassionate allowance grants beneficiaries of this allowance with faster processing—and receival—of their disability benefits from the SSA.

Compassionate allowances are typically reserved for those applicants who have serious—even life-threatening—medical conditions. This is because compassionate allowances allow these individuals suffering with certain conditions to receive assistance far quicker than other applicants who do not have compassionate allowances. To qualify for a compassionate allowance, you need to provide certain facts about your medical condition to the SSA.

For example, if you have been diagnosed with cancer, the precise type of cancer must be identified so that the SSA can decide if it warrants a compassionate allowance. Whether the cancer has spread and how far it has spread may also be factors the SSA considers with some cancers. The SSA normally selects compassionate allowance cases when the initial application for disability benefits is submitted. You will still be required to provide the SSA with medical evidence that supports your diagnosis alongside your application for disability benefits.

2. Dire Financial Need

If you don’t have food and are unable to access a sufficient amount, or are just about to be evicted from your place of residence, you can file a Dire Need Case (DRND). You may also qualify for a DRND if you do not have the means to pay for medicine or medical care.

3. Terminal Illness

TERI is the SSA’s term for a claimant’s medical condition that is expected to end in death (i.e., a terminal illness) which can automatically qualify for disability benefits. In fact, any potentially terminal illness is eligible for faster application processing and ultimate disability decision, as well as special handling through the TERI program.

4. Permanent and Total (P&T) Disability According to the VA

If you are eligible for VA disability benefits, it does not necessarily mean you will automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, if you have received a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) disability rating from the VA, the SSA can fast-track your claim for disability benefits, but you will have to go through the same process as other applicants to determine if your situation means you qualify for disability benefits.

5. Presumptive Disability

If you are diagnosed with a chronic disease within 12 months of being released from active-duty military service, you should apply for disability benefits. Examples of a chronic disease include Diabetes, Hypertension, or Arthritis. If you have served for at least 90 consecutive days and are then diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) after you have been discharged, you should be able to establish a service connection for the development of your chronic disease. It is important to note that, if you have a presumptive condition, you are not required to prove that your service caused the medical condition.

Work With a Professional Lawyer

It is never easy to win a claim for disability benefits but if you ask a lawyer to help you your chance of qualifying for SSDI is far greater than if you try to apply on your own. The lawyer knows what medical evidence you need to convince the SSA that you are eligible for disability benefits.

Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to our website and can help you with your claim.

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