Can I Get Expedited Disability Benefits?

by Aug 14, 2017Disability Benefits

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You may get expedited disability benefits if your case meet’s the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a “critical case.” If you qualify, the SSA should process your application quicker than it might otherwise. The SSA may consider the following types of cases critical and deserving of expedited processing.

Dire Need

The SSA expedites disability claims for applicants who may face severe financial consequences if they must wait the normal processing time for their disability application.

For example, you may request to have your claim expedited if you cannot afford to pay for needed medications or medical care. They SSA may also expedite your claim if you are homeless or facing eviction or foreclosure.

The SSA prioritizes dire need claims based on evidence of the urgency of the situation. You can bolster your case by submitting documentation that you are indeed in dire need of your benefits. Good examples of supporting documentation include an eviction or foreclosure notice, a letter from a homeless shelter, or an itemized pharmacy bill.

Talk to an attorney at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril about sending a dire need letter to the SSA. Call 865-566-0800.

Military Personnel Injured on Active Duty

If your disability occurred while on active duty in the military on or after October 1, 2001, you are eligible for an expedited claim as a Wounded Warrior.

It does not matter if you no longer serve in the military, nor does it matter how or where your injury or illness occurred. You can receive expedited benefits whether you were wounded in combat or suffered an injury in the gym while on active duty.

Military branches eligible for this benefit include the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. If you were a student at one of the service academies or at a pre-deployment training facility when injured you also qualify. The same applies if you were a reservist or National Guard member called to active duty or attending annual training.

To receive expedited benefits as a Wounded Warrior, you must let the SSA know you were active duty military when your disability occurred. You also must direct them to your military records. Ask an attorney at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril for help ensuring you get expedited benefits as a Wounded Warrior.

Terminal Illness

Social Security disability applicants with terminal illnesses may have their claims processed under a special program called TERI. If your medical condition is expected to result in death, you may expedite your application under TERI.

Eligible conditions include:

  • Stage IV or inoperable cancer
  • Cancer of the brain, liver, pancreas, esophagus, or gallbladder
  • Lung cancer or mesothelioma
  • Acute leukemia
  • Chronic heart or pulmonary failure
  • 30 days or longer in coma
  • Newborns with fatal or congenital defects
  • Need of heart, lung, liver, or bone marrow transplant

After the SSA is informed of a terminal condition, a disability examiner will consult a medical professional to confirm your case falls under TERI guidelines.

Compassionate Allowances

The SSA has identified several serious medical conditions as Compassionate Allowances. If you suffer from one of these conditions, you can receive a favorable decision in as little as 10 days from your application date. The SSA understands that anyone with one of the identified conditions would ultimately have their application approved.

Click for a complete list of conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list.

The SSA requires medical records to process and approve your claim. The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril can help with your application for SSD based on a condition on the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances list.

Other Circumstances Warranting Expedited SSD Benefits

A few other rare circumstances may allow you to expedite your SSD benefits claim. For instance, if you are suicidal or homicidal, the SSA will speed up the case. First, the SSA will contact the proper authorities to ensure you are not an imminent threat to yourself or others. Then they will connect you with a counselor or treatment program that can help you.

In some cases, you can have your claim expedited if a member of Congress or another high-ranking government official makes an inquiry with the SSA on your behalf. However, the SSA is under no obligation to prioritize your file as the result of a congressional inquiry.

Do I need a Social Security attorney to get expedited benefits?

If you feel you qualify for expedited disability benefits, the process to speed up your claim is not cut and dry, and there is no guarantee you will be successful. Moreover, “expedited” can mean anywhere from 10 days to several months or even a year. Remember that a standard application can take up to two years.

Work with a Social Security attorney at our firm to review your claim and whether you may qualify to expedite your claim. The team at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril have years of experience fighting for disabled people nationwide. Call today for a consultation: 865-566-0800.