With so many people currently applying for disability benefits, the usual wait to get awarded is roughly two years. This is often alarming for many people who are beginning the process or already in the middle of it. Many states are so backlogged that it can take 12-18 months just to get a hearing date set after a claimant has already gone through the initial application and reconsideration levels. The truth is many people can’t afford to wait this long. There are several ways to get a case expedited at Social Security Administration, but it is not an easy process. Here are some ways that you can try to get a decision made a little faster:
If you have a terminal illness or a condition that is expected to end in death, your case will often be expedited by Social Security at the initial application level. These cases include, but are not limited to, stage IV cancer, AIDS, awaiting a heart or liver transplant, or dependence on a life-sustaining device. Having a debilitating condition is the only way to guarantee your case will be rushed as it is deemed a “Compassionate Allowance.”
If you are in a dire financial situation, sending proof of this to your local Social Security office can sometimes help to expedite your case. Any bank statements, foreclosure notices, or unpaid bills can serve as proof. If you are unable to obtain food or shelter, your case will be deemed in “Dire Need” and Social Security may expedite it, however, this cannot be guaranteed.
Writing to your local congressman can sometimes help to speed up your case. You can find out who your local congressman is by researching online and request that they contact your Social Security office on your behalf. This request should include a reason why you are applying for disability, proof of your disability and mention that you are in a dire situation.
Keep updated medical records that DDS has obtained for your case. If you have any records be sure to include them. The faster your medical records are received, the faster a decision will be made. If you are sent forms to fill out, send them back in as soon as possible.
Turn in all paperwork immediately. Social Security will constantly be sending you forms to sign and reports to fill out. If you do not get these sent back in a timely manner, SSA will place a hold on your case or make a decision without them.
Hire an attorney. Your attorney, while they may not be able to rapidly expedite your case, will at least ensure that all SSA paperwork has been received and follow up on any outstanding medical records. This will ensure that no unnecessary delays are placed on your case.
Getting a claim expedited by Social Security is not easy nor guaranteed except with a terminal illness that falls under SSA’s Compassionate Allowances. Even though the process is difficult, it is still worth attempting. Anything that can be done to speed the process of securing disability should be done. You never know when your local Congressman may be able to place a quick call in to your local office for you.