Social Security Disability: CRITICAL CASES

One of the most common questions claimants pursuing disability benefits ask their social security disability attorney is “How can I make my case move faster?”

Social Security claims can be granted priority status based on their “critical” nature.   SSA requires expedited processing for the following types of “critical cases.”  A social security disability attorney can help you determine if your case meets any of the provisions for expedited processing.

1)      The social security disability claimant has a terminal illness.

A critical case involving a terminal illness requires expediting, both in SSA Regional Offices as well as Hearing Offices.   SSA has specific criteria for determining which cases will be expedited as terminal.  A social security disability attorney can help you determine if your case meets the specific criteria.

2)      The case involves a social security disability claim for any military service personnel injured October 1, 2001 or later.

Military service personnel applying for social security disability who were injured October 1, 2001 or later are eligible for expedited processing.  It does not matter where or how the disability occurred so long as the individual was on active duty at the time of injury.

3)      The social security disability claim is flagged as a Compassionate Allowance case.

Social Security will expedite disability claims where the applicant’s medical conditions are extremely serious and obviously meet disability standards.  SSA will refer to objective medical information that can be obtained quickly in order to determine if the social security disability claimant qualifies under the Listing of Impairments.

4)      The claimant is without, and is unable to obtain, food, medicine or shelter.

Social security disability claimants who have insufficient income or resources may qualify for expedited status.  Claimants must be lacking food, clothing, shelter or medical care to the extent that there is an immediate threat to their health or safety.  Some type of evidence is usually required to support the social security disability claimant’s allegations, for example foreclosure or eviction notices, utility final notices, etc.  Ultimately, the decision as to whether or not a social security disability claimant is facing dire need is decided by the SSA office.

5)      There is an indication that the claimant is suicidal or homicidal.

Lastly, suicidal or homicidal social security disability claimants may be eligible for expedited status based on their suicidal ideation, or homicidal tendencies.