You go to the doctor because of some concerning or progressing symptoms. After a few tests or a visit to a specialist, you find yourself facing an ominous diagnosis. Perhaps you have a degenerative condition like multiple sclerosis. Maybe you have an advanced form of cancer that will require aggressive treatment.
Suddenly, your future looks like a flurry of medical appointments and medical treatments, meaning you won’t be working like you usually do. Without your income, your whole family would suffer. If your condition will last for at least a year or is terminal, then you may find yourself thinking about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
The application process for getting benefits is notoriously long and difficult, which might make you worry about your family’s finances. Are there any expedited SSDI benefit programs?
Quick Disability Determinations
There are two kinds of fast-track SSDI benefit programs. Quick Disability Determinations (QDDs) use computer screening of initial applications. Software reviews individual applications to determine which ones require closer review and which ones are likely to get approved.
Those who have a condition that is likely to qualify could receive fast-track approval due to QDD. Generally, applications approved through the QDD process need to have plenty of medical documentation included in their initial paperwork. In some cases, the applications flagged by the QDD process could receive notice of your approval in just a few days, rather than after several months.
When someone has a severe or possibly fatal medical condition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may flag them as a candidate for Compassionate Allowance (CAL). The same standards apply for CAL as for SSDI, but those approved for CAL will usually start receiving benefits more quickly than the average applicant.
The CAL program involves flagging certain applications as highly likely to receive approval before they have had full consideration. Specific kinds of cancers, brain disorders in adults and rare childhood medical conditions could all qualify an applicant for CAL.
Even if you don’t qualify for fast-track approval, you could still get benefits. Even those initially rejected can secure benefits after an appeal, in many cases. Understanding how the SSA processes disability claims and the likely timeline for getting benefits can help you better plan for your future.