The Social Security disability process can be long and worrisome for a claimant. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration has provided six situations in which particular cases may be expedited. The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) designates these particular cases as “critical” and requires a faster processing of these claims.
The 6 categories that follow are the types of “critical” situations that may result in your case being expedited:
1. Dire Need Case – Social security finds a dire need situation exists if the claimant lacks food, shelter, or medicine. Specifically, the claimant is without food and is unable to obtain food, the claimant lacks medicine or medical care and is unable to obtain it, or the claimant lacks shelter or is in imminent danger of lack of shelter (for example, without utilities, an eviction notice, a foreclosure lawsuit, homeless, etc.)
2. Terminal illness – If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness the Social Security Administration (SSA) will designate your case as critical known as a TERI case. The condition or impairment is terminal pursuant to SSA if it is untreatable, irreversible, and expected to end in death. Examples of some of the conditions or impairments are an allegation or diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or AIDS, or the claimant is receiving hospice care, chronic dependence on a life-sustaining device, awaiting a transplant, a chronic pulmonary or heart failure requiring continuous oxygen, and diagnoses of different types of cancer.
3. Veteran is 100 Percent Permanent and Total disabled – Veteran who has received a rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs of 100% permanent and total disability compensation (different from disability pension).
4. Military Casualty/Wounded Warrior – Any current or former military personnel who sustained an illness, injury, or wound, regardless of how it occurred or where it occurred (US or foreign soil), and the impairment began while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001.
5. Compassionate Allowance – The SSA has a Compassionate Allowances List, which offers a quick way of identifying medical conditions that are severe and automatically fall under SSA’s Listing of Impairments. There are over 160 listings of both physical and mental medical conditions. If you have a condition that is on this list you may be eligible for an expedited hearing.
6. Potentially Violent – The claimant is suicidal, homicidal, or potentially violent. SSA will expedite a claim if the claimant is a threat to himself/herself or others.
The social security disability claim can be expedited at any stage of the case, from the initial application through the hearing stage. The average time from application to having your case heard before an Administrative Law Judge is more than 2 years in the state of Florida. You should inform SSA if your impairment falls under any of these categories or if your condition changes while in the social security disability process.
Many of the social security disability situations listed above can be expedited if supported by various types of evidence, such as statements from the claimant, statements from family or friends, statements from your doctor, medical records, etc. SSA must be presented with some type of evidence if you are in any of these particular situations. It is also important to note the expediting of a case does not guarantee a claimant will win their claim.
If you have questions regarding whether your claim may be expedited due to any of the reasons listed above, call the Cloud Law Firm, P.A. for a free consultation to help answer any of your questions.