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I’m dying. How can I access benefits quickly?

You received the bad news recently from your doctor that the condition from which you’re suffering is terminal. Now, your main focus is how you can quickly access whatever Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to which you may be eligible.

The good news is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) does have a fast-track plan for just these situations. Known as the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, there are currently 242 approved conditions that can decrease the time it takes to process an SSDI claim from months to sometimes days.

Which conditions apply?

Below is just a sampling of conditions that could land your claim in the CAL program:

  • Rare genetic disorders
  • Diseases of the immune system
  • Fast-moving cancers
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Liver cancer
  • Malignant melanoma with metastases
  • Stiff person syndrome
  • Lewy body dementia

It’s important to note that even if your condition is not one of the listed ones, you may still request that Social Security consider it for inclusion.

Your application is automatic

You also don’t have to specifically apply for an expedited CAL review. The SSA uses special software to target applications that include those impairments on the CAL list. Your qualification for a swift review hangs on your diagnosis and the severity of it.

The SSA also has another electronic system, Quick Disability Determination (QDD), that automatically screens applications for benefits filed online. QDD highlights certain phrases and key words that could indicate the claim has a high likelihood of approval.

Terminal conditions supersede the wait line

Your condition may come on fast and still be terminal, and that alone can move you to the top of the list for review. For example, if your physician recommends hospice care or your cancer that was in remission terminally metastasizes, an automatic fast-track process is triggered.

Presumptive disability benefits

Some SSI applicants have conditions of such intellectual or physical severity that it is presumed that they will be approved. These applicants could qualify for presumptive disability benefits for up to six months.

A case review by a qualified attorney can help

Those applying who qualify for CAL status are about as sick as it’s possible to get. Handling the paperwork of a complex SSDI claim is likely going to be far too taxing. An SSDI attorney can file and manage your claim for benefits.

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