Dealing with a disabling condition may involve a lot of frustrating waiting. You sit in waiting rooms for your medical appointments. You wait in line for prescriptions. You wait for the results of your tests and lab work. If your condition prevents you from working, you can expect a long wait between applying for Social Security Disability and receiving word of your approval for benefits. If the Social Security Administration approves your application, you still must wait five months or longer before your payments begin.
Fortunately, certain medical conditions qualify for rapid approval, which could significantly reduce the time you must wait for benefits. Although you do not have to take any special steps for expedited acceptance, it may help to understand how the program works so you will know when it is appropriate to fight for your rights.
Qualifying for compassionate allowance
The SSA's compassionate allowance program lists over 200 conditions eligible for shorter processing times. Like other medical conditions, these prevent you from working to earn a living, and they are potentially fatal. Because this second factor is more probable in some conditions listed for compassionate allowance, the agency fast-tracks applications for expedited approval. Instead of waiting months to learn if the SSA has approved your application for disability benefits, you may learn in just a few days. The SSA's computer system identifies applicants with any of the following claims:
- Fast-moving or terminal cancer
- A disease of the immune system
- Rare genetic disorders, such as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or "brittle bone disease"
- Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Huntington's disease
- A move to hospice care
- A veteran disabled while actively serving
- Blindness or deafness
- An infant with low birth-weight
- An amputation
- Danger of losing your home
If you qualify for expedited approval, you will still have to wait the prescribed time before your benefit payments begin. However, this may be months earlier than typical because the approval period is much shorter.
Since qualifying for compassionate allowance depends on the information you include in your application, you will want your application to be thorough as possible. You may find this a challenge if you are struggling each day to cope with your illness or condition. Many in your situation find that taking advantage of available resources can improve the chances of success. This includes the skills and experience of a California attorney.