Manring & Farrell

Will your condition fast-track you for disability benefits?

Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits is not always easy. If the condition with which you suffer is rare or complex, it may not be among those in the Social Security Administration's "blue book," the official list of approved conditions that qualify you for benefits. For many in Ohio, obtaining eligibility for disability means proving their symptoms prevent them from earning a living, and this can add time to an already long approval process.

However, more than just having a list of symptoms, you may be unable to work because your medical condition is especially serious. If this is the case, you may not have the time to wait the months it typically takes for the approval process and even longer between approval and the arrival of your first benefits check. Fortunately, the SSA offers a Compassionate Allowance program to fast-track certain applicants.

Situations that may speed up your case

Over 200 conditions qualify for expedited approval for disability through the SSA. If you have one of these conditions, it is important that your application is complete and thorough because the SSA's computer software automatically flags those applicants who meet the criteria for fast approval. The software will search for key words that signify that your application will likely qualify for approval. This will essentially move your case to the front of the line. Instead of taking months, your application may receive approval in just a few days.

Other circumstances may fast track your application, including the following:

  • You are a U.S. veteran who suffered a disabling injury or illness while serving on active duty.
  • You have a condition with a terminal prognosis.
  • You have a child with low birth weight or failure to thrive.
  • There is a high risk that you will become homeless.
  • You have what the SSA calls a presumptive disability, such as an amputation, blindness or HIV/AIDS.

Even if you qualify for an expedited approval for disability, you will still have to wait at least five months before your benefit payments will begin. Qualifying for an expedited approval can start that waiting period much sooner, resulting in you receiving the benefits you need faster. However, there is always the chance that the SSA will deny your application. Denials are more common than approvals, in fact. You have the right to reach out for legal assistance with your application or the appeals process.

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