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Fast Tracking Your Social Security Disability Case

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When you require government assistance due to a disability, nothing can be more frustrating than the bureaucracy and subsequent wait that accompanies your application for Social Security disability (SSD) payments. Many applicants are disheartened to learn that the process to secure funds can take months, or even years. Only under very limited circumstances can social security disability cases be fast tracked. In fact, of the roughly 2.8 million new disability claims annually, only four and one-half percent are given expedited consideration. Those situations generally involve the most serious of disabilities, blindness, and terminal conditions. There are 225 medical conditions that qualify for fast tracking, and those cases have the potential for final approval within 15 days.

Fast Track 

The Quick Disability Determination (QDD) process is a computerized screening that flags cases that are highly likely to receive a favorable determination and for which substantial medical documentation is available. These cases involve dire need and/or critical care.

When a determination is made that a medical condition is untreatable and expected to result in death, the Social Security Administration flags the case for expedited processing. This might include cases of ALS, AIDS, cancer, lethal genetic or congenital defects in newborns, long term comatose patients (over 30 days), hospice care, and cases involving long-term reliance on life-sustaining devices. These situations are reviewed within one business day of receipt.

Compassionate allowances involve rare childhood disorders, certain cancers, and brain disorders impacting adults. Claims such as these are also computer identified for expedited review with the expectation that such serious conditions may be addressed most quickly. Some of the many conditions that fall into this category include adult and juvenile onset Huntington disease, child lymphoma, heart transplant wait-list, and Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome. Applications that fall into the compassionate allowances category are approved at a rate of 95 percent.

The Process 

When the computer program provides fast-track alerts, adjudicators from the SSA verify that the medical records support a qualifying condition. In some cases doctors of the applicant will be contacted. Payments will begin almost immediately. This is a huge improvement over the usual 86 days required to process an initial claim, not to mention the added 450 or more days that rejected applicants spend going through numerous appeals.

Medical Evidence 

As will all applications, applicants are well served by having complete, detailed medical records. Included in this compilation might be a number of documents:

  • The date of the onset of disabling symptoms;
  • Medical test results, including MRI’s, lab tests, X-rays, and CAT scans;
  • Mental exams performed by psychiatrists and/or psychiatrists;
  • Doctor’s notes from any office, clinic, or ER visits;
  • Evidence supporting any residual functional capacity (RFC);
  • The prognosis of your condition and future ability to work.

Filing your Claim 

If you or a loved one is experiencing a serious disability and you are intimidated by the process of applying for Social Security Disability, the experienced legal team at Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian in Tampa can help. We are familiar with the requirements for each type of application, and will work to ensure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

Resources:

ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/

kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T051-C000-S004-disability-benefits-on-a-fast-track.html

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