As your Social Security Disability lawyer, we’ll do everything we can to make sure you get the right decision as soon as possible. Call or e-mail us today to schedule your free consultation. We understand the impact that delays have on your financial, physical, and emotional well-being.

Three Ways to Get an Expedited Decision in Your Social Security Disability Claim

The SSA has an obligation to provide disability benefits quickly to those whose medical conditions are serious enough that they obviously meet disability standards. To satisfy this obligation, the SSA has two programs for serious illness: Compassionate Allowance Cases and Terminal Illness Cases.

Compassionate Allowance Cases

The SSA provides fast processing of claims for people with a medical condition that is on the Compassionate Allowances List. A medical condition is put on the Compassionate Allowances List if it is so severe that it would satisfy one of the SSA’s disability listings. Once the condition is put on the list, cases involving that condition are given priority by the SSA.

The Compassionate Allowances List allows the SSA to provide quick relief to individuals who are obviously disabled based on objective medical evidence. Compassionate allowance conditions are selected using information received at public hearings, comments received from the public, attorneys, and doctors familiar with Social Security Disability, and the SSA’s research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Disability Determination Services (DDS), which evaluates claims for the SSA at the initial and reconsideration levels, does not need much information to evaluate these types of claims. All it needs is enough medical documentation to show that an official diagnosis of the condition was made. Proof of the diagnosis is enough to prove disability.

Here is a complete list of medical impairments on the Compassionate Allowances List:

  • Acute Leukemia
  • Adrenal Cancer that is inoperable, unresectable, or recurrent
  • Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Adult Onset Huntington Disease
  • Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome
  • Alexander Disease (ALX) – Neonatal and Infantile
  • Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome
  • Alobar Holoprosencephaly
  • Alpers Disease
  • Alpha Mannosidosis – Type II and III
  • Alstrom Syndrome
  • Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
  • Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer that is inoperable, unresectable, or recurrent
  • Angelman Syndrome
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Aortic Atresia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Astrocytoma – Grade III and IV
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia
  • Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor
  • Batten Disease
  • Beta Thalassemia Major
  • Bilateral Optic Atrophy – Infantile
  • Bilateral Retinoblastoma
  • Bladder Cancer that is inseparable or unresectable
  • Breast Cancer that is inoperable or unresectable
  • Canavan Disease
  • Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site
  • Caudal Regression Syndrome – Types III and IV
  • Cerebro Oculo Facio Skeletal Syndrome
  • Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis
  • Child Neuroblastoma that is recurrent
  • Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma that is recurrent
  • Child T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
  • Condrosarcoma
  • Chronic Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction
  • Chronic Myelegenous Leukemia
  • Coffin-Lowry Syndrome
  • Congenital Lymphedema
  • Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
  • Corticobasal Degeneration
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
  • Cri du Chat Syndrome
  • Degos Disease
  • DeSanctis Cacchione Syndrome
  • Dravet Syndrome
  • Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18)
  • Eisenmenger Syndrome
  • Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
  • Endomyocardial Fibrosis
  • Ependymoblastoma
  • Erdheim Chester Disease
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Esthesioneuroblastoma
  • Ewing Sarcoma
  • Farber’s Disease
  • Fatal Familial Insomnia
  • Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
  • Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma
  • Friedrichs Ataxia
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Fryns Syndrome
  • Fucosidosis
  • Fukuyama Congential Muscular Dystrophy
  • Fulminant Giant Cell Myocarditis
  • Galactosialidosis
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Gaucher Disease
  • Giant Axonal Neuropathy
  • Glioblastoma Multiforme
  • Glioma
  • Glutaric Acidemia
  • Head and Neck Cancers
  • Heart Transplant Graft Failure
  • Heart Transplant Wait List
  • Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
  • Hepatoblastoma
  • Hepatopulmonary Syndrome
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome
  • Histiocytosis Syndromes
  • Hoyeaal-Hriedarsson Syndrome
  • Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
  • Hydranencephaly
  • Hypocomplementemic Urticarial Vasculitis Syndrome
  • Hypophosphatasia Perinatal and Infantile Onset Types
  • Hypo plastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • I Cell Disease
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Intracranial Hemangiopericytoma
  • Infantile Free Sialic Acid Storage Disease
  • Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy
  • Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
  • Intracranial Hemangiopericytoma
  • Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome
  • Joubert Syndrome
  • Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa
  • Juvenile Onset Huntington Disease
  • Kidney Cancer that is inoperable or unresectable
  • Krabbe Disease – Infantile
  • Kufs Disease
  • Large Intestine Cancer
  • Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
  • Left Ventricular Assist Device Needed
  • Leigh’s Disease
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Leptomeningeal Carinomatosis
  • Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
  • Lewi Body Dementia
  • Liposarcoma
  • Lissencephaly
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lowe Syndrome
  • Lymphomatoid Granulomatosis
  • Malignant Brain Stem Gliomas
  • Malignant Extomesenchymoma
  • Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
  • Malignant Germ Cell Tumor
  • Malignant Melanoma with metastases
  • Malignant Multiple Sclerosis
  • Malignant Renal Rhabdoid Tumor
  • Mantle Cell Lymphoma
  • Maple Syrup Urine Disease
  • Marshall-Smith Syndrome
  • Mastocytosis
  • MECP2 Duplication Syndrome
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Menkes Disease
  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  • Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
  • Metachromatic Leukodystrophy
  • Mitral Valve Atresia
  • Mixed Dementias
  • MPS I
  • MPS II
  • MPS III
  • Mucosal Malignant Melanoma
  • Multicentric Castleman Disease
  • Multiple System Atrophy
  • Myoclonic Epilepsy with Ragged Red Fibers Syndrome
  • Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
  • Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation
  • NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease
  • Riemann-Pick Disease
  • Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Obliterative Bronchiolitis
  • Ohtahara Syndrome
  • Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor
  • Ornithine Transcarbamylase
  • Orthochromatic Leukodystrophy with Pigmented Glia
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Pallister-Killian Syndrome
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Paraneoplastic Pemphigus
  • Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)
  • Pearson Syndrome
  • Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease
  • Peripheral Nerve Cancer
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma
  • Peritoneal Mucinous Carcinomatosis
  • Perry Syndrome
  • Phelan-McDermid Syndrome
  • Pleural Mesothelioma
  • Pompe Disease
  • Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis
  • Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma
  • Primary Effusion Lymphoma
  • Primary Progressive Aphasia
  • Progressive Bulbar Palsy
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
  • Prostate Cancer – Hormone Refractory Disease
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Pulmonary Kaposi Sarcoma
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity – Stage V
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Revesz Syndrome
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata
  • Roberts Syndrome
  • Salivary Tumors
  • Sandhoff Disease
  • Schindler Disease
  • Seckel Syndrome
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
  • Single Ventricle
  • Sinonasal Cancer
  • Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome
  • Small Cell Cancer
  • Small Intestine Cancer
  • Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Spinal Nerve Root ancer
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia
  • Stiff Person Syndrome
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis
  • Tabes Dorsalis
  • Tay Sachs Disease
  • Thanatophoric Dysplasia
  • Thyroid Cancer (anaplastic)
  • Transplant Coronary Artery Vasculopathy
  • Tricuspid Atresia
  • Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
  • Ureter Cancer
  • Usher Syndrome
  • Walker Warburg Syndrome
  • Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome
  • Wolman Disease
  • X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease
  • X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum
  • Zellweger Syndrome

The Compassionate Allowances process applies to claims for both SSDI and SSI benefits. Usually benefits are awarded within a few weeks of applying for Social Security Disability benefits in Virginia.

Terminal Illness Cases

Under the Terminal Illness (TERI) Program the SSA speeds up the decision process for applicants with terminal illnesses. The SSA considers a condition a terminal illness if it is expected to result in death. These cases are handled quickly.

The SSA will review a case under the TERI program if it receives any of the following:

  • An allegation from the disability claimant, a family member, a doctor, or another medical source that the illness is terminal.
  • A medical document showing that the claimant has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
  • A medical document showing that the claimant has acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  • Documentation that the claimant is receiving hospice care, either at home or inpatient.

Common cases evaluated under the TERI program include those involving: dependency on a cardio-pulmonary life sustaining device; the need for a heart, lung, liver, or bone marrow transplant; chronic heart failure requiring home oxygen; and certain types of cancer with low survival rates.

Wounded Warriors/Disabled Veterans

In 2012 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals made it easier for veterans to receive Social Security Disability benefits In Bird v. Commissioner of Social Sec. Admin, 699 F.3d 337 (4th Cir. 2012), the Court held that “the SSA must give substantial weight to a VA disability rating.” To support its decision, the Court stated, “Because the purpose and evaluation methodology of both programs are closely related, a disability rating by one of the two agencies is highly relevant to the disability determination of the other agency.”

The SSA process Wounded Warrior and Military Casualty Cases under expedited procedures. If you are a wounded veteran or an activity duty service member who is unable to work because of a physical disability or mental disorder, let the SSA know immediately. A faster decision should be made on your claim, especially if you have received a 100 percent service-connected disability rating. Just be sure to provide a copy of your impairment rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Have a question about SSDI, SSI, Virginia workers compensation, or long term disability benefits. Call or e-mail us now.