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Is There a ‘Fast Track’ to Social Security Disability?

Is There a ‘Fast Track’ to Social Security Disability?


When you first began applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you might have heard that there is a “fast track” for approvals. But what is that, exactly? How do you get on it? And how is the process different?

Compassionate Allowances. The “fast track” people often reference is called the Compassionate Allowances List. This is a list of over 200 medical conditions which, if you’re diagnosed with any of them, earns you an expedited claims process. It’s not exactly an automatic approval, but the process only takes about a month – about the shortest processing time that exists within the Social Security system. Examples of these conditions include: Lou Gehrig’s disease, Stage 4 breast cancer, acute leukemia, and many other types of cancers. We’re talking about very serious, or quite often terminal, health conditions.

Listing of Impairments. The Social Security Administration also maintains a Listing of Impairments to aid in their approval process. Some of these impairments can qualify you for Disability benefits once you’ve proven their occurrence or existence within your medical records. However, even though the approval process is usually shortened, the Administration sets forth requirements regarding a reassessment of your condition at the end of a specific term (usually one year). In other words, you might earn a quicker approval, but you will need to prove that the condition remains disabling in order to continue receiving benefits. These impairments include certain transplant operations, such as liver or kidney transplants.

Most other conditions within the Listing of Impairments do not necessarily qualify you for a quicker approval. They simply set forth the criteria by which Social Security decides the condition is significantly disabling. For example, in order to qualify for benefits under the category of central blindness, your corrected vision in the better eye can’t be better than 20/200. As you can see, these criteria tend to be quite specific and strict.

Denials often occur either because the claimant has a condition which falls outside of these categories, or they have yet to sufficiently prove their condition to be “disabling” as defined by Social Security. Of course, there are other reasons that you can be denied, such has an insufficient work record (for SSDI) or income and assets above the thresholds (for SSI).

When we help you with your disability appeal, we will first determine whether your claim was denied due to insufficient medical evidence or some other reason. Often, we just need to gather more detailed medical information on your case. But, if your claim was denied due to some other reason, we might be able to help with that too. Each case is unique, so call us for a consultation if your Social Security Disability claim was denied. We can assess your case on an individual basis, and then decide how to proceed from there.