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Fast-tracked SSD claims are processed in days, not months

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Texas residents who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits usually wait months for their claims to be processed, but there are situations where applicants receive an answer in a matter of days. The Compassionate Allowance program, which is administered by the Social Security Administration, maintains a list of medical conditions that can fast-track applications. At the end of 2022, there were 266 conditions on CALs list.

Expedited processing

The conditions include genetic disorders, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases that are likely to be terminal or prevent sufferers from working. The fast-tracking program was put into place to ensure that applicants in critical situations are not kept waiting, so most of the conditions on CAL’s list are serious and fast-moving. Applications from individuals receiving hospice care or suffering from metastasized cancers are fast-tracked automatically.

Automatic processing

SSD applicants who are eligible for fast-tracking do not have to fill out any special forms. This is because the Social Security Administration has software that scans online applications for words and phrases that indicate an applicant qualifies for fast-tracking. When applications are not submitted online, they are reviewed by claims examiners to determine if they qualify for expedited processing. Applicants with terminal conditions receive the highest priority. Faster processing does not always lead to faster payments as the waiting period for Social Security Disability benefits is still five months from the date of disability even if claims are expedited.

Days instead of months

The Social Security Administration is often criticized for its bureaucratic policies that keep applicants waiting, but its fast-tracking program shows that this is not always the case. Applicants with severe or terminal illnesses are given priority, and the system works automatically. The five-month waiting period for benefits remains in place, but applications are processed in days instead of months.