5 Ways to Speed Up Your Social Security Disability Application Process

Social Security disability application process

No matter which Social Security disability (SSD) program you apply to – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – it can take a considerable amount of time for your application to go through the review process.

Even though the Social Security Administration (SSA) recommends people apply for Social Security disability benefits as soon as possible, it can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years to get your Social Security Disability application approved. The Social Security disability application process can be extremely complex and time-consuming, but for people with certain medical conditions or impairments, waiting that long to receive payments can cause applicants to go into debt due to their high medical bills or an inability to cover living expenses – additional stress that can exasperate health problems.

5 Ways to Expedite Your Social Security Disability Application Process

There are certain conditions that can be automatically fast-tracked through the review portion of the Social Security disability application process. and for those that don’t have certain impairments, they have fast-tracking options as well.



1. CAL conditions

Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are those medical conditions deemed so severe that they’re automatically considered disabilities by the SSA. The list now totals 225 and includes hundreds of cancers, such as acute leukemia and pancreatic cancer, as well as debilitating diseases, like progressive supranuclear palsy. If you have one of the 225 conditions on the CAL list, your Social Security disability application process will be automatically fast-tracked. As a result, you could see benefits within weeks.

2. The QDD process

The other fast-tracking option for the Social Security disability application process is Quick Disability Determinations (QDD). The QDD process happens when a person’s application shows he or she is likely to have a qualifying disability and medical evidence is already available. Identifying QDD claims helps the SSA prioritize its workload, according to the agency, and the process continues to be modified to expand the number of claimants in the program.

You don’t have to fill out special applications to have your claim categorized as CAL or QDD. If your condition is on the CAL List of Impairments then your application should automatically be accelerated through the process. The CAL list was made to ensure those with severe disabilities get the help they need when they need it. For the QDD process, the agency says it uses a computer-based system to determine initial SSD applicants’ eligibility.

3. Hire a seasoned attorney or disability advocate

Perhaps the best way without a condition on the CAL impairments list or fast-tracked through the QDD process is to have an experienced Social Security attorney or advocate by your side. While you can apply on your own, having an attorney represent you throughout your SSD application review process can help speed up your case. Attorneys can request aid from your physician and collect your medical records to ensure you don’t have to appeal. Attorneys can even help you fill out your application in such a way that makes it clear you meet a listing.

4. Contact your local representative or senator

Asking your local representative or senator to launch a congressional inquiry can help speed up the Social Security disability application process. While not all of these inquiries are successful, they often only benefit a case by getting hearings scheduled faster.

5. Get a dire need letter

One of the hardest – and longest – parts of the Social Security disability application process is getting your hearing scheduled. There aren’t many SSA judges and each of them have large workloads, making it hard for them to provide rulings quickly. SSDI or SSI claimants who have an acute need for Social Security Disability help can send a dire need letter. This type of letter showcases how applicants have an urgent need of financial assistance, such as if they are at risk of losing medical assistance or their homes, and may accelerate the hearing.

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