Social Security Disability applications can take a long time to be reviewed. If a case involves appeals, it can take more than a year to receive a decision.
However, the Social Security Administration fast tracks some applications under two processes: compassionate allowances (CAL) and quick disability determination (QDD).
Compassionate allowances apply to medical conditions that are so serious they obviously amount to disabilities, even with limited medical information.
The conditions include:
• Acute Leukemia
• Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
• Advanced malignant melanoma
• Gallbladder cancer
• Heart transplant wait list
• Inoperable kidney cancer
• Liver cancer
• Ovarian cancer
• ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex
• Thyroid cancer
Quick disability determinations allow an expedited review in as little as 20 days for claims that involve a high degree of probability that the individuals are disabled. Here is the complete list of conditions and diseases that qualify as a disability.
The agency’s computer software automatically reviews applications for those likely to receive a favorable response. The software looks for diagnoses that are on the Listing of Impairments and for which medical evidence is readily available. These include diagnoses of terminal illness and blindness.
If the agency determines that your application is eligible for CAL or QDD, it forwards the case to experienced adjudicators. After a medical consultant reviews your file, you can receive quick approval or denial of your application. However, if there is disagreement between the reviewer and consultant, your case will be taken off the expedited track and put back into the standard application pool. This will mean that you will not receive an expedited decision.
Because CAL and QDD are designed to identify only the cases most likely to succeed, denials are less probable than other applications. Cases that are eligible for fast-track determinations make up only a small proportion of the entire application pool for Social Security Disability benefits. Only one in 25 applicants receives expedited processing.
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