How Long Does an Expedited SSDI Claim Take?

Waiting for a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim to process can be stressful, especially when you urgently need financial support. Unfortunately, many factors can slow down the processing time for an SSDI claim. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), an initial claim typically takes six to eight months to process.

When you’re facing a serious medical condition, having an expedited Social Security disability claim makes it easier to focus on your health and well-being instead of dealing with the stress of financial uncertainty. If your SSDI claim is expedited, you can expect to receive crucial financial support quickly, with payments arriving within a few weeks of approval.

The expedition process is designed to help when waiting isn’t a viable option. But how long does an expedited SSDI claim take? To answer this, we first need to understand the claim process and the factors affecting an expedited disability determination.

Understanding the Expedited SSDI Claim Process

Expedited SSDI claims are designed for people with severe medical conditions that meet specific criteria outlined in the SSA blue book. These conditions include terminal illnesses, certain cancers, and other severe disabilities.

The expedited process aims to provide faster decisions so those needing immediate benefits don’t go without.

Types of Expedited Social Security Disability Claims

There are five main types of expedited SSDI claims.

The first is Compassionate Allowances (CALs). CALs are a fast-track method the SSA uses to identify diseases and medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. These conditions are so severe that they meet the SSA’s disability standards with minimal objective medication information. CALs allow for expedited processing, meaning that applicants who are approved for this receive benefits as quickly as possible.

The second type of expedited SSDI claim is a Terminal Illness (TERI) case. These are cases where the applicant has a condition that is expected to result in death. TERI cases are prioritized and processed quickly to ensure that applicants receive benefits without delays.

Next are Presumptive Disability (PD) or Presumptive Blindness (PB) cases. These allow certain applicants to receive immediate benefits for up to six months while the SSA processes their claim. This is based on the presumption that the applicant’s condition is severe enough to meet the SSA’s disability standards. Conditions that may quality for PD and PB claims include:

  • Total blindness
  • Total deafness
  • Severe intellectual disability

The fourth type of expedited SSDI claim are dire need cases. Dire need cases are those where the applicant’s situation is so critical that they cannot wait for the standard processing time. This often includes individuals who lack necessities like food, shelter, or medical treatment. If an applicant demonstrates a dire need, their claim may be expedited to address their urgent circumstances.

Finally, there are congressional inquiries. These act as a “status check” for a disability claim and are facilitated by the state senator or representative. Congressional inquiries can accelerate the processing of your claim, which is particularly beneficial during the Administrative Hearing stage. To begin a congressional inquiry, you can reach out to your state senator or representative’s office and request their assistance in reviewing the status of your disability claim. This might involve completing an official form or drafting a letter (per their requirements).

Average Processing Times for Expedited Claims

Average processing times to receive an expedited disability determination vary depending on the specific type of expedited process and individual circumstances. Below are the typical processing times for each type of claim:

  1. Compassionate Allowances: Often processed within a few weeks from the date of application submission.
  2. Terminal Illness Cases: Usually processed within 30 days from the date of the application submission.
  3. Presumptive Disability or Presumptive Blindness Cases: Typically resolved within a few weeks.
  4. Dire Need Cases: Generally resolved within 30 days.
  5. Congressional Inquiries: The processing time for these claims varies depending on the inquiry’s nature and complexity.

It’s important to note that these are average processing times, and how long an expedited SSDI claim takes may vary based on multiple factors. Timely submission of complete and accurate documentation can significantly impact processing times.

Factors Affecting the Speed of an Expedited SSDI Claim

So, what are the factors that can affect the speed of your claim? Let’s explore five of the main influential factors:

  1. Completeness of Medical Documentation: One of the most critical factors influencing the speed of your expedited Social Security disability claim is the completeness and accuracy of your medical documentation. The SSA relies heavily on medical evidence to evaluate disability claims. Providing comprehensive medical records that document the nature and severity of your impairment is essential for a fast expedition process.
  2. Accuracy of the Application: Errors or omissions in your SSDI application can lead to delays in processing. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully review your application before submitting it to ensure all information is accurate and complete. Don’t forget details such as your medical history, work history, and other relevant information requested by the SSA.
  3. SSA Workload: Unfortunately, expedited SSDI claims can stack up. So, the volume of claims the SSA receives can impact processing times. During periods of high demand or when resources are stretched thin, there may be delays in processing.
  4. Complexity of Your Case: Some SSDI claims involve complex medical conditions or circumstances that require additional review by SSA examiners or medical consultants. Complex cases may take longer to process as the SSA thoroughly evaluates all evidence before deciding.
  5. Appeals and Reconsiderations: If your initial SSDI claim is denied and you choose to appeal the decision or request a reconsideration, this can extend the overall processing time. Appeals involve additional administrative steps and may require further review of your case by the SSA or an Administrative Law Judge.

Four Steps To Ensure a Faster Processing Time

Luckily, you can take certain steps to try to ensure your expedited Social Security disability claim is processed as quickly as possible:

Step 1: Gather Complete Medical Records

One of the most critical aspects of an SSDI claim is providing thorough medical documentation.

Ensure you gather all relevant medical records, including test results, treatment histories, and reports from healthcare providers. The more comprehensive your medical evidence, the smoother and faster the decision process can be.

Step 2: Follow SSA Guidelines and Deadlines

Familiarize yourself with the SSA guidelines and deadlines for submitting documentation and responding to requests. Missing deadlines or failing to adhere to guidelines can delay your claim.

Step 3: Communicate Promptly With the SSA

Stay proactive throughout the application process by promptly responding to any requests for additional information or documentation from the SSA. Failure to respond on time can lead to delays in processing your claim.

Step 4: Consider Hiring a Disability Attorney

Consulting with our experienced Arizona disability attorneys can significantly expedite the processing of your SSDI claim. Our SSDI disability attorneys understand the intricacies of the SSDI system and can ensure that your application is properly prepared and submitted.

We will also advocate on your behalf, handle communication with the SSA, and navigate any challenges that may arise during the process.

What To Do if Your Expedited Claim Is Delayed

If you find that your expedited claim is taking longer than you initially expected, there are three things you can do:

  • Contact the SSA and inquire about the status of your claim and any potential issues causing the delay.
  • Promptly file an appeal if the SSA denies your claim to ensure the ball keeps rolling and you’re making progress toward receiving the benefits you deserve.
  • Seek assistance from an attorney. Our Arizona disability attorneys can advocate on your behalf and are well-versed in expediting the resolution process.

Contact Our Experienced Disability Attorney in Arizona Today

Time is of the essence when you are in urgent need of benefits. Unfortunately, the duration of an expedited Social Security disability insurance claim depends on several factors.

At Pekas Smith: Arizona Disability Attorneys, we understand the urgency and stress of receiving an expedited disability determination. Our disability lawyers in Arizona are here to guide you through the expedited SSDI claim process, ensuring that your application is handled efficiently and effectively.

We have successfully secured millions of dollars in disability benefits for our clients, and we can help you, too.

Don’t wait any longer to secure the support you deserve. Contact us at 602.962.2818 for a free phone call or video call consultation, and take the first step toward securing the benefits you need.

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