More than 200 diseases and conditions qualify for fast-track application processing for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits through the Compassionate Allowances program. The Social Security Administration’s software algorithm identifies these applications and shortens their review time to days rather than months.
In addition to Compassionate Allowances, several other applicant categories may receive expedited review and approval for SSDI. SSDI provides benefits to individuals who cannot work for a year or longer due to a debilitating mental or physical health condition.
Veterans on active duty
Any military service member injured while on active duty can receive fast-track SSDI processing. This applies even to injuries that occurred when the person was not engaged in military business. To qualify, the applicant must note that the injury happened on active duty when he or she initiates the process.
Severe disability or terminal illness
Certain severe disabilities qualify the applicants for temporary benefits while they await a final SSA decision. These so-called presumptive disabilities including HIV, AIDS, blindness, deafness, Down syndrome, amputation and several other conditions.
Individuals who have terminal illnesses can receive expedited benefits. This includes applicants who receive hospice care or have reached the end stages of a disease such as cancer.
In addition to these defined categories, special circumstances such as unstable housing can qualify an applicant for a faster SSDI decision. Even when an applicant successfully receives an expedited SSDI decision, benefits do not start until five months after the date he or she became disabled.
Applicants who appeal an SSDI denial often face a long waiting period for a hearing. Providing detailed medical information can reduce this potential wait.