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Who qualifies for fast-tracking of SSDI benefits?

Nothing in the federal government moves quickly -- and that's certainly true for the gigantic Social Security Administration (SSA), upon which so many Americans rely for a variety of benefits. However, people with certain medical conditions and situations who can qualify to get their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims fast-tracked.

It's important to understand that "fast-tracked" is a relative term. It can still take at least five months from the beginning of your disability to start receiving payments. Of course, the more complete and compelling the medical documentation you provide is, the easier it will be to get the benefits you need within this timeframe.

The SSA has a list of about 240 conditions that qualify for their Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program and expedited processing of SSDI benefits. These include some fast-moving cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and other conditions that prevent people from working and are considered likely to end in death.

Social Security has systems in place to automatically put applicants with these conditions in the CAL program and get their benefits fast-tracked. However, if you or a loved one has a condition or a situation that you believe warrants expedited processing even if it's not on that list, you can request it. Here are some examples:

  • A person's cancer has metastasized and/or become terminal.
  • A patient has gone to hospice care.
  • A person is in danger of losing their home.
  • An active-duty veteran has become disabled (even if the injury/disability didn't result from military action).

If you or a loved one is having difficulty getting their SSDI benefits fast-tracked or if you're experiencing other issues getting needed benefits, it may be helpful to seek legal guidance from an attorney experienced with Social Security benefits.

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