When debilitating health conditions keep them from working for an extended period or permanently, many people turn to Social Security Disability benefits to help support themselves and their families. Should they have conditions that physicians classify as terminal, however, they may worry that they will not have the time to go through the drawn-out process of applying for SSD benefits.
Those with terminal conditions may receive expedited processing through the Social Security Administration’s TERI program.
What conditions qualify for the TERI program?
According to the Social Security Administration, the TERI program allows for expediting the claims of those seeking benefits due to a terminal illness. Some of the conditions that may qualify for this hastened processing include the following:
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS
- Chronic heart failure or pulmonary failure
- Cancer of the brain, esophagus, liver, pancreas or gallbladder
Those awaiting heart, liver, lung or bone marrow transplants also commonly have eligibility for faster processing of their applications.
How do you expedite a claim through the TERI program?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SSDI applicants with terminal illnesses do not need to take any additional steps to fall under the TERI program. Applying for benefits with certain conditions will automatically send the claim to the TERI system. In other cases, when the field office representative confirms the applicant currently receives hospice or home hospice care, or that the illness for which he or she seeks benefits will lead to death, the representative will send it into the system.
When faced with limited time, people may not have the option to wait out the SSDI claims process. However, programs such as the TERI system allow for flagging and special handling of these unique circumstances.