Some medical diagnoses can change your life. When you learn the details of your condition, you realize you will never be the same. The illness may promise to consume your attention, your energy and your money as you strive to control the symptoms. You may be unable to do many of the things you now enjoy. You may no longer be able to work.
This means you will not only have medical bills to pay, but you will also have no income to help you meet those obligations. You can apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, but the process often takes months for approval and additional months before you begin receiving your benefits. If the SSA denies your initial claim, you can expect an even longer delay while you appeal. However, you may qualify for a fast-track decision.
Compassionate allowance speeds up the process
Because the SSA understands that some situations are dire and obtaining benefits as quickly as possible is vital, the agency has marked certain conditions for fast-track approval. These conditions do not require you to take any special steps during the application process. In fact, the agency’s computer software is programmed to identify applications that include any of the 240 conditions on the fast-track list and to move those applications to the front of the line.
Instead of waiting months to learn if the SSA has approved your application for disability, you may know within days. You will still have to wait the required five months before your benefit checks begin to arrive, but the overall length of the process will be much shorter.
What conditions qualify?
The Social Security Administration website lists the conditions that it currently sends to the fast track. This includes some rapidly progressing cancers, certain autoimmune diseases, early-onset Alzheimer’s, and dozens others. If yours is not on the list, you can submit a request for the SSA to include it in the Compassionate Allowance program.
Whether you are seeking fast-track approval or expecting to go through the normal process for disability benefits, you should be aware that the application process is long and tedious. You will want to include as much documentation and detail as possible for the best chances of approval the first time around. You may find that seeking the help of a skilled and understanding West Virginia attorney can relieve you of some of the stress of this process.