Speeding up a Social Security Disability determination

Under normal circumstances, it can take up to two years for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to approve an application for disability benefits. And when you're unable to work, that long waiting period can pose a real hardship as medical expenses and basic living costs pile up.

However, you may have options for speeding up your SSD claim. There are certain situations in which the SSA will expedite a disability benefits claim. Keep reading to learn more.

Terminal illness - If your illness or disability is life-threatening, it provides a compelling case for an administrative law judge (ALJ) to expedite your claim for benefits. The SSA's Compassionate Allowances program provides for faster processing of applications related to certain serious conditions.

Risk of foreclosure or eviction - The disability determination takes time, which can leave some applicants unable to cover basic expenses like rent or mortgage payments. The right lawyer may be able to help speed up the process for you.

Military service - Military service personnel who were injured or disabled on active duty may have their claims expedited if their illness or injury developed after October 1, 2001.

Suicide risk - If an applicant has suicidal thoughts, the SSA will often expedite a claim for benefits in the interest of the claimant's safety.

If you have had suicidal thoughts or you are suffering from an untreated mental illness, please talk to your doctor and get help. There are people who care about you and resources geared toward helping you.

Don't give up - get the help you need

Remember - even if the SSA sends bad news, do not give up on your claim. You can typically appeal by a set deadline to strengthen your claim. As always, talk to an attorney if you need help pursuing Social Security benefits.

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