Sometimes, certain people cannot wait long to receive Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Why? Because for this select group, their life clock is ticking as they have terminal illnesses. If they had to follow the typical timeline to receive these much-needed benefits, the wait would take eight months to a year. Then, those benefits may not arrive in time.
This waiting-game scenario, however, likely will not take place because the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes a special effort to expedite the benefits processing for applicants with terminal illnesses.
Understanding the urgency
In most cases, the SSA typically takes three to five months to make its decision as whether to accept or deny a person’s application for SSD benefits. Then, if the agency accepts your claim, it requires applicants to wait another five months before receiving those benefits.
This is not the case for someone with a terminal illness, and the SSA understands the urgency. A terminal illness – as defined by the SSA – is an untreatable medical condition that cannot be reversed or an illness in which death is inevitable.
Certain cancers, hospice care and ALS
The SSA considers these medical conditions as terminal:
- Certain types of cancer, including brain, lung, liver, gall bladder, pancreatic, esophageal and mesothelioma.
- Heart, lung, liver and bone marrow transplant patients still on waiting lists
- Chronic dependence on a cardiopulmonary life-sustaining device
- Home or inpatient hospice care
- Comatose for 30 days or more
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease
- AIDS and HIV infections
By accommodating you and your family, the SSA understands that time is important for everyone who has a terminal illness.
Benefits will help overcome financial challenges
You know the truth that your life will end due to a terminal illness. You and your family have come to terms with this news. Receiving SSD benefits in a timely manner will provide some solace in helping you avoid financial challenges.