If you are a Pennsylvania resident, have suffered an injury or an illness, and can no longer work, you might have thought about filing a Social Security Disability claim. Although you may have heard that it takes a long time to receive approval, certain conditions and personal circumstances may put you on the fast track for approval so you can begin to receive benefits. Here is what you need to know.
Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances (CA) program
The CA program lists 226 conditions that can shorten the processing time for Social Security Disability claims from months to only a few days. Among the qualifying conditions are aggressive cancers, immune system, neurodegenerative and rare genetic disorders, all of which prevent you from working or result in death. You do not need to apply separately for a compassionate allowance as Social Security’s software automatically identifies your eligibility. Qualification depends on your diagnosis and its severity. The agency also uses another system called Quick Disability Determination (QDD) to scan online applications for key words and phrases that indicate priority processing.
Other programs, procedures and conditions that speed up the disability approval process include:
• Identification of a metastasizing cancer
• A low birthweight infant
• Presence of a presumptive disability like amputation, total blindness or deafness, etc.
• Veterans who become disabled while on active duty
When can I start receiving payments?
You can still receive disability payments even if your disability isn’t permanent, as long as your restrictions will last at least one year. However, you should note that the SSDI application process can be difficult. Whether you apply online or on paper, you’ll need to complete numerous forms. The accuracy of your application will determine your eligibility.
You won’t receive disability benefits immediately after approval, even if you receive approval through the expedited process. The agency starts issuing payments five months after the date when it determines that your disability began. Therefore, it’s doubly important to apply as soon as possible.