How to Get a Faster Disability Decision

Art: Robin Mead

There are certain circumstances that can make your disability decision much quicker. Or, if you are waiting for a hearing, you may be able to get a quicker hearing date.

But Wait!

A quick decision sounds great, but it is not always great. If you get a quick decision and it is a denial, you will likely wind up waiting much (much much) longer in the end. Before you jump in and ask for a quick decision you may wish to:

πŸ’—Β  Improve Your Chances for New Applications
πŸ’—Β Β Improve Your Chances for Reconsideration
πŸ’—Β Β Improve Your Chances for Hearing Appeal

I’m Ready. I Want a Decision Now!

Social Security has special policies that can sometimes speed up a decision or hearing date if you have:

πŸ’— Dire Need (Lack of food, housing, foreclosure, eviction, or Lack of Critical or Life-Saving Medical Care)

πŸ’— Personal or Public Safety Threats (Suicidal or Homicidal)

πŸ’— Terminal Illness

πŸ’— Veterans

πŸ’— Certain situations labeled Presumptive Disability.

πŸ’— Certain Conditions labeled Compassionate Allowance Conditions. If you have one of these conditions, learn more aboutΒ How To Get Approved for Disability Using Compassionate Allowance Rules

πŸ’— Contact your Congressperson’s Office. If you have any of the situations listed above, a staff member from your congressperson’s office may be able to call Social Security and help get things sped up for you.

Creative Ways to Get Faster Approvals

πŸ’— If you are homeless or at risk for homelessness, your case can also be processed more quickly if you use the SOAR program. In most areas, SOAR is only for people with diagnosis of Serious Mental Illness.


πŸ’—Β Meeting a Blue Book Listing. Social Security has a listing of impairments called the “Blue Book.” If you can show that you meet all the criteria for one of the listings, you may be able to get approved much more quickly and easily.

πŸ’—Β  For hearings: You may be able to get an approval without having a hearing by making an OTR request. These types of requests are not always successful. They are generally done with a lawyer, if your lawyer is willing. We have heard from a few readers who successfully submitted their own requests.

πŸ’— Reapplying: If you were on disability in the past, but your checks stopped because you were working too much, you may be eligible for expedited reinstatement.

πŸ’— If you were on SSI, and your check stopped for financial reasons then you may not need to need to reapply! If your check stopped less than 12 months ago, call and schedule an SSI financial interview.

Tips for Getting Your Request Noticed

πŸ’— When you first apply, you can write this on your application in the remarks section. For example: “I am homeless. I am requesting my case be expedited due to homelessness.” Or “I am a veteran. I am requesting a my case be expedited as a veteran.”

πŸ’— It can help if you are able to provide documentation proving that you meet this criteria. “I am enclosing a copy of a foreclosure notice.” “I am enclosing a copy of a medical records which statesΒ  terminal illness”.

πŸ’— If you apply in person, you can bring this information with you to your local office.

πŸ’— After you’ve made the request, you may wish to double check that everything went through. You can call and ask if your case is now appearing with a flag “homeless” or “veteran” or “dire need” or “congressional interest.”

πŸ’— The Non-Scary Way to Contact Your CongresspersonContacting your congressperson can be helpful. No need to be nervous. There is someone there on staff whose helps with situations like this. That’s their job!

πŸ’— If possible, it’s great if you can enclose a copy of the Social Security Policy. There are a lot of regs at Social Security, and not everyone knows all of them.

πŸ’— If you are waiting for a hearing, you can send a dire needs letter to the judges office.

πŸ’—Β If you have submitted a new application, or a reconsideration application, it’s a good idea toΒ Stay In Touch with Your Disability Examiner.

More Options

How to Survive Financially While Applying for Disability

What Do You Think?Β 

Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.

Updated May 2020. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons:

3 thoughts on “How to Get a Faster Disability Decision”

    1. This is not accurate. One can apply for disability immediately the day they become unemployed. Also, if the person is working part time they can apply for disability while still working in some cases.


  1. Thank you so much for your site. I’ve been religiously combing through every post and article and you’ve been such a comfort to me. Just know though that you’re helping people like me out without even realizing how important you are


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s