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.
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:
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:
💗 Dire Need (Lack of food, housing, foreclosure, eviction, or Lack of Critical or Life-Saving Medical Care)
💗 Personal or Public Safety Threats (Suicidal or Homicidal)
💗 Certain situations labeled Presumptive Disability.
💗 Certain Conditions labeled Compassionate Allowance Conditions. If you have one of these conditions, learn more about How To Get Approved for Disability Using Compassionate Allowance Rules
💗 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
💗 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.
💗 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.
💗 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.
💗 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.
💗 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
💗 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.”
💗 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 states terminal illness”.
💗 If you apply in person, you can bring this information with you to your local office.
💗 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.”
💗 The Non-Scary Way to Contact Your Congressperson – Contacting 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!
💗 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.
💗 If you are waiting for a hearing, you can send a dire needs letter to the judges office.
💗 If you have submitted a new application, or a reconsideration application, it’s a good idea to Stay In Touch with Your Disability Examiner.
What Do You Think?
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Updated May 2020. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: