How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

How can you speed up a Social Security Disability case?

In actuality, in most cases there will not be too many ways you can speed up a Social Security Disability determination. This is because unless a case has been identified as a TERI case (terminal illness) or a compassionate allowance or QDD (quick disability determination decision) claim, the process of assigning the case to an examiner, obtaining the necessary medical evidence, and evaluating it in the context of the Social Security Administration's qualifications and requirements for disability...will remain the same.

That said, there are a few suggestions that may help expedite the processing of a disability case.

Availability of Medical Record Evidence

One factor that can help speed up a Social Security Disability case is the availability of current medical records. Social Security cannot make a disability determination without medical evidence that is ninety days old or less. If you do not have any medical information that is that recent, it is likely you will have to attend a Social Security Medical Exam, otherwise known as a consultative examination, or, simply, CE.

Consultative examinations have become an integral part of the Social Security Disability process, largley because so many disability applicants have not had insurance, or the financial means to have their disabling conditions treated regularly. Unfortunately, consultative examinations add processing time to a disability claim.

However, if you have to have an examination, you can help speed up your disability case by making sure that you attend your examination. If you miss the appointment, rescheduling it could add a month or more time to the processing of your case. If you find that you are unable to attend the exam on the appointed day, or for some reason you miss the appointment, you should make sure contact the disability examiner working on your SSD claim or SSI claim as soon as possible to reschedule the examination.

As stated, missed consultative examinations can add significant time to the processing of your case, so try to avoid missed appointments.

Responding quickly to the Disability Examiner handling the case

Another factor that may help speed up your Social Security Disability claim would be a quick response to all disability examiner contacts and requests. Social Security Disability examiners need various kinds of information in addition to medical record information to process disability claims. They often send an ADL, or activities of daily living, questionnaire and a work history report form for you to complete.

The activities of daily living questionnaire simply asks questions about how your disability has affected your ability to do routine daily activities (i.e. household chores, driving, grocery shopping, interaction with friends or family, or social interactions out in public).

The work activity form is used to get a description of your relevant work activity, i.e., the kinds of jobs you have had during the fifteen years prior to becoming disabled.

If a consultative examination is necessary, the disability examiner will contact you to schedule an appointment. If they cannot reach you by phone, they will mail a request for you to contact them.

If you fail to respond to calls, letters, or forms needed for your disability claim, you may not only slow your disability case down you may actually cause your disability claim to be denied all together.

Filing appeals quickly

If you receive a denial of your claim and you are continuing to pursue your case through the Social Security Disability appeal process, one of the few ways you can speed up your disability case is to appeal any denials as quickly as possible.

You are allowed a sixty-five day appeal period for disability denials, however if you take all that time you may add another four months (the total amount of time that would elapse if you take the full appeal period between your initial disability denial and the reconsideration appeal, and again between your reconsideration appeal denial and the disability hearing request that comes after).

If you receive a denial letter, contact Social Security immediately to appeal your denial. You can complete your appeal forms online, or by using paper forms that you can get from your local Social security office. The important thing is to complete them and get them submitted as quickly as possible.

Expedites based on dire need

If your disability case is at the administrative law judge hearing level, you may be able to speed up the process by submitting a dire need letter to the judge. If you choose to submit a letter, make sure you include bills or late notices to substantiate your dire need. This may or may not help as most individuals who are waiting for disability hearings are in dire need situations by the time they get to their hearing.

As a result, hearings offices are increasingly seeing more requests for expedited hearings based on dire need. However, you lose nothing by submitting your request and there is a chance that your will be scheduled for your hearing quicker.

While all of the above situations can speed up your disability case, there is one other thing that may result in speedier disability claim processing. You should check the status of your disability claim with Social Security regularly. You can do this by calling your local Social Security office or by contacting the disability examiner who is in charge of making your disability determination at the initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal level.

I would suggest, as a former examiner, that you will have better results if you contact the disability examiner at DDS who is making your disability determination versus calling the Social Security office.

If your disability claim is at the administrative law judge hearing appeal level, you can check and see if your case has been scheduled for a hearing by calling the hearings office, or your local Social Security office. Again, it may be best to contact the hearing office versus the social security office.

No matter what level of the process your disability case is at, there are times when more information is needed, or other times when a notice or request has been lost in the mail. If you check your disability claim periodically, you are less likely to miss things that could be important to your Social Security Disability case.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How can you speed up a Social Security Disability case?
Dire Need and Getting a Social Security Disability or SSI Case Speeded Up
Speeding up the Request for a Social Security Hearing - Documentation that is needed
Getting your medical records can help speed up your disability case
Can I get my Social Security Disability Hearing Request Expedited, Speeded up?
The Time Involved on a Social Security Disability Decision
Can a Lawyer Speed Up My Disability Case?
Can a Congressional Inquiry Really Help to speed up Your Disability Case?
Can I work if I have not received my disability award letter?
If you apply for disability in in Colorado
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Colorado

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.