Belleville, Illinois — Nov. 2, 2016 — The number of claims that receive fast-track review through the Social Security Administration (SSA) Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Determinations programs continues to grow, according to Allsup, the nation’s leading provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation services. About 6.9% of claims received fast-track status in fiscal year 2015, which translates to 181,686 claimants whose claims were flagged for faster review due to the severity of their condition from 2,615,912 cases, according to SSA data. This was an increase from 175,190 claims in FY2014.
Introduced in October 2008, the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program lists more than 220 conditions to help disability examiners identify claimants with the most severe conditions. Under this program, claimants receive a decision within weeks, instead of months or years. A report this year by the SSA Office of the Inspector General found that 25% of people whose claims were allowed under this program died within three months of submitting their application.
Receiving SSDI benefits more quickly is becoming a critical concern as the SSA workloads grow, according to Mike Stein, Allsup assistant vice president of claims. “The wait times at the hearing level are only growing worse,” he said. Once people with disabilities appeal to the hearing level, they can anticipate a national average wait of 545 days with more than 1.1 million people.
“Individuals seeking SSDI face one of the most cumbersome, overwhelming experiences in the history of the program right now,” Stein explained. “Anyone filing their SSDI application today can easily see their claim take three or four years to reach completion, which is why fast-tracking processes are so critical to people who have serious health conditions.”
Faster News About SSDI Eligibility
To help people with their Social Security disability applications, Allsup offers empower by Allsup®, its new dual purpose online tool.
In only minutes, they can learn their likelihood of being eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Those who successfully complete the assessment can immediately start their disability insurance application with Allsup as their representative and learn more about Social Security’s return-to-work incentives.
Time is crucial, and applicants who have an SSDI representative such as Allsup are more likely to be approved on their first application. This means applicants receive benefits within months, instead of years, because they can avoid the lengthy and complicated appeals process. Allsup has a 50% success rate at the application level, compared to the national average of 33 percent.
“Allsup disability experts work hard to quickly identify our most vulnerable claimants, so they can receive benefits quickly,” Stein said. “Only a small portion of claimants may qualify for fast-track programs, but anyone can reach out to Allsup for help with their SSDI claim.”
To qualify for SSDI benefits, individuals must meet the SSA’s stringent requirements. Applicants must have paid FICA payroll taxes, typically worked five of the last 10 years, and have medical evidence of a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to last more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must be unable to work and under their full retirement age (65-67).
To determine your likelihood of qualifying for SSDI benefits, get started with empower and take our Free SSDI Assessment.