Do you struggle with a medical condition or disability that prevents you from working? If so, in the United States, you can seek financial assistance by filing for disability benefits.
However, filing for benefits doesn’t mean you’ll immediately receive them. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews claims thoroughly to ensure applicants genuinely qualify for benefits
This process can take time. That said, there are instances in which some applicants may immediately qualify for disability benefits. This overview covers noteworthy examples.
The SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program expedites the disability benefits applications for applicants with certain conditions. Through the program, someone with a severe condition may automatically qualify for benefits. Additionally, they may receive benefits sooner than they otherwise would.
An example of a condition that might qualify an applicant for a Compassionate Allowance is late-stage cancer. Because a person in these circumstances can’t wait long to receive benefits, the SSA may process their application quickly.
Similar to the Compassionate Allowance program, the Terminal Illness program, also known as TERI, provides relatively fast access to disability benefits for applicants with terminal illnesses.
An applicant must have an illness that is likely to result in death within six months to qualify for the TERI program. If someone does qualify for the program, they may receive disability benefits in as little as one month.
What If I Do Not Automatically Qualify For Disability Benefits?
The fact that you don’t automatically qualify for disability benefits doesn’t mean you can’t receive them at all. It simply means you may need to wait longer to collect benefits than you would if you had a condition that qualified you for the Compassionate Allowance program or TERI program.
However, to qualify in general for disability benefits, you must have a condition that meets the SSA’s definition of a disability. This is essentially a condition that prevents you from working and will probably last at least 12 months.
The SSA’s Blue Book is a resource offering valuable information about the conditions that may qualify someone for disability benefits. Review it to determine if you have a disability meeting the criteria for at least one of the conditions in this guide.
Another factor that may influence your eligibility for disability benefits is your employment history. To qualify for certain benefits, you must have earned a certain number of “work credits.” Your age and how long you’ve been working will determine the amount of work credits you’ve earned.
Get Connected With an Attorney Whether you’re attempting to prove you automatically qualify for disability benefits through the Compassionate Allowance program or TERI program, or you’re simply attempting to prove you qualify for benefits at all, it’s wise to enlist the assistance of a Social Security disability lawyer. They may help you gather evidence necessary to show that you deserve to receive benefits due to the nature of your condition.
Complete the free case evaluation form on this site to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website and takes disability cases in your area.