Urgent Case Request

Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices are state agencies that make recommendations for Social Security Disability benefits to the SSA. An urgent case request is an application for disability benefits made because of the applicant’s imperative need for assistance from the SSA. If an application is tagged as an urgent case request, the application process is expedited, and temporary disability benefits may be granted. An urgent case request is very similar to a compassionate allowance. In both instances, the need for benefits is urgent and the existence of a disability is assumed because the disability is found on a list of medical conditions that are assumed by the SSA to qualify for disability benefits.

When an application for disability benefits is received by the DDS office, initial determination of urgency is made by the Eligibility Worker who reviews the application. Urgency is conditioned on the opinion of the Eligibility Worker that the applicant cannot wait for a formal decision because that sort of delay will cause significant problems in functioning or in the person’s well-being. In order for the Eligibility Worker to make this determination, the applicant’s doctor or medical facility must supply the DDS office with medical records substantiating the severity of the applicant’s medical condition, and the Eligibility Worker must make sure the applicant meets the presumptive disability criteria. In addition, the applicant must meet the income and property limits set forth by the SSA (i.e., meets the income and assets tests for SSI and the substantial gainful activity test for SSDI).

Urgent case request status will be granted if available evidence shows a strong probability that once all the medical and other records are received, disability will be confirmed, that available evidence supports the applicant’s disability, and that the condition has lasted or is likely to last for at least 12 months. The finding of presumptive disability enables applicants with specific conditions to be granted temporary disability benefits pending a formal determination of disability.

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