Social Security Disability – Claims Procedure – Expedited Hearing


Social Security disability cases (SSDI or SSI) often take long periods of time to be resolved. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) does all that it can to handle cases as quickly as possible, the sheer number of cases and the volume of information required for each case

Special Processing of “critical” cases:

Some types of cases are or can be designated for special handling and/or for expedited hearings. There are now four of these special situations as follows:

1. Terminal Illness (TERI) Cases – Simply put, these are cases where the claimant is not expected to live. Certain medical conditions are eligible for treatment as Terminal Illness Cases. Examples include amyotropic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), cancer of the liver, esophagus, pancreas or lung (small cell), chronic heart failure and other diseases. The claimant, his/her doctor or his/her family can bring this situation to the attention of the SSA if it has not already designated the case for TERI handling.

2. Military Casualty; Wounded Warrior Cases – Any current or former member of the military who sustained an illness, injury or wound while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001. The claimant does not have to have been injured in the course of performing military tasks. It does not matter where the claimant was when injured (U.S. or foreign country). The cause of the impairment can be any physical or mental illness or injury that results in disability. Some injuries (like P.T.S.D.) may have originated during military service or from military service but did not become a disability until after discharge from military service. These could also be designated for Military Casualty status.

3. Compassionate Allowance (CAL) Cases – Compassionate Allowance cases are claims that arise from disease or other medical conditions that almost always qualify for Social Security disability. They are identified in a Listing of Impairments (see 20 CFR Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404). Most CAL cases are identified by the SSA staff at the initial application level.

4. Dire Need (DRND) Cases – As a final category, an expedited hearing may be requested where there exists severe medical, financial or personal circumstances. These include lack of food, medical treatment or housing, and the inability to obtain these. Foreclosure, homelessness, suicidal/homicidal events and/or deteriorating medical condition can be causes for granting a request for an expedited hearing. In a high percentage of Social Security disability claims, the claimant is suffering from a high degree of financial, personal or medical difficulty. To be successful in obtaining a hearing on an expedited basis, the circumstances of the claimant must be proven to be severe.

An attorney can help you identify critical case circumstances, and can assist you in having your case designated for special handling.


An experienced attorney familiar with Social Security disability law can help you protect your rights and can help you get the benefits you deserve. We have the knowledge, experience and skill to assist you in dealing with the process of obtaining help from these Social Security benefits programs. We represent disabled individuals in SSA Disability claims throughout North Georgia including Cobb County, Cherokee County, Bartow County, Floyd County, Paulding County, Fulton County and Forsyth County. Contact us today to discuss your situation and the benefits you are be entitled to receive.

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