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Critical Disability Claims

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Is Your New York Disability Case Critical? Let a Top Social Security Law Firm Give You Answers

The Social Security disability (SSDI) application process can be lengthy and involve multiple rejections, doctors’ appointments, hearings, and appeals. As such, it can take quite a long time for a disabled individual to actually start receiving his or her benefits. In some cases, however, delays of this nature can seriously jeopardize the health, safety, and wellbeing of the claimant. To expedite the SSDI evaluation process, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may flag a case as “critical” and thus worthy of special processing. Below are the types of cases the SSA considers critical. If you think your case falls into one of these categories, please contact the Social Security law firm of Turley Redmond and Rosasco. We have offices throughout Nassau and Suffolk County. 

Social security paperwork.

Terminal Illness Classifications

Individuals suffering from terminal illnesses — defined as “untreatable, irreversible, and expected to end in death” — are considered critical cases. The SSA generally flags the following illnesses as terminal:

  • ALS
  • AIDS
  • Chronic pulmonary or heart failure
  • Cancer that is metastatic, Stage IV, persistent following therapy, or inoperable
  • Certain types of cancers (e.g., esophageal, liver, pancreatic, gallbladder, brain, etc.)

Keep in mind, however, that the presence of one of the above illnesses does not automatically result in a finding of disability — merely that the case is eligible for special processing.

Veteran 100% Permanent and Total

Veterans who have received a 100% disability rating from the VA and whose disability is permanent and total are critical cases.

Military Casualty/Wounded Warrior

Any current or former member of the armed forces may have his or her case designated as critical if it involves:

  • An illness, injury, or wound
  • Physical or mental impairment
  • An impairment sustained while on active duty status on or after October 1, 2001

Compassionate Allowances in New York

Certain illnesses and injuries almost always qualify the sufferer for SSDI benefits and are therefore considered critical cases. The SSA refers to these cases as “Compassionate Allowances” (CAL). Some of these include:

  • ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex
  • Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Ewing Sarcoma
  • Heart transplant waitlist
  • Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome
  • Obliterative Bronchiolitis
  • Pleural Mesothelioma
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy

There are over 200 illnesses covered by the CAL program, and more are added every year. If you have questions or concerns, contact our knowledgeable Social Security law firm in New York.

Dire Need as Described by the SSA

“Dire need” is somewhat of a vague term, but the SSA will find that a dire need exists when:

  • The claimant is without food or unable to obtain it
  • The claimant lacks medicine or medical care and is unable to obtain it (including for financial reasons)
  • The claimant lacks shelter

Absent evidence to the contrary, the SSA generally accepts a claimant’s allegation that he or she is in dire need.

Potentially Violent Designations

The SSA may designate a case as critical in situations where the claimant is suicidal, homicidal, or potentially violent.

Contact the Social Security Law Firm of Turley, Redmond and Rosasco

If you believe that your case is potentially critical, you should speak to an attorney to help you expedite your claim. To get started, please contact the Social Security law firm of Turley Redmond & Rosasco by using our online form or calling us at  516-745-5666 (Garden City), 631-582-3700 (Ronkonkoma), or 631-399-0400 (Shirley).


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