For some, SSDI applications are processed in days

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability insurance benefits are specifically designed for when we are at our worst, but unfortunately, the process of getting approval can take months or years, depending on whether the initial application is approved. However, for a special number of SSDI applicants, their applications can be processed in a matter of days.

Quick Disability Determinations

There are two Social Security SSDI application processing models that expedite applications. The first is known as Quick Disability Determinations. QDD is a computer-based predictive model that screens applications for those that are highly likely to be approved. The Social Security Administration has used this process since the beginning of 2008, and the algorithm utilizes recently submitted and approved applications and evidence. It compares new applications to previous applications that were approved and if a new one resembles previously approved applications, the system may flag the new application for expedited processing. A SSA agent then reprioritizes it in their workload to ensure that it is reviewed immediately.

The Compassionate Allowances List

The Compassionate Allowances List is another computer-based predictive model that screens applications for evidence that they are highly likely to be approved. This algorithm uses a pre-approved SSA disability and condition list, and then, compares the application and evidence to that list. When the two line up, the application is flagged for reprioritization and expedited use. Examples of pre-approved SSA disability and conditions are acute leukemia, Lou Gehrig’s disease, pancreatic cancer and other serious diseases. This list is compiled by the SSA from outside input from the general public at outreach hearings, along with medical and scientific experts, like the National Institutes of Health.

Lucky for some, unlucky for others

For those applicants that qualify for QDD or CAL, the expedited processing is a Godsend because they will receive SSDI benefits quickly. However, the practical reality of “reprioritization” is that for every application that is bumped to the front, another application is pushed back. This means that applicant must wait longer, and if another subsequent application is submitted before that applicant can be process, they will be pushed back yet again. This is one of the many reasons applications can languish for months and why many choose to get help from a Southern California SSDI attorney.