For many Missourians who have an illness, injury or condition that renders them unable to work and in need of medical care, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are a critical factor in making ends meet. Understanding the different processes that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses when making its decisions is important to any case. Some have issues that are so clearly disabling that they are eligible to have their case “fast-tracked.” This can be a critical factor in a case as people who are suffering from a disability that falls into these categories will frequently need their benefits as quickly as possible.

Knowing how a fast-track case is defined and when the criteria is met is imperative to use this process. For those who are seeking SSD benefits or have faced a denied claim, having legal advice is a must. There are two fast-track processes: Compassionate Allowances (CAL) and Quick Disability Determinations (QDD). With these processes, those who are suffering from impairments that are clear and overwhelmingly likely to be approved will have their cases expedited.

With CAL, there is the Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS) that will identify the case as CAL-eligible. It can also be done manually by Disability Determination Services (DDS). For QDD, the case will initially be EDCS and identified with the Predictive Model (PD). In these cases, there is a high likelihood that: the claimant is suffering from a disability; the evidence showing that he or she is disabled is readily available; and the case can be processed rapidly.

Not everyone has a disability case that could go either way and might need substantial evidence and consultative examinations to be approved for SSD benefits. Some are more clear-cut. It is important to understand how the SSA assesses these cases and the alternatives to fast-track the case. A law firm that has a history of helping many clients with their Social Security Disability claims can assist with fast-tracking a case to get the benefits faster than they would otherwise be approved.