Knowing and understanding that one case is completely different than other, based on the medical and non-medical eligibility requirements, such as the age when you become disable, length of employment, type of work, type of illness, etc., is key when preparing your case for disability benefits. In general, most people who apply to get SSD will wait anywhere from 3 months to over two years for a final disability determination, but there are some instances called “Critical Cases” where the Social Security Administration will make an exception and expedite a case that could be approved in a matter of few weeks.


The Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) will determine a case is “critical” and requires special processing when an individual:

  1. Suffers from a Terminal Illness,
  2. Served in the Military Service,
  3. Qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance,
  4. Is in Dire Need of assistance, or
  5. Is a threat to personal or public safety.

 Terminal Illness “TERI

The Social Security Administration defines terminal illness as “a medical condition that is untreatable and expected to result in death.” We make every effort to identify a potential TERI case as early as possible. We identify potential TERI cases either directly through the claimant’s allegation(s) or indirectly through TERI case descriptors. If you have a condition that has been determined as terminal, notify the SSA immediately, and your case will be expedited. Other terminal conditions may also qualify as a TERI case.

 Military Service “MC/WW

The SSA will expedite disability claims filed by any current or former member of a military service who served in the armed forces on or after October 1, 2001 for medical conditions does not necessarily need to be related to the military service, as long as the claimant was on active duty when the disability began.

Compassionate Allowance “CAL

Compassionate Allowance also known as “CAL”, allows to identify diseases and other medical conditions that meet the requirements for disability benefits that can be approved sometimes in as little as ten days. Some of these severe medical conditions are primarily certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children. Usually the SSA requires minimal objective medical evidence for some CAL conditions and will sometimes grant approval based on a diagnosis alone.

Dire Need “DRND

In some instances the SSA will expedite a case when an individual is in Dire Need Case and can prove that does not have access to obtain:

  • Food: the claimant is either without food or cannot afford it,
  • Medical care: the claimant does not have access to the medicines or medical care needed, either because does not have insurance, money, or other resources.
  • Shelter: the claimant’s home lacks utilities, is a homeless individual, is facing eviction or foreclosure, or has already reached the limit of stay in a homeless shelter,

Proof of evidence may include: eviction notices, copies of medical bills, water or power has been turned off, or statements from a homeless shelter, etc.

Potentially Violent

The SSA may expedite a claim if there is evidence that an applicant is a threat to Personal or Public Safety, either homicidal or suicidal. Evidence may come from the claimant, family or friends, treating physicians, law enforcement officials, or SSA employees. The SSA will contact the proper authorities to make sure everyone is safe, and will arrange for referral facilities to local physicians, community service centers, suicide prevention programs, etc.

At Seff & Capizzi Law Group, we regularly assist clients with their SSD cases and provide valuable information to those who are interested in filing a SSD case. If you feel you have a “critical case” and have all your proper documentation, we are happy to review your case and assist you with filing your case.

Do not hesitate to call us at (954) 920-9220 if you need assistance with your SSD case. We have over 40 years of experience and offer a free consultation. We do not charge an up-front fee for social security legal representation. Click here for more information about social security disability and how Seff & Capizzi can help.