Social Security Disability Claims Can Be Expedited for Terminal Illnesses

A Time Clock Disappearing in a Person's HandsIf you are filing an application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, a decision on your application can be expedited by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In these cases, the SSA understands the need for quick action, and these cases are handled under their Terminal Illness Program (TERI).

How Are Cases Handled Under the TERI Program Determined?

A terminal illness is one that is expected to result in the death of the applicant. An application may be decided under the TERI program even if a person does not state on his application that his illness is terminal. An SSA representative can transfer an application to this program when a family member, friend, or doctor states that the illness is terminal or the applicant is in inpatient or home hospice. In addition, if there is a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, also referred to as AIDS, an application may be treated as a TERI case.

What Medical Conditions Qualify for TERI?

The SSA has a list of medical conditions that can qualify for being fast-tracked. However, other medical conditions not on the list may be eligible for processing under the TERI Program if the medical condition is terminal. Some of the illnesses that are considered under this program include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • AIDS
  • Chronic heart failure or pulmonary failure requiring the use of oxygen and caregivers
  • Cancer of the esophagus, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, or brain
  • Small cell or oat cell lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • Stage IV cancer that has metastasized, is persistent, and is inoperative
  • Waiting for a lung, liver, heart, or bone marrow transplant
  • Being in a coma for at least 30 days
  • Being dependent on a cardiopulmonary life-sustaining device

We Can Help You Get Your Disability Application Fast-Tracked

If you are terminally ill and applying for SSDI benefits, our experienced Roswell disability attorneys understand your need for benefits quickly. We can assist you in filing your application and notifying the SSA that your application should be expedited under the TERI program. Call our Roswell office to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you in obtaining the benefits you deserve as soon as possible.


Joshua Worley
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Roswell, NM Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer
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