Friday, July 12, 2013

How to access SSA’s fast track QDD and CAL disability decision processes

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently adopted two fast track processes for deciding well-documented disability claims: the Quick Disability Determination process (QDD) and the Compassionate Allowance process (CAL). The agency boasts about the speed of these processes but publishes little guidance on how to gain access to them. Therefore many applicants for Social Security disability benefits are in the dark about practical ways to assure their selection into one or both processes.

Our Disability Workbook for Social Security Applicants offers a Medical Profile Sheet and Functional Checklist that assure that SSA considers a claim for fast track processing. We base this unofficial medical summary form and checklist on SSA policy directives and agency reports.

You gain access to QDD by showing SSA in your initial claim papers that evidence to substantiate your disability is readily available. (In SSA jargon, this means the claim papers show “a high degree of probability that the claimant is disabled and that evidence of the claimant’s allegations is expected to be easily and quickly obtained and the case can be processed quickly in the disability determination services . . .”) QDD uses a computerized evaluation process to move selected cases to the head of the line. Our Medical Profile Sheet and Functional Checklist help you show SSA that you have evidence of disability readily available. (fn 1)

You gain access to CAL by showing in your initial claim papers that you have one or more of 200 diagnoses that SSA considers to “invariably qualify” for disability benefits under the SSA Listing of Impairments. (fn 2) New conditions are added to the CAL list from time to time. Our Medical Profile Sheet helps you do this.

Together, the Medical Profile Sheet and Functional Checklist help doctors quickly outline the basic medical facts and show SSA the desirability of selecting the claim for fast-track QDD or CAL handling.

SSA decides a claim much faster under QDD or CAL than it does in the standard disability evaluation process which may take three to five months to produce a claim decision. (fn 3) In contrast, QDD processing may take two weeks or less. SSA says: “On average, the State DDSs’ determine allowances on those cases identified as QDD in about 9 days.” (fn 4)

We invite comments by users of the Disability Workbook about their success in obtaining Social Security benefits quickly (for example, in less than three to five months) when employing our Medical Profile Sheet and Functional Checklist.


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