Social Security Disability – Dire Need Cases

Social Security disability cases can move slowly. Most take months, at a minimum, and many that reach the later stages of appeal can take two years or more. While you’ll ultimately receive back benefits if your application is approved, not everyone applying for disability benefits is in a position to wait. You may be without income or other resources, or may be unable to obtain necessary medical care while the application is pending.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the urgency involved in some disability cases, and has created special designations for cases that are considered “critical.” These cases are flagged and receive higher priority in processing.
Our advocates know how to gather and present information to help SSA understand the urgency of your claim and speed up the process.

The Criteria for a Dire Need Case

A case is flagged as “dire need” if the applicant:

  • Does not have food or the means to obtain it;
  • Is unable to obtain medical care or medication, or has restricted access to medical care because of a lack of resources; or
  • Is without shelter or necessary utilities

Unless there is contradictory evidence, the applicant needs only to claim one or more of the above in order to have his or her case classified “dire need.” While any of these criteria may apply to a Social Security disability applicant, the most common dire need issue in disability cases is access to medical care or medications.

The Effect of Dire Need Classification on a Disability Case

The “critical” designation makes a case higher priority than other work, meaning that the claim may be processed more quickly. The exact impact this priority has on the timeline will depend on a variety of factors, including the stage of the process. There are other ways your attorney can assist you in moving the process forward more quickly, including the assembly of information SSA would otherwise have to gather independently. When we work with a client in need, we employ every means available to move the case forward quickly.

If You’re in Dire Need, Get Help

We know that the Social Security disability application process can be daunting, even under the best of circumstances. When you’re having trouble making ends meet or getting the medical care you need, it can be all the more difficult to stay the course. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this process alone. Contact us today for a free consultation.