Are Any Illnesses Automatically Approved For Social Security Disability?

Q: Are any illnesses automatically approved for Social Security disability?

A: Not automatically approved, but several ways are used to speed up the medical decision for certain medical circumstances. 

Social Security disability has both work and medical requirements. The separate, need based, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has financial limits and the same adult medical requirements.  

Social Security disability work requirements and SSI financial limits must be met before medical requirements are considered. For purposes of this answer, assume that these nonmedical requirements are met. 

Social Security has a strict definition of disability based on inability to work, with no provision for partial or temporary disability. In summary, you cannot do the work you did before, cannot be expected to adjust to other work because of your health, and your injury or illness has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.  

An official medical decision is always required but some medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards. For these, the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) initiative is a way to expedite the processing of Social Security and SSI disability claims.  

Compassionate Allowances is an internal method to identify and speed up the medical decision. It is not a separate application and does not remove any Social Security or SSI requirements. For example, the Social Security disability waiting period still applies even when a medical allowance has been approved. 

Again not automatic medical approvals, other methods of expediting a medical decision are used for Social Security and SSI. These are different from Compassionate Allowances. 

One Social Security disability example is Wounded Warriors. Military service members can receive expedited processing of disability claims from Social Security if the disability occurred while on active duty. In addition, since March 2014, veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100% permanent and total (P&T) may receive expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits. 

One Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability example is presumptive disability. For some severe medical conditions, where medical allowance is expected, several months of payment are sometimes payable in advance of receiving the official medical decision.