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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Are there ways to expedite my SSDI processing?

Aug 29, 2022 |

Everyone applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is applying because they have an urgent need. Rarely do people apply for benefits if they do not believe that they qualify for them or truly do not need them. Applying for government benefits can feel horrible, but SSDI is like an insurance policy, so you should not feel embarrassed or badly about wanting to cash in your insurance policy. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration can take months, if not years, to grant SSDI benefits, unless you qualify for one of the expedited processing: Quick Disability Determinations (QDD) or Compassionate Allowance (CA).

Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance

QDD and CA are both SSA computer-based, fast-track application processes designed to get benefits to applicants quickly. Cleveland, Ohio, applicants who qualify for either process usually get approved in a few days.


QDD has been available to applicants since 2008. It is a computer-based, predictive model (a computer algorithm) that screens applications and submitted medical evidence. It then uses that information to predict whether there is a high probability that the application will be approved. If so, it is flagged for expedited processing.

Since 2008, the algorithm has been constantly updated to refine and expand the predictive model. It is also periodically updated with recent applicant populations and results to optimize its ability to identify strong candidates.


CA, also known as CAL or Compassionate Allowances Conditions, is also computer-based. However, instead of using an algorithm to make a prediction of whether a Cleveland, Ohio, application will be approved, it looks for a specific list of approved conditions. The list of approved conditions is curated from information from medical and scientific experts, including the National Institutes of Health, the public and the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities.

The list contains conditions that automatically meet the SSA’s definition of a qualifying disability for SSDI benefits. This list includes acute cancers, rare childhood diseases, adult brain disorders, etc. When the computer flags an application that contains a condition from the CA list, it is flagged for expedited processing.

An unfortunate and fortunate process

These two expedited processes are game changers for those in Cleveland, Ohio, that qualify. They can turn an arduous, bureaucratic nightmare into a straightforward and fast process. However, the downside to the process is that new applications are moved up for expedited processing, which means those who do not qualify are pushed to the back.