An Indiana Social Security disability lawyer can explain that the Social Security Administration speeds up the processing of applications for benefits when the claimant suffers from a terminal illness. This expedited process is available through the Terminal Illness Program.
What Are Terminal Illnesses?
An Indiana Social Security disability lawyer can explain that a terminal illness is one that is defined as being expected to result in death.
Who Handles Terminal illness cases?
The Disability Determination Services is responsible for handling these cases. This is the same entity that determines whether non-terminal claimants are eligible for disability under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines.
How Do Cases Make Their Way Through to the Terminal Illness Program?
Disability Determination Services and the Social Security Administration can be alerted that a case should go through the Terminal Illness program in a number of ways. For example, the claimant, a doctor, a family member or another medical source may state that the illness is terminal. Another indication is if the claimant is currently receiving in-home counseling or hospice care. Certain conditions automatically trigger this program, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease or a positive finding of AIDS.
What Are Other Conditions That Qualify for the Terminal Illness Program?
There are dozens of conditions that qualify for the Terminal Illness Program. Just a few examples include:
- Cancer – Many types of cancer are on the list. This includes cancer that is Stage IV, cancer that has spread, cancer that is inoperable or cancer that is persistent after following therapy. Additionally, cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, gallbladder, intestinal lining, brain, lung cancer, small cell or liver are also listed under the Terminal Illness Program.
- Transplant: Patients in need of a liver, bone marrow, lung or heart transplants are also processed under the Terminal Illness program.
- Cardiopulmonary: Individuals dependent on a cardiopulmonary life-sustaining device or who suffer from chronic pulmonary or heart failure who cannot care for their personal needs are also processed under the program.
- Congenital or Genetic Defects: Newborns with these conditions when lethal are processed under the program.
- Coma: Patients who are in a coma for 30 or more days are processed under the Terminal Illness Program.
How Are These Claims Processed?
An Indiana Social Security disability lawyer can explain that the main difference between these types of claims and other claims is that they are processed faster. Otherwise, the processing follows much of the same structure. Claimants still have a five-month waiting period after they experience their disability and during which time they are ineligible for benefits. A medical consultant evaluates the claim. An Indiana Social Security disability lawyer may suggest mentioning the terminal aspect of the condition when first applying for benefits.
Legal Assistance from Our Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you would like more information about the Terminal Illness Program, a Indiana Social Security disability lawyer may be able to help. Contact the Barnes Cadwell, an association of lawyers and not a partnership Office by calling (317) 804-5058 to schedule a confidential consultation.