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2 min read

Terminal Illness (TERI) Cases

In cases where an individual with a terminal illness applies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the Social Security Administration (SSA) processes the applications faster than usual and with special attention to the individual’s end of life condition. These types of applications for terminally ill individuals are called TERI cases. To make sure that these types of cases are handled well, it is frequently important to retain the assistance of a skilled attorney.

Identification of a TERI Case

TERI cases include individuals who have illnesses that are expected to result in the person’s death. A field office representative, a claims examiner at the Disability Determination Service can send a claim to the TERI program when medical staff, a family member, or a friend states that the illness is expected to result in the person’s death. The claims examiner must meet with a medical consultant prior to making a determination that an individual deserves TERI treatment. Besides quicker processing than other disability claims, TERI cases are treated similarly to other disability cases and individuals still must face a five-month waiting period after the onset of their disability before they are able to collect benefits. While there are many illnesses that can make an individual’s case classify for TERI treatment, some of the most common illnesses include the following:

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia

  • Acute myelogenous leukemia

  • Cancer that is inoperable, metastatic, recurrent following therapy, or stage IV

  • Certain types of cancer including cancer of the brain esophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, small cell, or oat lung cancer

  • Chronic heart failure

  • Comatose for 30 days or more

  • Individuals who are awaiting bone marrow, heart, or lung transplants

  • Individuals who are dependent on a cardiopulmonary life-sustaining device

  • Mesothelioma

  • A newborn with a fatal defect

  • Pulmonary failure

Other Types of Fast Track SSDI Program

TERI cases are just one type of case that will result in an individual’s case being fast-tracked. Some other types of programs that will result in an individual’s case being fast-tracked include:

  • Compassionate Allowances Program. In place since 2008, this program helps claim examiner identify over 100 diseases that should be processed quicker than usual. This program uses software to target illnesses that normally qualify under an established list of impairment.

  • Presumptive Disability and Presumptive Blindness Cases. These cases provide individuals with benefits prior to a formal determination by the government.

  • Quick Disability Determinations. This process uses a program that identifies cases that have readily available medical evidence and are highly likely to result in individuals receiving benefits.

  • Veterans Programs. The Social Security Administration fast-tracks disability claims for Military Service Casualty Cases as well as a terminal illness. This program works in combination with the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense for members of the military who are severely injured while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001.

The Assistance of a Talented Disability Attorney

Facing a terminal illness is an incredibly difficult time for both the afflicted individual and loved ones. At Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC and its disability arm, Rocky Mountain Disability Law Group, our legal team know just how trying these situations can be and will fight tirelessly to make sure that your TERI case proceeds smoothly. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm today at (303) 534-1958 or by filling out our online form.  We are conveniently located in Denver.