Terminal Illness and Social Security

Social Security has several programs that help claimants with end-stage, terminal illness speed up their claims. Certain conditions may qualify for a compassionate allowance. (Click here for a list of these conditions.)

Additionally, if there is evidence that shows that a claimant has end-stage, terminal illness, an expedited hearing can be requested. These are called “TERI cases.” A case may be designated as a TERI case if there is evidence that the claimant:

  • Has a diagnosis of terminal illness.
  • Has ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
  • Has AIDS.
  • Has been receiving home or inpatient hospice care.
  • Has chronic dependence on a cardiopulmonary life-sustaining device.
  • Has chronic pulmonary or heart failure, which requires continuous home oxygen and caretaking.
  • Is awaiting a heart, heart/lung, liver, or bone marrow transplant.
  • Has a malignant cancer that has spread through the body, is at Stage IV, is persistent or recurrent following therapy, or is inoperable to unresectable.
  • Has cancer of the esophagus.
  • Has liver cancer.
  • Has pancreatic cancer.
  • Has gallbladder cancer.
  • Has Mesothelioma, small cell, or oat cell lung cancer.
  • Has brain cancer.
  • Has Acute Myelogenous Leukemia or Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
  • Has been comatose for 30 days.
  • Is a newborn with a lethal genetic or congenital defect.

Other conditions may also qualify a claimant for TERI status, if the condition is untreatable, and is expected to end in death.

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