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; or
  • 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.