Expediting Disability Claims: Dire Need

November 5, 2014

Over the next few weeks, I will provide information about the ways that the Social Security Administration can expedite a claim.  Dire Need is one way to show that a claim can be moved along.  To show dire need, a person has to show that he or she does not have the resources to get food, medicine or shelter.  If you fit into this category, you need to let SSA know.

Food:  If you cannot afford food and have no other access to food, you need to let SSA know immediately.

Medical Care:  Tell SSA immediately if you do not have access to the medicine or the medical care you need.

Shelter:  Tell SSA if your home lacks basic utilities due to an inability to pay your bills or if you are homeless.  If you are facing eviction or foreclosure or you have reached the limit on the number of days you can stay in a homeless shelter, let SSA know.

You should attempt to  provide SSA with specific evidence that supports your allegation of Dire Need.  While you do not have to provide specific evidence of your claims, if SSA discovers evidence to the contrary, it may require additional proof of your situation.  Of course, any claims you make to SSA that are untrue will impact your credibility.

Evidence of Dire Need – Examples

An eviction notice

Notice of mortgage foreclosure

Letter from a homeless shelter stating you are no longer eligible for services

Pharmacy records showing the costs of needed medication

Copies of medical bills

Estimates from medical providers of future costs

Be sure to let SSA know if you are without the basic needs of food, medical care and shelter.  If your situation worsens after you file, you can go to the SSA office to let a representative know of the changes in circumstances.

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