SSA's Quick Disability Determination (QDD) and Compassionate Allowances (CAL)

Social Security Administration is committed to providing benefits quickly to claimants whose medical conditions are so serious that they clearly meet our disability standards.  Our two fast-track processes, Quick Disability Determination (QDD) and Compassionate Allowances (CAL), use technology to identify claimants with the most severe disabilities and allow us to expedite our decisions on those cases while maintaining accuracy.  These initiatives have been two of our greatest successes in recent years. We can approve some cases in a matter of days instead of months.

Quick Disability Determinations (QDD)

The QDD process uses a computer-based predictive model to screen initial applications to identify cases where a favorable disability determination is highly likely and medical evidence is readily available. By identifying QDD claims early in the process, we can prioritize this workload and expedite case processing. We have used QDD nationally since February 2008. We continue to refine the QDD predictive model to maximize its capacity to identify accurately these cases, so that we can expand the QDD process to serve additional claimants.

Compassionate Allowances Conditions (CAL)

Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs.

CAL conditions are selected using information received at public outreach hearings, comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, counsel of medical and scientific experts, and our research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Also, we consider which conditions are most likely to meet our current definition of disability.

Related Links:

SSA & DDS Employee Operating Instructions:


For more information…

Official Social Security Website