I just submitted a critical case request for a Social Security disability claim here in Maine. A critical case request asks Social Security to expedite a particular claim.
There are three situations that constitute critical cases: 1) the claimant's illness is terminal, 2) the claimant is suicidal or homicidal, and 3) dire need.
Dire need is the most frequent basis for a critical claim request. Dire need is when the claimant is without (and is unable to obtain) food, medicine or shelter. Mere hardship is not enough. The situation must be dire.
My client is facing imminent foreclosure. She has been disabled and out of work for almost two years, and her husband was laid off last year. With no income, they have been unable to keep up with their mortgage payments.
Critical cases are governed by HALLEX I-2-1-40. ODAR uses an evaluation sheet to review critical case requests. Documentation of the critical situation is important.