How long does it take to get approved?
When you apply for benefits you will have the opportunity to let SSA know if your condition is likely to end in death. If you check that box, then SSA will expedite your claim review. You may be approved within 6 months.
If your medical condition is on the compassionate allowance list then you may be approved within 6 months.
In all other cases, SSA takes at least nine months to make their "initial" determination. If you are not approved at the initial determination then you must request "reconsideration" which will take at least another four months. If you are not approved at reconsideration, then you have to request a hearing before a judge. It usually takes a year to schedule a hearing. After hearing, it can take as many as three months (or longer) for the judge to issue a decision.
In all cases you will not be approved before you prove that your medical condition qualifies you for benefits. In summary, the best way to get your benefits sooner is to prove you qualify.