How to Start Getting Presumptive Disability Payments Immediately

presumptive disability payments

Getting approved for monthly disability benefits can be a long and difficult process that causes financial hardship for some applicants. That’s why the Social Security Administration (SSA) has an SSI presumptive disability program in place. Presumptive disability makes immediate payments for up to six months to individuals most likely to qualify for Supplemental Security Income.

How the SSA Grants Presumptive Disability Status to Applicants

When you apply for SSI, your claims representative immediately checks to see if your condition qualifies for presumptive disability payments. (Only certain disabling conditions are likely to automatically qualify.) This presumptive disability determination usually occurs at your local SSA office.

Sometimes, your local SSA office will ask a reliable source to confirm that your condition meets all presumptive disability requirements. This can include a doctor, social worker, school personnel, nurse, hospice director, medical records coordinator, or other knowledgeable medical professionals. If your local SSA claims representative cannot confirm a presumptive disability, your application moves on to Disability Determination Services (DDS). Your state’s DDS office has much more leeway in granting presumptive disability status than the local SSA office.

How Long Do Presumptive Disability Payments Last?

When the SSA grants you presumptive disability status, you can receive temporary monthly SSI payments for up to six months. If the DDS still hasn’t made a determination decision after that six-month presumptive disability period ends, your payments stop automatically. Once the DDS approves your application, your monthly presumptive disability payments convert to regular SSI checks. But if the SSA denies your claim, don’t worry — you won’t have to return any presumptive disability payments you received. There is, however, one very important exception to this rule. If your SSI claim’s denied based on your income or available assets, you’ll have to return all presumptive disability payments.

What Conditions Qualify for Presumptive Disability?

According to the SSA, the following conditions may qualify for presumptive disability or blindness payments:

  • Amputation of two limbs or one leg at the hip
  • Complete deafness (no sound perception in either ear)
  • Total blindness (no light perception in either eye)
  • Bed confinement due to a longstanding condition that results in immobility without using a wheelchair, walker, or crutches (this excludes individuals who cannot temporarily walk or stand after a recent accident or surgical procedure)
  • Stroke that happened at least three months ago and resulted in ongoing difficulty walking or using a hand and/or arm
  • Cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or muscular atrophy that makes walking, speaking or using your hands or arms extremely difficult
  • Down syndrome
  • Symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Terminal illness in which your doctor, hospital or a knowledgeable hospice official confirms you have six months or less to live
  • Spinal cord injury that prevents you from walking without using a mobility walker or similar handheld device
  • End-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring chronic dialysis for kidneys
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease

Are Children Eligible for Presumptive Disability?

In some cases, children (including prematurely born infants) may qualify for presumptive disability payments:

  • Severe mental deficiency in applicants who are at least seven years old (allegation must be made by another individual filing for SSI on the claimant’s behalf)
  • Any child less than one year old whose birth certificate lists a birth weight below 1,200 grams (2 pounds, 10 ounces)
  • Children younger than one year old who were born at 37-40 weeks and weighed 2,000 grams (4 pounds, 6 ounces) or less at birth
  • Any child under a year old who was born at 36 weeks and weighed 1,875 grams (4 pounds, 2 ounces) or less at birth
  • Children younger than one year old who were born at 35 weeks and weighed 1,700 grams (3 pounds, 12 ounces) or less at birth
  • Any child younger than one who was born at 34 weeks and weighed 1,500 grams (3 pounds, 5 ounces) or less at birth
  • A child younger than one year old who was born at 33 weeks and weighed 1,325 grams (2 pounds, 15 ounces) or less at birth

Schedule Your Free Meeting With a Local Disability Advocate Now

Still have questions? Schedule your free meeting with an experienced local disability advocate to get personalized advice about your claim in person. Once you’ve scheduled your private in-person consultation, you’ll meet with someone who handles disability cases like yours all the time. Whether you’re a first-time applicant or preparing to appeal, you’ll never pay to meet with one of our disability advocates.

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