It’s no secret that the process for getting Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI can be time-consuming. There are several factors to consider, and numerous applicants must be sorted through before a decision can be made about your claim. Your disability may not be able to wait through that process, but there are benefits that can be received before final approval of your SSDI claim.
These benefits come from what’s known as presumptive disability or a temporary source of payments in response to certain ailments and conditions that qualify. Here’s everything you need to know about presumptive disability.
Eligibility for Presumptive Disability
To get presumptive disability payments, you have to make sure you’re eligible first. There are quite a few conditions that qualify including the following:
- Total deafness
- Total blindness
- Bed confinement
- Immobility without a wheelchair
- Cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- HIV or AIDS
- Any illness with a life expectancy of six months or less
- End-stage renal disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
The aforementioned conditions are just a few that qualify for presumptive disability benefits, but having one or more of them is not the only requirement. You must also have limited income or net worth in accordance with Social Security Administration standards. The overall purpose of Social Security is to protect people from the burden of expensive care, so you won’t get benefits if you can already afford that cost on your own.
Length of Presumptive Disability Payments
Since presumptive disability is provided while you’re waiting for a response to your Social Security claim, they only last for a certain period of time. For the most part, these benefits last no longer than six months, but your initial filing will be approved or rejected by that point. Getting these payments also depends on how severe your condition is based on the available evidence at the time.
The likelihood of your Social Security benefits being approved will also affect the approval of presumptive disability payments, so if you get presumptive disability, it’s likely that your Social Security Insurance will be approved by the end of the six-month period. It’s important to note that not all SSI claims will be approved or rejected by the time this period is over.
How Much Is the Presumptive Disability Payment Amount?
The specific amount you’ll be rewarded in presumptive disability payments depends on your countable income more than anything else. This includes both earned and unearned income such as regular wages and unemployment benefits. The most important thing to remember is that if you earn too much, you’re not going to qualify for SSI, which includes presumptive disability payments.
What if SSI Is Denied?
Presumptive disability payments are awarded while your SSI claim is pending. If your claim ends up being denied, you’re not responsible for repaying your presumptive disability payments. You won’t have to repay them if your SSI claim is approved either. Essentially, you don’t have to worry about paying back your presumptive disability in these instances.
While presumptive disability usually doesn’t have to be paid back, there are some situations that will require you to repay the cost. The most common is an error in your countable income. If it later comes to light that you have more income at your disposal than previously determined, you’ll be legally required to pay back the presumptive disability payments. Essentially, any kind of reason you might be overpaid will require you to pay back the excess.
How to Apply for Presumptive Disability
Applying for presumptive disability is among the easiest parts of the entire SSI process, as you can do it alongside your primary SSI claim. You may be able to get fast approval at your local SSA field office. You’ll just need valid confirmation from a reliable medical source about your condition such as a leg amputation at the hip or another qualifying condition.
If your request for presumptive disability is initially declined, you can forward your claim to Disability Determination Services. You’re more likely to be granted benefits there and they tend to be much more lenient about what conditions and what severity qualify a person for presumptive disability benefits.
Hire a Social Security Attorney
To have the best experience navigating through the presumptive disability process, it’s best to have an experienced social security attorney at your side. That’s where Joel Thrift Law is happy to help. Our history of success with SSDI appeals and beyond can help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.