What Are Presumptive Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program offers monthly benefits to people who are living below the poverty line with severe disabilities.

These individuals have typically never paid into the Social Security system because their disabilities prevent them from working. As anyone who has ever filed a disability claim with the SSA is aware, it can take quite some time for benefits to be approved. Because of this, the administration offers temporary benefits to individuals with certain qualifying disabilities.

Disabilities Eligible for Presumptive Disability Benefits

You may be able to recover presumptive disability benefits if you have:

  • blind person using cane at a curbComplete blindness
  • Complete deafness
  • Down syndrome
  • Symptomatic HIV or AIDS
  • Spinal cord injury resulting in the inability to walk without an assistance device
  • Low birth weight
  • Severe intellectual disability in an individual seven years of age or older
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • End-stage renal disease requiring chronic dialysis
  • Loss of two limbs or more than 90% of one leg
  • Terminal illness, in hospice with six months or less to live
  • Difficulty speaking, walking, or use of hands and arms due to muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, muscular atrophy, or stroke
  • Confined to bed or wheelchair, walker, or crutches due to a chronic condition

Qualifying applicants must meet poverty standards established by the Administration. Social Security disability applicants cannot receive presumptive disability benefits.

Applying for Presumptive Disability Benefits

You are able to file an application for presumptive disability payments when you file your initial application for SSI benefits at a Texas Social Security office.

If you meet specific criteria, a consultant at the office may be able to approve you for the program on the spot, although she may need to consult with an authority who knows your history. It’s good to be ready with contact information for key medical professionals knowledgeable about your case. If you’re not prepared, your entire file will be sent to Disability Determination Services. This agency will be able to decide if you qualify, even if your specific disability is not named in the SSA’s presumptive disability guidelines.

How Long Do Presumptive Disability Benefits Last?

An SSI applicant may receive presumptive disability payments for up to six months. If a decision has not been made in this period, payments will stop. Payments also stop when a decision is made, whether the claim has been approved or denied. People who receive payments from the program are not responsible for repaying this benefit, no matter what the determination is on their case.

To learn more about getting the disability benefits you deserve, please start a live chat with us today.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law