Can I Receive Benefits While Waiting for a Disability Determination?

application on desk with pen over itIt usually takes five to seven months for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to decide whether to approve or deny an application for disability benefits. This can be a particularly long time for those who are struggling financially because they cannot work because of their disability.

That is why the SSA offers temporary benefits for certain disabilities, otherwise known as presumptive disability and presumptive blindness payments. These benefits can provide financial assistance while an SSI applicant is waiting for a disability determination.

For help getting the benefits you need, reach out to Sigman Janssen today. An initial consultation comes at no cost or obligation to you. If your claim has merit, we charge zero upfront fees for our services. Our firm only receives payment for taking or working on a case if we help you get approved for disability benefits.

Free Case Review 24/7. Ph: (877) 888-5201

Presumptive Disability or Blindness Payments

Presumptive disability (PD) or presumptive blindness (PB) payments are available to those who are disabled or blind and meet all the SSA’s eligibility requirements for benefits. You may be able to receive up to six months of disability payments while your claim is being reviewed. 

Eligibility for PD or PB payments will be based on multiple factors, including the severity of your condition and the likelihood your claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be approved. It is important to note that these payments, however, are not based on financial need and are not available to those who are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

You can apply for presumptive disability when you apply for SSI. The SSA field office can make a presumptive disability determination. For some conditions, the office may need confirmation from a reliable source (doctor, social worker or school employee). Other cases will need approval from Disability Determination Services, the agency responsible for making all SSI decisions.

Conditions That May Qualify for Immediate Benefits

You may be able to obtain SSI benefits right away if you have at least one qualifying condition, such as:

  • Amputation of the leg at the hip
  • Total deafness
  • Total blindness
  • Being confined to a bed or being immobile without an assistive device (i.e. wheelchair) because of a longstanding condition
  • Inability to walk or use one hand because of a stroke that happened at least three months prior to your application
  • Cerebral palsy, muscular atrophy, or muscular dystrophy that makes it hard to walk, speak or use hands or arms
  • Down Syndrome
  • Symptomatic HIV infection or AIDS
  • Terminal illness, in hospice, with six months or less to live
  • Spinal cord injury without the ability to walk for more than two weeks
  • End-stage renal (kidney) disease needing chronic dialysis
  • Diagnoses of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease

In addition to having a qualifying condition, you need to have limited income and few assets in accordance with SSA standards to qualify for SSI payments.

How Payment Amounts Are Determined

PD or PB payment amounts will depend on your countable income. Multiple forms of income, such as earned, unearned, in-kind and deemed income may count toward the SSI limit. If you earn more than the maximum monthly amount, you will likely not be eligible for SSI.

How Do PD or PB Payments End?

PD or PB benefits can last for up to six months but will end as soon as the SSA decides whether to approve or deny your claim for SSI. If you are waiting for a decision after six months, these payments will still end.   

Must I Repay These Payments If Denied SSI?

If it is later determined that you are not eligible for SSI, you do not have to repay PD or PB payments. The only exception is if you receive an overpayment, perhaps due to an error in your countable income. You will then be responsible for paying back any extra funds to the SSA.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer at Sigman Janssen  

Sigman Janssen has helped many applicants obtain disability benefits. We are prepared to assist during the claims process or appeal a decision on your behalf. Reach out to our firm to set up a consultation with an experienced Appleton-based Social Security Disability lawyer.

This initial meeting is free and requires no obligation on your part. We charge no upfront fees to take or work on a case and only get paid if we help obtain benefits on your behalf.

Have a Question? Ph: (877) 888-5201