Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a monthly cash benefit that is paid to low-income individuals who are unable to work because they are blind or disabled. Applying for SSI takes time. In some cases, it can take a year or even longer for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine whether an applicant is eligible for SSI. Because the process is so time consuming, the SSA has made temporary benefits available to Massachusetts SSI applicants with certain disabilities. These benefits are known as presumptive disability benefits.
Presumptive disability benefits are only available to applicants applying for SSI. They are not available to SSDI applicants. The purpose of presumptive disability payments is to provide SSI applicants with some sort of support while the SSA completes its review of the applicants’ disability claims. These benefits are only available during the first six months that the SSI application is processed by the SSA.
Some amputees may be automatically eligible to receive presumptive disability benefits. In order to qualify, the applicant must have an amputation of either two limbs or of one leg at the hip. They must also meet income guidelines set by the Social Security Administration.
Monthly presumptive disability payments can be received for up to six months. The payments automatically end after six months or when the SSA reaches a final decision regarding the disability claim. This means that if the SSA has not made a decision within six months, the presumptive disability payments will still stop.
In order to apply for presumptive disability benefits, you must file your application for SSI at your local Social Security office. The SSA field representative can automatically approve you for presumptive disability checks payments based only on his or her observation that you are either missing two limbs or a leg from the hip down.
Presumptive disability payments are not a guarantee that you will be awarded SSI. You must still meet the Social Security Administrations criteria for disability. However, there is no obligation to repay money received for presumptive disability if your application is denied.
Do you have questions about your disability benefits? Request a free copy of Boston disability attorney John Keefe’s book, Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability. To schedule a free case evaluation with a Massachusetts Social Security benefit lawyer, contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.