The approval process for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can take a long time. Thankfully, the Social Security Administration offers some applicants presumptive disability benefits. Applicants who qualify for presumptive disability benefits receive benefits immediately while waiting to determine their SSI claim. Presumptive disability offers individuals much-needed financial assistance so they can provide for themselves and their families.
Are you or a loved one considering applying for SSI benefits? If so, you may qualify for presumptive disability benefits to tide you over until the Social Security Administration decides on your application. Applicants who are filing an application for the first time and have a qualifying medical condition are eligible for presumptive disability benefits. At Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas, we have helped thousands of clients obtain SSI benefits and presumptive disability benefits. Contact our Las Vegas SSDI and SSI law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
Requirements for Presumptive Disability Benefits
Not everyone who applies for SSI benefits is eligible for presumptive disability benefits. On the contrary, presumptive disability benefits are only available to disabled or blind individuals who meet additional requirements. Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are not eligible for presumptive disability. Individuals are eligible for immediate presumptive disability or presumptive blindness when they have one or more of the following types of medical conditions:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
- An end-stage renal disease that necessitates chronic dialysis
- A spinal cord injury that causes an inability to walk for over two weeks
- A terminal illness that carries a life expectancy of six months or less
- A medical condition that requires hospice care because it is terminal
- Human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- A neurodevelopmental impairment or intellectual disability that renders one unable to perform basic self-care activities independently when the claimant is over the age of 4
- Down Syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy, muscular atrophy, cerebral palsy with difficulty in speaking, walking, or coordinating of the hands or arms
- A stroke that occurred over three months in the past when the individual has continued difficulty walking or using his or her hands or arms
- Confinement or immobility without the use of a walker, wheelchair, or crutches because of a long-standing medical condition
- Total blindness with zero light perception in either eye
- Total deafness with zero sound perception in either ear
- Amputation of a leg at the hip joint
Children With Low Birth Weights May Qualify
Children who are born early or who are born with low birth weights often suffer multiple medical conditions. In many cases, babies with low gestational ages and birth weights are susceptible to serious medical conditions such as cerebral palsy and gastrointestinal challenges. As such, the Social Security Administration will award parents of low birth weight babies presumptive disability benefits.
Babies with a birth weight below two pounds who are less than one year old will qualify for presumptive disability benefits. Additionally, babies born prematurely with correspondingly low birth weights may also be eligible for presumptive disability benefits. According to laws set forth by the Social Security Administration, babies with the following gestational ages and birth weights qualify for presumptive disability benefits:
- 37-40 weeks: 4 pounds, 6 ounces or less;
- 36 weeks: 4 pounds, 2 ounces or less;
- 35 weeks: 3 pounds, 12 ounces or less;
- 34 weeks: 3 pounds, 5 ounces or less;
- 33 weeks: at least 2 pounds, 10 ounces but no more than 2 pounds, 15 ounces;
- 32 weeks: at least 2 pounds, 10 ounces but less than 2 pounds, 15 ounces
Payment Amounts for Presumptive Disability Benefits
Many applicants who apply for SSI benefits are in urgent need of financial help while they wait to determine their claim. The amount of presumptive disability or presumptive blindness payments is based on the countable income of the applicant. The Social Security Administration recognizes three different types of income for SSI benefits: earned, unearned, in-kind, and deemed. An experienced SSI lawyer will be able to advise you as to how much you can expect in benefits based on your income.
Presumptive disability payments only last up to six months after your initial application. Should the Social Security Administration decide to grant you SSI benefits, your presumptive disability benefits payments will stop. Your presumptive disability payments will also stop if the Social Security Administration hasn’t decided on your case after six months of your initial application.
Denial of the SSI Claim
When the Social Security Administration denies a claim for SSI, the applicant does not need to repay the presumptive blindness or presumptive disability payments he or she has received. Similarly, when the Social Security Administration approves a claim, the applicant does not need to repay the presumptive disability benefits. However, suppose you did overpay for some other reason, such as an error in your countable income or another. In that case, you may need to repay the difference between the benefits you should have and the benefits you receive.
Contact a Las Vegas Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney Today
Applicants can apply for presumptive blindness or a presumptive disability while applying for SSI. In some cases, the Social Security Administration field office that accepts the application will quickly determine and award the benefits immediately. In other cases, the field office may be required to obtain confirmation of your qualifying medical condition from your doctor, school, or a social worker. Hiring an experienced social security income lawyer will help you ensure that your application is thorough and accurate, and we’ll give you the best chance of obtaining presumptive disability benefits.
If you are unsure whether you qualify for SSI benefits or presumptive disability benefits, contact Roeschke Law, LLC in Las Vegas. We focus our legal practice on obtaining SSI and SSDI benefits for our Las Vegas area clients. We will review your case and help you obtain the benefits you need in a timely and efficient manner. We will assist you with the application process and advocate for you throughout the entire process.