SSI and “presumptive disability:” key points to note

| Jul 15, 2021 | SSI

The Supplemental Security Income program is a federal welfare initiative open for consideration to a comparatively select and narrow class of applicants.

An established federal disability law firm duly notes that SSI “is a program administered by the Social Security Administration to support individuals with very few resources and limited income.”

Why many disability applicants seek legal assistance

Candidly, the SSI application process proves to be complex and often cumbersome to many disabled individuals seeking to establish eligibility and secure benefits. The above-cited source stresses that many claimants seek help from experienced legal counsel. They know that, “Having an experienced lawyer on their side ensures that all physical and mental health impairments are considered and addressed.”

Presumptive disability: What is it and how is it determined?

The advocacy group AARP rightly notes the considerable time often required for a claimant to negotiate the many-hooped SSI application process. The organization emphasizes that it typically “takes several months to process a disability-based application for Supplemental Security Income.”

Many applying individuals understandably have pressing and even compelling financial needs during such a lengthy time.

Is there SSA recognition of that challenge and a coupled process in place to expedite payments during a pendency period prior to a claim decision being made?

Indeed, there is, and many applicants might reasonably want to be informed of it. AARP notes that, “Applicants with certain medical conditions may be able to collect advance payments while awaiting a decision on their claim.”

They can do so if government examiners make a finding of presumptive disability  after reviewing their benefit claims.

A determination of presumptive disability is made when an applicant is deemed highly likely to garner approval on a claim. Advance payments can be applied for many months and, in most instances, never need to be repaid by a claimant – even if an application is ultimately denied.

How severe does an applicant’s disability seem to be? And is it solidly backed by medical proof? Those questions are centrally considered by examiners weighing a presumptive disability outcome.

Claimants should know this: A separate SSI application does not have to be filed for presumptive disability benefits. Examiners automatically consider any such disability when reviewing a claim, being centrally guided by an enumerated list of illnesses and other impairments.