man with presumptive disability

What Is Presumptive Disability?

Typically, it can take many months for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to process an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. Most people have to go through at least one appeal to get the benefits they deserve. In some situations, however, the SSA can grant immediate SSI payments. The SSA calls these cases “presumptive disability” (PD). 

The applicant still has to meet the PD criteria, but the process can be much quicker than with a standard SSI application. A Michigan disability attorney can answer your questions, like “What is presumptive disability?” or “How do I apply for immediate SSI benefits?”

Medical Conditions that Qualify as a Presumptive Disability Case

Here are some examples of medical conditions that, subject to meeting the PD requirements, a person could be eligible for immediate SSI payments:

  • Total vision loss
  • Total hearing loss
  • Severe intellectual disorder in a person at least seven years old
  • End-stage renal (kidney) disease (ESRD) that requires chronic dialysis treatments
  • Down syndrome
  • Symptomatic HIV or AIDS
  • Terminal illness when the doctor anticipates death within six months and the patient is in hospice
  • The applicant has a long-term medical condition that confines the person to bed and requires the patient to use crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • Cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or muscular atrophy that causes impaired speech, walking, or use of the arms or hands
  • Stroke that caused impaired walking or use of a hand or arm three months after the stroke
  • Amputation of two limbs or one leg at the hip
  • Low birth weight
  • Spinal cord injury that leaves the patient unable to walk without a walker or similar equipment

Having one of those conditions does not guarantee a person immediate SSI payments. You must also meet the financial eligibility rules about low income and limited financial resources to get approved for presumptive disability. 

Also, if you get approved for presumptive disability, these payments are temporary. You can only collect PD benefits for up to six months. If the SSA does not decide on your application within six months of the first PD payment, the presumptive disability benefits will stop until the SSA makes a decision. 

If the SSA rules on your application before the end of the six months, the PD payments will stop. Your SSI benefits will convert to regular SSI payments if the SSA approves your application. You will not have to repay the presumptive disability payments you received if the SSA denies your application for SSI benefits. 

Other Ways to Speed up the Process of Getting Disability Benefits

The SSA offers three other programs for people who need quick decisions on their disability benefit applications. These programs include:

  • The Quick Disability Determination program, that uses software to identify cases that will need very little work to approve or deny
  • The Compassionate Allowances that address many cancer cases and certain other medical conditions
  • The Terminal Illness program (TERI), for people who are getting hospice care for terminal illnesses.

A Michigan disability attorney can help you navigate the disability benefits application process. Contact us today.