Part one of this blog discussed that the payment of Social Security benefits may be expedited under certain circumstances. While it focused on presumptive disability and presumptive blindness payments, this part of the blog will address those circumstances other than when presumptive disability (PD) or presumptive blindness (PB) payments are allowable, specifically emergency advance payments and other expedited payments, including those related to the reinstatement of a claim.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) may make one, and only one, emergency advance payment to new applicants facing a financial emergency and due SSI benefits, including PD or PB payments, that are delayed. The amount of this maximum emergency advance payment is calculated as the smallest of:

  • the SSI Federal benefit rate (plus any federally administered Kentucky State supplement);
  • the total amount of the benefits due; or
  • the amount requested for the financial emergency.

Applicants who need the money immediately because their health or safety is threatened by lack of food, shelter, medical care, or clothing probably have a “financial emergency” to qualify for an emergency advance payment.

The SSA will subtract any emergency advance payment from the payments already due and pay the difference to a beneficiary. If no amounts are past due, it will subtract the emergency advance payment from current monthly benefits, but in no more than 6 monthly installments.

The SSA may make an immediate payment which may not be higher than $999.00 to new applicants and current SSI beneficiaries when benefits are delayed and a financial emergency is present. This may be made for delayed PD or PB payments as well. The immediate payment is “recouped” from the first regular payment made to a beneficiary. There are no formal appeal rights if the SSA determines that an applicant is not eligible for emergency advance payments or immediate payments.

If a beneficiary has returned to work and had benefits cease, but wants to reopen his or her case without filing a new application for benefits, there may be an expedited reinstatement. Workers may request that benefits restart if they:

  • stopped receiving benefits because of wages from employment;
  • are unable to do substantial gainful activity because of an impairment(s) that is the same as or related to the impairment(s) under which earlier benefits were allowed; and
  • make the request within five years from the month benefits ended.

To reinstate benefits, obviously, the SSA requires updated medical information for the DDS to make a decision about the reinstatement of benefits. If a request for expedited reinstatement of SSI benefits is approved, temporary benefits begin one month after this request, which may also allow eligibility for coverage from Medicaid.

Provisional benefits may be paid for up to 6 months while the decision regarding reinstatement is pending. Usually, if the reinstatement decision is unfavorable, the SSA does not request recipients to repay the already-paid temporary, provisional benefits.

An experienced disability attorney can help claimants properly file their claim for benefits. Contact the Sullivan Law Office today by calling 888-587-0228 or visiting us online! We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you.When May Social Security Benefit Payments Be Expedited? Part 2: Emergency Advance Payments & Other Expedited Payments