Under certain circumstances, the payment of Social Security benefits may be expedited. Often, this occurs because of an apparent and obvious presumptive disability or some other emergency. This article will address the circumstances when payments to Social Security beneficiaries may be made more quickly than usual.

The Social Security Administration will expedite the beginning of payments in four circumstances:

  • presumptive disability (PD) or presumptive blindness (PB) payment;
  • emergency advance payment;
  • immediate payment; and
  • expedited reinstatement cases.

Social Security may make PD or PB payments for up to 6 months while the applicant is awaiting a final decision by Disability Determination Services (DDS) if a claim for Supplementary Security Income (SSI) benefits is based on disability or blindness. The decision to grant PD or PB payments is based on the severity of a condition and the likelihood that a claim will be ultimately approved, rather than any financial need. The amount of these payments is based on an applicant’s countable income.

Applicants with one of the following medical conditions may be eligible to receive SSI benefits immediately based on a presumptive disability or presumptive blindness determination:

  • amputation of a leg at the hip;
  • allegation of total deafness; that is, no sound perception in either ear;
  • allegation of total blindness; that is, no light perception in either eye;
  • allegation of bed confinement and immobility without a wheelchair, walker, or crutches, due to a longstanding conditionexcluding recent accident and recent surgery;
  • allegation of stroke (cerebral vascular accident) more than three months in the past and continued marked difficulty in walking or using a hand or arm;
  • allegation of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or muscular atrophy and marked difficulty in walking (for example the use of braces), speaking, or coordination of the hands or arms;
  • allegation of Down syndrome;
  • allegation of severe mental deficiency made by another individual filing on behalf of a claimant who is at least 7 years of age;
  • a child has not reached his or her first birthday and the birth certificate or other medical evidence shows a weight below 1,200 grams (2 pounds, 10 ounces) at birth:
  • a child has not attained his or her first birthday and available medical evidence shows a gestational age (GA) at birth with listed corresponding birth-weights:
  • symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); Form SSA-4814 or SSA-4815 is needed;
  • a physician confirms by telephone or in a signed statement that an individual has a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less; or a physician or knowledgeable hospice official (for example, hospice coordinator, staff nurse, social worker or medical records custodian) confirms that an individual is receiving hospice services because of a terminal illness;
  • allegation of a spinal cord injury producing an inability to ambulate without the use of a walker or bilateral hand–held assistive devices for more than two weeks with confirmation of such status from an appropriate medical professional;
  • allegation of end stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring chronic dialysis, and the file contains a completed CMS–2728-U3 End Stage Renal Disease Medical Evidence Report–Medicare Entitlement and/or Patient Registration;
  • allegation of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

If the SSA is unable to make a PD or PB determination, the DDS still may make a PD or PB determination based on one of the above-listed medical conditions, or on the basis of another severe condition, if a final approval seems likely. If later, the SSA or DDS fails to make a finding that an applicant is disabled, there is no requirement that an applicant must repay PD or PB payments, only if there is an overpayment.

One of the best ways to make sure you understand all of your options associated with applying for disability benefits is to retain the services of an experienced, knowledgeable and qualified Kentucky Social Security Disability attorney. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so there is absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.When May Social Security Benefit Payments Be Expedited? Part 1: Presumptive Disability & Presumptive Blindness