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Social Security Presumptive Disability

Most people who apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) must wait months for their first disability payment. In some cases, Social Security will make temporary disability payments to individuals with certain disabilities during the case review process. In these instances, Social Security is certain that the individual’s case will be approved, because the existence of certain disabilities “presume” approval for Supplemental Security Income.

Presumptive disability payments are only made for new Supplemental Security Income claims for individuals who meet the income and resources test for SSI. Presumptive disability payments are paid for six months or until there is a ruling on the disability case. Even if the nature of your disability is such that Social Security presumes that you are disabled, you can still be denied benefits if investigation reveals that you fail the Social Security means test.

If you have one of the following conditions, the claims representative at the local Social Security office will prepare your Social Security disability application, note your presumptive disability and start your temporary benefits. Qualifying disabilities are:

  • Amputation of the leg at the hip
  • Complete deafness
  • Complete blindness
  • Confinement to bed because of a longstanding condition
  • Confinement to a wheelchair due to a longstanding condition
  • Inability to walk or inability to use one hand because of a stroke occurring at least three months prior to your application
  • Inability to walk because of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or muscular atrophy that requires the use of an assistive device such as a wheelchair
  • Down Syndrome
  • Severe mental deficiency for individuals older than age seven, such that they need assistance to perform daily activities
  • Parenting a baby 6 months of age or younger with a birth weight of less than 1200 grams
  • Testing HIV positive with a resulting infection that meets the Social Security listing requirements
  • Being in hospice care
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Spinal injuries which occurred at least two weeks prior to your application and have resulted in an inability to walk
  • Severe prematurity
  • Diagnoses of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease

In addition to Social Security disability payments, individuals with presumptive disabilities may be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Persons with presumptive disabilities can apply for Medicaid even if they are not applying for Supplemental Security Income.