15 Mar Emergency Social Security Disability Eligibility
In dire circumstances, the Social Security Administration may pay an individual their benefits before their application is officially approved. The approval process for Social Security benefits is typically so lengthy (in some cases, it can take up to two years), that an individual may not be able to maintain a comfortable financial standing in the meantime. Many people assume that is what emergency Social Security disability benefits are for: to help individuals supplement whatever income they do have while their application is pending. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In this article, we’ll discuss emergency SSI eligibility and requirements as well as your options if you are denied.
Emergency Social Security Benefits are for Presumptive Disabilities
At Klok Law Firm LLC, individuals often come to us wanting to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny them emergency Social Security disability benefits. We understand their pain and frustration. Oftentimes, these individuals are unable to work but have a family at home to care for. Waiting for the Social Security disability insurance application to get approved, and then for those benefits to kick in, is simply not an option a majority of the time.
According to § 416.520 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the SSA will only “pay a one-time emergency advance payment to an individual initially applying for benefits who is presumptively eligible for SSI benefits and who has a financial emergency.” While this may seem hopeful, presumptively eligible means that the individual “must present strong evidence of the likelihood of meeting all of the requirements for eligibility including the income and resources tests of eligibility.” Generally, the presumptive disabilities that typically qualify are AIDs, ALS, Down Syndrome, amputation of the leg at the hip, complete blindness and/or deafness, stroke, and severe mental incapacity. The SSA does not waiver on their definition of a presumptively eligible disability. Even a person who suffers from severe depression, social anxiety, or arthritis combined will not meet the requirements for emergency benefits.
In addition to having to meet the health requirements, individuals must be financially destitute in order to qualify for emergency benefits. According to the same statute, a “financial emergency is the financial status of an individual who has insufficient income or resources to meet an immediate threat to health or safety, such as the lack of food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.”
Other Options While You Wait for Approval
Some states offer supplementary assistance to individuals who are waiting for their SSI claim to be approved and who are in dire financial need. Fortunately, South Carolina is one of these states. However, as with all of the SSA’s benefits programs, there are extensive eligibility requirements an individual must meet in order to qualify.
If you truly cannot work in the meantime, there are other types of support that you may receive, such as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). If you own your own home, you always have the option to refinance. If that is not an option, look into borrowing money from your 401(K) or life insurance plan. Finally, beware of unemployment benefits, as if you apply and are approved, there is a strong chance that you will be denied your Social Security benefits.
Consult a Mount Pleasant SSI Benefits Lawyer
At Klok Law Firm LLC, our SSI benefits attorney will guide you toward the best income supplementation options for your situation while awaiting the decision for your claim. We will be honest and upfront with you regarding your chances of receiving emergency benefits. If we feel that you are eligible, we will guide you on the best way to present your case to the SSA. Finally, because our team is so familiar with the claims process, we can help you speed up the decision process so that you may receive your benefits before you even have a chance to become financially unstable.
Contact us today for an initial consultation.