Prerelease Agreements for SSDI Benefits

Prerelease Agreements for SSDI Benefits

Imagine you are currently incarcerated with a disability. You just learned of your release date but you realize that once you are released, you will have no means of supporting yourself unless you start receiving some form of disability benefits. Is it possible to apply for these benefits before you are released? The answer is likely yes.

For individuals who are about to leave a hospital or nursing home that is more than 50% funded by Medicaid or Medicare or individuals who are about to leave jail or prison, you have the possibility of applying for SSDI benefits prior to your release if the institution has a prerelease agreement with the SSA. The prerelease procedure allows individuals in either of these institutions to apply for benefits a few months prior to their release so they can get a determination of what benefits they may be entitled to once they leave.

Completing a Prerelease Agreement

At times, Medicare/Medicaid hospitals and nursing homes or jails and prisons have prerelease agreements with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If there is such an agreement, the SSA is required to instruct the institution’s employees on how to use the prerelease procedure. Additionally, the SSA must provide the institution with a contact person to help individuals at the institution with the prerelease procedure. Finally, the SSA must process any claims of individuals who utilize the prerelease procedure and must let the institution know about its decision.

In turn, the institution must:

  1. Assign a contact person to work with the SSA
  2. Comply with providing the SSA with any medical evidence or non-medical records the SSA needs to process an individual’s application
  3. Inform the SSA of when an individual applicant is expected to be released and advise them of any difficulty the applicant may have if they are released at a later date
  4. Inform the SSA when the individual applicant has been released

 Initiating the Prerelease Procedure When There is a Prerelease Agreement

If the institution has a prerelease agreement with the SSA, you will first let the SSA liaison at your institution know you want to apply. The institution will then in turn reach out to the SSA and the SSA will advise the institution as to whether your disability will qualify for receiving benefits. The SSA will work with the institution to gather any relevant medical or non-medical records needed to process your application.

Initiating the Prerelease Procedure When There is No Prerelease Agreement

If the institution does not have a prerelease agreement with the SSA, you will need to reach out to the SSA directly to initiate the prerelease procedure. The SSA has an office locator you may use to determine the closest SSA office to your location.

Get Help Today

If you are currently in a hospital or nursing home funded by Medicare or Medicaid, or are incarcerated, you should strongly consider initiating a prerelease procedure to receive a determination of your SSDI benefits prior to your release. The experienced Social Security attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC can help you initiate the prerelease procedure to help ensure you maximize your possibility of receiving benefits.

Contact us today for a consultation.


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