For New Jersey residents who are seeking Supplemental Security Income, there are a seemingly endless number of rules and requirements for them to receive an approval. In truth, it is not that complex if the person has legal assistance and understands the rules. For those who meet the income and disability requirements to get SSI benefits, there are other factors that must be taken into consideration. One is if the person is in an institution and is anticipating a release. There are steps to take to get the SSI benefits quicker than they otherwise would. This is what is known as the prerelease procedure.
With a prerelease procedure, the person applying for SSI benefits can do so several months prior to their release from an institution. This is useful for a person who is hospitalized, in a nursing home, and even if they are incarcerated. The person should know the criteria for SSI and that they are likely to meet it before moving forward with the prerelease procedure. It is important that the person is scheduled to be released within several months of applying.
The institution will agree to do the following: let the SSA know if the applicant is likely to meet the criteria to get SSI benefits and the release is pending within 30 days; give medical evidence and nonmedical information to move the claim forward; give an anticipated release date with notification of a delay that might lead to a later release date; and inform the SSA when the person is released. In exchange, the SSA will process the claim or reinstatement of SSI benefits as quickly as possible, and, after the applicant has agreed, to notify the institution of the decision on SSI benefits in a prompt manner.
People who are leaving an institution and believe they can get SSI should be aware of the prerelease procedure to expedite receiving their benefits. A legal professional who understands all aspects of Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income can help with the prerelease procedure and any other issue that arises.
Source: ssa.gov, "Spotlight On Prerelease Procedure -- 2017 Edition," accessed on Sept. 11, 2017