Some New Jersey residents who are suffering from a specific disability and meet the criteria to get Supplemental Security Income can receive their benefits in a presumptive manner. The basic criteria for SSI is being 65 or older, blind or disabled. Presumptive disability or presumptive blindness payments may be awarded when a person’s issues are so obvious that the Social Security Administration will make the payments prior to the case being examined and assessed to determine if the benefits are warranted. It is important to understand both the conditions under which it is possible to receive presumptive benefits and the fact that the benefits will not continue indefinitely.

The SSA will make a presumptive disability or presumptive blindness payment if the following elements are met: the person is a first-time applicant for SSI and it is because he or she is disabled or blind; the person’s medical condition is of sufficient severity that there is a significant chance that the person will be classified as disabled or blind; and the person meets the other non-medical criteria to be declared eligible for SSI.

Presumptive payments will be made for as long as six months as the claimant waits for the SSA’s official decision. In most situations, they will start after the month in which the person is found to be disabled or blind. The payments will cease after six months even if there has yet to be a formal decision on the case. If the SSA determines that the applicant is neither disabled nor blind, it does not mean that the person will have been overpaid SSI. Overpayments are based on non-medical factors.

Since it can be difficult for people who are seeking SSI benefits to make ends meet, a rapid granting of the payments can be helpful. Those who can get rapid payments for presumptive disability or presumptive blindness may want to seek this accommodation. Supplemental Security Income can be of assistance to those who cannot work due to old age or a medical condition, so it is important to understand how one can qualify for these benefits.