Only in extremely exceptional emergency situations can Social Security give hardship payments to disability applicants.
If you have a clearly crippling impairment and Social Security agrees that your claim has a high possibility of being granted, the SSA may issue you presumptive disability (PD) or presumptive blindness (PB) payments (if you are blind or have very low vision).
Presumptive disability benefits are available only for a select particular impairments that are sufficiently severe that Social Security may nearly presume you'll qualify for disability payments based just on your initial Social Security application or interview.
The following are some of the diseases or disorders that frequently qualify someone for presumptive disability payments:
- - AIDS-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, often known as Lou Gehrig's disease)
- - Total blindness
- - Total deafness
- - Down syndrome
- - Severe intellectual disability or
- - Stroke with continued difficulty walking or using your hands
- - Terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less end-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring chronic dialysis spinal cord injury (SPI) with the inability to walk without a walker or bilateral handheld device
- - Autism with the complete inability to care for yourself (such as toileting, dressing, eating).
There are three ways to get presumptive disability benefits:
- - Regular SSI payments for up to six months, an emergency advance payment,
- - Or a one-time urgent payment are all options.
Payments for PD can be made monthly for up to six months. The presumed disability payments will terminate when the SSA confirms or refuses the claim, or after six months have passed, whichever comes first. If the SSA denies your claim, you will not be required to repay the money. Read our post on presumed disability benefits for more details.
Emergency SSI Advance Payments
The SSA may make a single emergency assistance payment to a new claimant who is experiencing financial hardship. The Social Security Administration (SSA) can make an emergency payment to someone who meets the following criteria:
- They are either past due for SSI benefits or have been granted presumptive disability.
- The maximum emergency payment is $841, plus any state enhancements (the federal benefit rate for 2022)
The emergency advance payment will be deducted from your SSI payments by the SSA. If you are approved for benefits, the emergency payment is normally withdrawn from your backpay. If your back pay is less than your emergency payment, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may take the difference from your first six months of SSI benefits.
SSDI or SSI payments are made immediately.
The SSA can offer immediate payments of up to $999.00 to people in financial need. The field office is typically the one who provides rapid payments, but only in the most dire of circumstances.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) can give an instant payment to someone who is:
- - Entitled SSI or SSDI benefits that they have not yet received, or
- -They are presently getting SSI and/or SSDI payments but their payment is delayed or lost.
The SSA will deduct the instant amount from your first regular monthly SSI payment.
Even when combined, depression, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome will not qualify for presumed disability or emergency compensation, though it never hurts to inquire when you initially apply.
Similarly, filing a severe necessity letter to move up your hearing date only works in extreme cases.
The good news is that, because your income is low and your assets have been depleted, you will most likely fulfil the technical requirements for SSI.
It appears that your lawyer did not want to explain why you would not be eligible for emergency payments and is not interested in assisting you in learning about disability benefits on your own—or, at the very least, does not want you to misinterpret information provided by Social Security. See this page for an easy-to-understand guide to disability benefits.