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Presumptive Blindness/Presumptive Disability Payments

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

2188. Presumptive Blindness/Presumptive Disability Payments

2188.1 Under what conditions does SSA make presumptive blindness/presumptive disability payments?

We can make a presumptive blindness/presumptive disability payment to you if:

  1. You are applying for the first time for SSI based on disability or blindness;

  2. Your medical condition is such that it presents a strong likelihood that you will be found disabled or blind under our rules; and

  3. You meet all non-medical factors of eligibility.

Presumptive disability/blindness payments are computed like other SSI benefits (RMA, COLA coordination, proration).

2188.2 How long are the payments made?

These payments may be made for up to six months while you wait for the formal disability or blindness decision. They normally begin with the month after the month a disability/blindness finding is made (by the local Social Security office or State disability determination agency based on specific criteria). Payments end after six months even if a formal decision has not been made.

2188.3 What happens if SSA decides you are not disabled or blind?

If we make a formal decision that you are not disabled or blind, the decision does not cause you to be overpaid SSI benefits. Any overpayment would have to be based on a non-medical factor of eligibility.

Last Revised: Apr. 2, 2004


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