The adjudicator in the DO/BO is responsible for identifying claims situations in which
the preliminary payment procedures should be applied. To meet this responsibility,
the DO/BO adjudicator must be alert to any indication the claimant may be in dire
need that may become apparent during the initial or some later claims interview.
Many persons who file for social security benefits do so in advance of entitlement;
e.g., persons approaching planned retirement age or the first month of possible entitlement
to benefits. Other individuals who file have other sources of funds in the short term
to tide them over until the social security benefits can begin through the normal
processes; e.g., persons separated from employment involuntarily and eligible for
unemployment compensation. Many persons in need may be helped through the critical
case procedures (see RS 02801.001 ff.) when all needed evidence is readily available at the time of filing.
However, the plight of nonworking claimants who may not have at hand the evidence
needed for a final determination, especially aged widows or young widows with small
children, is of particular concern since the time of the worker's death is not anticipated
and short term sources of funds to meet basic needs are, at times, not available.
The plight of nonworking retirement benefit claimants must also be considered. For
instance, if a NH's unemployment compensation has ceased and the NH is ineligible
for Supplement Security Income (SSI) benefits, there may be dire need. Preliminary
payment is also available in cases when pending claims must be reconstructed because
of unforeseen destruction or damage since inordinate delays may result in dire need.
Preliminary payment may also be used in conjunction with the use of emergency evidentiary
procedures (see GN 00301.060).
The preliminary payment procedure was intended by Congress to meet the immediate needs
of claimants in these kinds of situations. The following instructions represent an
effort to meet those needs while at the same time maintaining the effectiveness of
normal processing procedures. Persons who meet the requirements of RS 02807.005 will be deemed to be eliglble for preliminary payments.