Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is subject to a five-month waiting period after approval, in addition to the approval process. Your application for SSDI will not be processed during this waiting period, and the benefit period will begin after that. The application process for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is also extremely competitive; only 35% of applications are approved.
While awaiting the outcome of their disability benefits application, applicants should have a plan for financial assistance. When you are dependent on disability benefits for your livelihood, the application process can leave you in a state of uncertainty, as you don’t know if your application will be approved initially or if you will need to appeal. The result is that you’ll have several options to choose from in terms of cash assistance and disability income. During the process of waiting for your disability benefits, you should consider and avoid the following opportunities.
What options are available?
When you need some disability income in the meantime, it can be difficult to get temporary assistance. Nevertheless, SSDI and SSI disability applicants can find some resources that are dedicated to their needs. Resources include those that:
- Provide debt management and debt reduction assistance to applicants
- Assist disabled people in accessing government programs based on their average income
Managing And Reducing Current Debt
Disabled persons are most likely to experience financial difficulties due to borrowed money and other forms of debt. While awaiting your disability cash benefits, debt relief services can allow you to avoid borrowing more money while reducing your financial burden and improving your financial stability. Debt settlement, debt consolidation, and credit counseling are all examples of these services.
An organization that offers credit counseling can provide you with information about managing your debts and developing a budget. With debt consolidation programs, you can lower your debt by applying for a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC), and with debt settlement programs, you only pay a portion of what you owe.
Applying For Loans
A disability application may take longer than expected to approve, it may be denied, or you may have to go through an appeal process, so it does not make sense to take on more debt while waiting for approval because your application may take longer than expected.
The only exception is if you have received a substantial amount of disability back pay, in which case a short-term loan may be beneficial. Until you receive your back pay, the loan funds can provide you with interim disability income, so you can continue to pay your bills and other obligations.
Maintaining Health Insurance
You can protect yourself from high medical expenses by having health insurance while you are waiting for disability benefits. It is possible that you will require ongoing medical assistance while waiting for benefits if your disability prevents you from working.
Obtaining health insurance can be done in several different ways. The Affordable Healthcare Act makes it possible for you to request a quote for healthcare plans. Pre-existing conditions may be covered by a plan that does not require a waiting period.
Since you are unable to work, you may qualify for premium subsidies based on your income. Also, you will automatically qualify for premium federal tax credits if your income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. Additionally, if your income is less than 100% of the poverty level, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
Income-Based Government Programs Or Employer Disability Benefits
As you wait for the decision on your disability application or after you have been approved, there are some government-sponsored programs that can assist you in receiving disability income. Unemployment benefits, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cash payments, and state-mandated short-term disability insurance coverage (available in five states only) are some of the benefits that are available to unemployed people. In cases where a spouse or other family member needs to stop working as a result of your unemployment, unemployment benefits may be an option for you. While waiting for unemployment benefits to be approved, the caregiver can apply for them.
To replace a portion of your previous income, you would have to purchase short-term disability insurance ahead of time in Florida. If you live outside Florida, you may be eligible for temporary disability payments. The SNAP program, previously known as food stamps, may also be available to you if you have proof of income that your household income is below the income limits and your household countable resources are below $2,250 (or $3,250 if at least one member is 65 or older).
Applying for Social Security’s benefits can be an overwhelming process. If you are interested in seeking SSDI benefits, check out our article on how long an SSDI approval can take. To learn more, please visit DisabilityHelp.org today!