The Tough Road Ahead: 4 Ways To Make Ends Meet When Applying For Disability

Posted on: 17 March 2015

When mental or physical health concerns prevent you from maintaining gainful employment, one of your first concerns is surviving the financial difficulties that occur without employment. There are options that may offer just enough assistance to help you and your family through the rough times.

Research Financial Assistance Options

If you were the main breadwinner in your home, or your partner does not make enough money to support your household, you may qualify for government assistance. Many people who are going through the disability application process wait until they have exhausted other options before applying for assistance. Applications for government assistance can take time to complete and determine if you meet the criteria to receive benefits.

Even if you do not qualify for monetary assistance, you may qualify for food or energy assistance, which can go a long way toward keeping your family afloat during a stressful time. If you do not qualify for food assistance, or you only qualify for a small amount, do not overlook area food banks and churches as resources.

Utilize Online Opportunities For Extra Income

In general, applying for disability means that you are unable to maintain gainful employment, but this may not prevent you from earning small amounts of income for your household. Look for opportunities to earn gift cards by doing small tasks or surveys online, which can help offset some of your household expenses. If you have older children in your household who want to help the family, many of these companies allow teens to earn gift cards. Earning gift cards can become a family affair, and any cash that enters the household can be used for bills.

Promptly Find Mortgage Or Rental Options

If you currently have a mortgage, talk with your bank to determine if there are programs that will allow you to pay a lower mortgage until your disability determination. You may be eligible to refinance your mortgage or temporarily stop mortgage payments, especially if it is likely you will be approved for disability. If you currently rent an apartment or house, start searching for rental assistance programs that may subsidize your rent if you meet certain income guidelines. Unfortunately, many of these programs have long waiting lists and may only open their application process once every few years.

Find The Right Lawyers

Before you fill out the paperwork for disability, find a social security disability attorney to help guide you through the process. Look for lawyers who only charge you fees if you win your case. If you are approved for disability, fees are usually taken from retroactive payments you receive. A lawyer may not initially take your case unless you are in the appeals process, but they can be a source of helpful information from the start.

Not having a lawyer during an appeal can make the process more difficult. Although you thoroughly fill out paperwork to explain your limitations and have medical documentation, you are limited in arguing your own case when appearing before a judge. Having a lawyer in your corner gives you a better opportunity to explain your situation, beyond what is written on paper.

In addition to a lawyer for disability, you may need to consider a bankruptcy lawyer. If you have previous debts and unpaid medical bills, one of the first expenses that you may neglect in order to sustain your household is paying off debts. Although people who are going through serious health and financial problems often avoid bankruptcy, it is a viable option and may not be as detrimental as allowing debt to accumulate.

Finding ways to maintain your household when you cannot work makes waiting for disability determination even harder. By finding resources early in the application process, you can potentially avoid insurmountable financial obstacles.