How Will I Survive Financially While Waiting for Social Security Disability Benefits to be Approved?
One of the challenges of the Social Security Disability Insurance application process is that it is a waiting game—a long waiting game. Given that you have applied for a program that requires you to be too disabled to work to qualify, you might be facing the conundrum of what to do to support yourself financially while you wait to hear if your benefits were approved, or if your benefits were approved, you may be waiting until your initial payment arrives. If you are denied on your initial application, you are in good company. The acceptance rate on initial application for SSDI benefits is about 45% in Maryland, while the national average is 35%. In addition to the abysmal approval statistics is the burden of incredibly long wait times to hear if you have been approved or denied. If the average Disability claim takes at least 18 months to be approved – if it is approved – you will need some income to cover your living expenses until you get approved.
Options for financial assistance
While the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not want you to earn beyond what they consider “substantial gainful activity” if you are going to qualify for disability benefits, you can work part-time. In 2018, SGA is $1,180 per month, and $1,970 if you are blind. The SSA has guidelines on how you can work while still collecting disability benefits. You must follow these guidelines meticulously or you could lose benefits if they decide that you are earning too much.
Additional options for temporary help might include:
- Ask family members for temporary help while you are waiting on your Social Security Disability benefits.
- Friends may be willing to help when you find yourself in dire circumstances
- House of worship or religious organizations may be able to help you
- You can visit your county’s social services agency to apply for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Another option is to speak to a Maryland Social Security Disability attorney who can review your case and advise you of some options you may not have considered. A disability lawyer cannot guarantee that your application is approved, but there are some things they can do to speed up the process that might apply to your case.
Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. is a premier law firm serving Maryland clients who have applied for Disability benefits. Please call 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys about your claim.