Still Waiting For Benefits Disabled Workers Should Follow Up Regularly With Social Security
You didnt want to apply for Social Security disability, but you finally realized you dont have a choice. You cant work, your savings are almost gone, and you need to keep going to the doctor if you want to have a chance at getting better. Are you supposed to just sit back and wait for your benefits to be approved, or is there something you can do in the meantime?
Average Wait Time For Social Security Claims
The average Social Security Disability claim takes almost a year and a half before it is approved. The initial Social Security Disability application stage generally takes about three months and the appeals process can drag on for months beyond that.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being caught up in the Social Security Disability appeals process, you can receive outside financial help while you are waiting for your disability claim to be approved.
Social Security Disability Insurance claims generally wont take outside financial help into account when determining whether you are disabled and how much compensation you are entitled to.
Should I Try To Work While Waiting For My Disability Hearing
The period of time between the onset of disability and your first Social Security check can be quite long, even if youre approved the first time you apply. A common question that people have while theyre waiting for a decision is whether or not to work.
Theres not a clear cut answer here. If you continue working while you wait for the decision, it may give the appearance that you are not really disabled. But if you stop working simply for fear of not looking disabled enough, you could be stuck without an income for months or even years.
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Can I Go Back To Work
Going back to work to keep yourself afloat while you appeal the SSAs decision may look like a necessity, even if you would endanger your health by doing so. But this may cause the SSA to look unfavorably upon your application.
Your disability claim is based on the fact that you are unable to work, which you then try to prove with medical evidence and testimony. Its difficult to support this fact if you return to work .
Because you returned to work, the SSA will look at how much you work in a week and how much money you make a month to gauge whether or not youre disabled enough to warrant benefits.
For 2019, the most you can make and still be eligible for disability benefits is $1220 per month. This income cap is liable to change every year, so if youre going to be waiting a while for your applications second reviewor even your hearingyou should keep up-to-date on this number. If you make more than the income cap, you are automatically ineligible for benefits.
You also run the risk of being denied if you work more than a certain number of hours a week. If you work part-time, you may still be able to make a case for your disability, especially if you were a full-timer before your condition began. However, if youre still working full-time during your appeal process, the SSA will likely determine youre not disabled enough to warrant benefits.
How Can I Check The Status Of My Social Security Disability Application
There are a number of ways to check on your application. First, you can go to Social Securitys website to find out if your application has been submitted properly. You can also call your local Social Security office and speak with a representative to make sure there are no problems with your application. If your case has already gone to a disability examiner, you may ask the Social Security office for the examiners office contact information. Finally, if you are awaiting a disability hearing date, you should contact the hearing office for a status update on the scheduling of your case.
If you would like us to follow up on the status of your case for you, click the contact link on this page to tell us about your disability and the issues you have been having. Your contact with us is free, and you owe us nothing unless we win your case.
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Can I Be Working Part Time When I Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Disability
Depending on how much money you make, you can be working part time when you apply for benefits. Technically, you can still be considered disabled if your earnings are under $1,310 per month , or $2,190 for blind applicants, regardless of how many hours you work. This is called the “substantial gainful activity limit, and it increases a bit each year. That said, if you are working close to this amount, or even making $800 or $900 a month, Social Security will look closely at what you are doing to see if you could maintain full-time work. Especially in todays economy, if you are working part time, a claims examiner at Social Security might assume you are working part time only because you cant find a full-time job. And you might have a hard time finding a lawyer who will take your case if you’re earning more than $600 a month disability lawyers screen out claims they think may be problematic.
Social Security knows that self-employed people, such as individuals who do freelance gigs, odd jobs, or contract work, can sometimes adjust their hours and/or their income to appear as if theyre not working a substantial amount. If you are self-employed, Social Security will use a test other than the SGA limit to see if you are working a substantial amount. For more information, see Nolos article on how Social Security determines disability for the self-employed.
If You Disagree With The Decision
If you disagree with the decision, you may ask to have the decision reviewed. You must request this review in writing within 90 days of receiving your decision letter.
Your application will be reviewed by Service Canada staff who were not involved in making the original decision on your application.
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Managing And Reducing Current Debt
Borrowed money and other forms of debt are among the greatest threats to the financial stability of disabled persons. Debt relief services can provide a way for you to improve your financial stability by allowing you to avoid borrowing more money as you await your disability benefits while reducing your financial burden. These services can include , debt consolidation, or debt settlement.
Can’t Work No Income What Can You Do To Pay The Bills While Waiting For A Decision On Your Social Security Disability Claim
Robert L. Heller
Most of us think that tomorrow will be just like today. We will get up, go to work, get a paycheck, pay our bills, and maybe have some money left over for a vacation, possibly to someplace warm and sunny.
But things happen that can change your tomorrow into a day when you cannot go to work, you will not get a paycheck and you cannot pay your bills, let alone take the family to the beach or the mountains.
If this change in lifes circumstances has happened to you because of a physical or mental condition and you worked for an employer that withheld and paid Social Security taxes on your behalf, you can file for Social Security disability to recoup some of your income. But you should know that it takes time for Social Security to make decisions on disability claimsup to six months after your initial application, another six months if you are denied and appeal that decision, and another 18 months if you must appeal your claim for a hearing.
That is a total of 30 months. So, you are most probably wondering what youre supposed to live on if you cant work. Good question . . . but the answers arent easy.
First you should apply at the human services agency that serves your area. In Ohio, they are districted by county and called Jobs and Family Services. That agency can provide assistance to you if you meet their eligibility requirements. Not everyone does, unfortunately. Where do you turn next?
About the Author
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What Happens After A Disability Hearing
After you have conducted your disability hearing, your claim will remain at the local Office of Disability Adjudication and Review until the Administrative Law Judge has made a decision.
The timeline for receiving the ALJs decision is dependent upon the workload of the judge and staff members. However, you will usually receive a written decision within 60 days.
During this waiting period, it is helpful to have a professional representative working on your case. The representative will have access to the status of the decision and understand whether it is pending decision writing, in review, etc.
Working While Waiting For Your Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability is for people who are unable to work. To qualify for benefits, you must have a disabling condition that will prevent you from working 12 months in a row. However, Social Security will allow you to work part time. For 2010, a person waiting for approval of their claim can earn up to $1,000 per month before taxes. However, if you do work, Social Security will want to know why you can only work part time rather than full time. This can be a hard question to answer in court. If you must work, we suggest that you do not work more than 20 hours per week, and be sure you stay well under $1,000 per month.
If you are receiving Long-Term Disability Benefits from your employer or an insurance company, we do not advise that you work at all. In most cases, every dollar you earn is subtracted from the monthly LTD benefit.
If you are working, or do get a job while waiting for your benefits, please notify your case administrator right away so we can help you stay within the limits allowed by Social Security.
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What Options Are Available
Seeking financial assistance in order to obtain some disability income in the meantime can be challenging. However, there are a few resources that are dedicated to assisting SSDI and SSI disability applicants. These resources typically:
- help applicants manage and reduce current debt
- connect disabled persons with income-based government programs
A Disability Loan Is Something To Consider If Youre No Longer Working Youre Waiting On A Disability Benefit Decision From The Government And You Need Help Covering Expenses In The Meantime
A disability loan which is a personal loan can get you cash to pay for your mortgage, household bills, groceries and other expenses.
But before you go that route, lets take closer look at how disability benefits work and the pros and cons of disability loans. Well also review some possible alternatives that might help bridge your financial gap until you have income again. Finally, remember that although we use the term disability loan, what were referring to is a personal loan.
Waiting For Your Social Security Disability Insurance Hearing Can Be Frustrating
And waiting is something many SSDI applicants have to do, all across the country. Waiting for more than a year to have your hearing is quite common, after already being denied at the Initial Application and Reconsideration levels of the disability process. In some places, the wait for a hearing can be more than 18 months. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for instance, in 2016, the wait was nearly two years once an applicant requested your hearing. At the time, Charlotte had the single most pending hearings of any office in Social Security. And thats just one example many offices have longer than 12 to 14 month waits.
If You Get A Negative Disability Decision
If you get a negative disability decision, you can fill out a Marketplace application to apply for coverage. Youll find out if you qualify for a private health plan with premium tax credits and lower costs based on your household size and income. When you apply, youll also find out if you qualify for Medicaid coverage.
- When you fill out your Marketplace application, answer yes when asked if you have a disability. Well forward your application to your state Medicaid agency. If you qualify, theyll help you enroll.
- If you dont qualify for Medicaid, you may qualify for savings on a Marketplace health plan.
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I Feel The Same Way I Have
I feel the same way. I have no money nothing. My mom has been very sick all my life. She had a disability case pending since 2003! They told her she had a 5% chance to live. I have MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, MAJOR DEPRESSION, MAJOR ANXIETY. I lost so much weight so to not having food to eat. I was born in this country and have payed my taxes yet I have been denied food stamps, disability, Medicaid etc. I had a social worker from a supposed nonprofit clinic tell me while I was blind in one eye IM SORRY BUT THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO TO HELP YOU. I can& #039 t work because I& #039 m sick and I won& #039 t have a chance at my third time applying for disability but if I wait on disability which seems like next to never, I& #039 ll never survive. America is one messed up place!
When Your Benefit Could Stop
The disability benefit is meant to replace some of your employment income for as long as your disability stops you from working at any job on a regular basis.
Your disability benefit will stop if you:
- you are capable of working on a regular basis
- you are no longer disabled
- you turn 65
When a disability benefit is cancelled, any related children’s benefits are also cancelled.
When you turn 65
When you turn 65 the disability benefit will automatically be changed to a Canada Pension Plan retirement pension. If you are getting the post-retirement disability benefit, it will stop.
Your retirement pension will be less than your disability benefit. However, you can also apply for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Your spouse or common-law partner may also be eligible for the Allowance benefit if they are 60 to 64 .
When someone dies
If you’re reading this following the loss of a loved one, please accept our condolences.
When someone dies, please inform us as soon as possible to avoid overpayment. Find out how to cancel CPP benefits on behalf of a deceased person.
The estate and survivors may be eligible to receive other CPP benefits:
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Options For Financial Support While Waiting For Ssd Benefits
If youre struggling to pay for basic necessities such as food or utilities as you wait for disability payments, you should know other assistance programs are in place to help you.
The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program offers help covering the cost of food. Many utility companies offer short-term assistance with bills if you cant make timely payments.
While you wait for a decision from the Social Security Disability program, you can check to see if your state has a short-term disability program. In some cases, a state program might approve and make payments faster than the federal program, helping you bridge the financial gap.
Overview Of Coping Strategies
We examine the following strategies SSDI applicants use to fund consumption while waiting: government transfers, including SNAP, UI, and workers compensation earnings of the spouse changing living arrangement borrowing from credit cards liquidation of housing assets. Given the complexity of these programs, we briefly discuss rules and regulations that are relevant for this study and how eligibility for each coping strategy is determined. Table summaries the use of each coping strategy at the time of application14.
Table 4 The use of coping strategies at the month of application
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Working While Your Disability Claim Is Pending: A Delicate Balance
Working while disabled or when your claim is pending is a delicate balance. Social Security Disability benefits are for people who are unable to work. However, because claimants still need to eat and have a roof over their heads, stopping work entirely isnt always realistic. A person may not be able to go back to their past job, but they need to make ends meet somehow.
Are Government Workers Eligible For Disability Benefits
Some government workers, including school employees, may be eligible for Disability Insurance benefits. To find out, review your collective bargaining contract. If you have wages from another employer in your base period, you may be eligible even though your current employer doesnât participate in State Disability Insurance. If you arenât sure if youâre eligible, file a claim anyway.
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Talk To A Disability Lawyer
Need a lawyer? Start here.