Friday, July 19, 2024

How Do You Survive While Waiting For Disability Approval

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What to do while waiting for Disability

Millions of Americans depend on various types of Social Security benefits to meet their familys needs each month. The SSA is overwhelmed with demands. Attorneys tend to get better results for their clients when appearing before Administrative Law Judges for hearings. Having an attorney can remove some of the uncertainty and confusion that surrounds dealing with the disability claims process.

The Becker Law Office has offices located throughout Kentucky to serve the needs of disabled clients across the region. Our attorneys understand that even though SSDI and SSI benefits are not a lot of money, sometimes those payments can be the difference between keeping a roof over your head and facing an eviction.

If you have applied and been denied disability benefits, or if you are considering filing a claim for benefits, contact us to schedule a free confidential consultation today.

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How Long Does Ssdi Take To Make A Decision

Generally, it takes about 3 to 5 months to get a decision. However, the exact time depends on how long it takes to get your medical records and any other evidence needed to make a decision. * How does Social Security make the decision? We send your application to a state agency that makes disability decisions.

Places To Go For Financial Help

You may need to seek financial assistance from outside sources while your application is pending. Fortunately, the SSA generally will not consider these funds in deciding whether you qualify for SSDI. Here are possible sources of help that you should explore:

  • Public assistance. Depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for public assistance through the New Mexico Human Services Department. One of your first steps should be to apply for any benefits that you may be eligible for.
  • Family and friends. It may not be pleasant to ask family and friends to help you out, but they may be a good source of financial assistance. They may be sympathetic to your temporary financial challenges and have the resources to assist you.
  • Churches and religious organizations. If you are a member of a church or other religious group, you should contact them to see if they have any resources for members struggling financially. There may be other religious organizations in your community, such as the Salvation Army, that provides people in need with help for basic needs, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and clothes.
  • Food bank. Many communities have food banks for residents going through challenging financial times. Going to a food bank for food can help you feed your family and free up some of your money to pay your other monthly expenses.

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What Is The Difference Between Ssi And Social Security Disability

What is the difference between SSI and SSDI ? The major difference is that SSI determination is based on age/ disability and limited income and resources, whereas SSDI determination is based on disability and work credits. In addition, in most states, an SSI recipient will automatically qualify for Medicaid.

Will My Loved Ones Still Be Compensated If I Die Waiting

Waiting nerf for Lux and Buff Riven...

In some cases, it may be possible for a spouse or an adult child to continue pursuing the deceased claimants right to benefits after his or her death. If this happens, the SSA might award money to the surviving relatives based on an underpayment of benefits during life.

SSA can also pay benefits to surviving spouses or children, provided they qualify. If this happens, and a claim is approved after death, the money is disbursed in a manner similar to the way a probate court would distribute the funds. There is an order in which the SSA will pay the funds.

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If You File For Disability Does That Mean You Should Quit Your Job

To those asking do you have to be unemployed to file for disability, you do not.

However, as described in the section above, you need to be earning less than the SGA limit, working limited hours, and not be performing work that conflicts with your disability claim.

In order to meet those requirements, you would not be able to keep a full-time job. However, there may be situations where you could keep your existing job and work limited hours.

What Is A Disability Loan

If you cant work because of a disability and are waiting to hear whether youre eligible for disability benefits, you might need some cash to tide you over. In this case, you may consider a disability loan, which is essentially a personal loan. Just be aware that some are cash-advance and payday-type loans that are marketed to people with disabilities and can come with costly interest rates.

The Social Security Administration may be able to help if youre in an emergency situation. Based on the severity and type of the condition and the likelihood your claim will be approved, you may qualify for advanced payments for up to six months while youre awaiting your final decision. These are called presumptive disability or blindness payments which is a zero-interest advance of your payments and do not need to be paid back even if you do not ultimately get approved for benefits unless there is an overpayment.

You may be eligible to get an emergency advance payment through the SSA if youre already due to receive Supplemental Security Income payments but havent received them yet. But as part of the application, you must prove that youre facing a threat to health or safety, such as insufficient money for food, clothing, shelter or medical care.

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You Start To Give Up Hope And Worry About The Future

A lot of bad things can and did happen over the five years it took to start receiving benefits. Even when I was able to work full-time, it wasnt easy. I had to wake up earlier than normal just to be able to function because the stiffness in my joints was so bad first thing in the morning.

There were times when I got to work in the morning and had to rest for a few moments in my car before heading in because my fatigue was so bad.

But then there were days and weeks when I felt amazing and had no issues thats how it is sometimes with a disease like RA, which ebbs and flows, flares and subsides. These are the types of things I struggled to explain to SSA when applying and reapplying for disability benefits.

Those years of not receiving any assistance had to be the scariest ones of my life. I was approaching my mid-20s and had to depend on family members for literally everything. I began to have serious worries about my future. Would I need to stay on disability forever? How would I explain my medical and financial situation to prospective love interests? And if I ever got married, the amount of disability I receive could be reduced or stopped altogether. This is because a portion of a spouses income and assets counts as yours. Talk about soul-stripping.

Can A Lawyer Make The Case Go Faster

Disability Hearing Tips To Help You Get Approved and Survive The Wait

While no attorney can guarantee the outcome of your disability appeal, you will give yourself the best chance if you have experience on your side. Using the SSAs own research and data, Congressman Robert T. Matsui from California testified before Congress in 2001 that professional representation is a valuable, and indeed vital, service. The disability determination process is complex. Claimants without professional representation appear to be far less likely to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. See excerpts from his testimony before Congress in 2001.

Congressman Matsui went on to explain that for those with an attorney, about 64% received a positive award of benefits at the hearing level, while only about 40% of the applicants who represented themselves received benefits.

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Cons Of Disability Loans

There are a number of disadvantages to disability loans, starting with the terms that come with many disability loans.

If you no longer have a stable income and apply for a disability loan, certain lenders may reduce their risk by offering you short repayment terms. While you may receive the cash you need, you might have to pay it back far faster than you would if you took out a disability loan while you were working.

Lenders may offer personal loans with high interest rates to protect themselves when lending money to you while youre unemployed and they may charge expensive loan origination fees or other fees. Costly fees paired with high interest rates can make it easy to rack up debt in a hurry a dangerous scenario when youre not working.

Department Of Vocational Rehabilitation

You might also want to contact the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in your state. If you qualify for VR assistance, this department can sometimes assist you in a variety of different ways, even to the extent of getting you examined by a physician to determine the extent of your limitations. The report of such an exam could be very useful in your disability case, and “voc rehab” counselors are generally willing to provide such information when asked by either the disability examiner at DDS or by a disability attorney or non-attorney representative, if you hire one.

You can find the contact information for your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in our state disability resource lists.

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How Many Work Credits To Qualify For Ssdi

The number of work credits youâll need to qualify for SSDI will depend on your age. The older you are, the more work credits are required.

There are two ways that the SSA qualifies you for work credits. The ârecent workâ test and the âduration of workâ test.

The recent work test

The first test looks at your work history immediately prior to when your disability began.

Here are some of the guidelines based on when your disability began.

Under the age of 24 – You can qualify if youâve earned 6 credits in the 3 years previous to when your disability starts. 6 credits could be approximately 1.5 years of work, assuming you earn the max 4 credits per year .

Between the ages 24 to 31 – The general rule is that you had to have worked half the time between since you turned 2, and when you apply for disability.

For example, if youâre 28 when your disability began, thatâs 7 years since you turned 21. So that means you should have worked 3.5 of those years to be able to qualify for SSDI. You should also have around 14 credits

Age 31 or older – After the age of 31, it is expected that you have 20 credits accumulated in the previous 10 years. Thatâs 5 out of the 10 years since you turned 21, at 4 credits per year.

The duration of work test

In addition to the recent work test, you will also need to pass the duration of work test to qualify for disability benefits through SSA.

For this test, the work does not need to fall within a certain window.

Want To Get More Involved With Patient Advocacy

How Do I Support Myself While Awaiting Benefits ...

The 50-State Network is the;grassroots advocacy arm of CreakyJoints and the Global Healthy Living Foundation. It is comprised of patients with chronic illness who are trained as health care activists to proactively connect with local, state, and federal health policy stakeholders to share their perspective and influence change. If you want to effect change and make health care more affordable and accessible to patients with chronic illness, learn more here.

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Hi My Name Is Titshaun I’

Hi my name is Titshaun I'm legally blind in my right eye and I have limited sight in my left eye I suffer with diabetes high blood pressure anxiety and depression I have migraine headaches and mild degenerate muscle decay in my right hip and leg I applied for disability in June I went to see the disability doctor I also let disability know when I spoke to them that I still work and I can't quit until a decision is made I can't afford to be homeless I have no where to go I've been on my own since 14 it's hard because I am being told that my case is still pending what can I do

How Do I Survive Financially While Waiting

Often I am asked the following question: How I am supposed to survive while I am waiting for disability benefits? This is a tough question to answer. Too often, I speak to people who were already struggling to survive and just barely making it from paycheck to paycheck when their medical problems knocked them out of the workforce. Even people who have resources saved up for a rainy day quickly spend through what they have while waiting the average year and half to see a judge. If you have some money saved up, you will probably need to downsize as much as you can to make that money last. If you do not have resources, you should probably start considering applying for public housing, applying for food stamps and checking at your local Department of Social Services to see if any other help might be available to you. Many people I speak to move in with family and get by on food stamps while they are waiting for their disability benefits to be approved.

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Cathy Try And Hang In There

Cathy try and hang in there, i am in current situation, have disc problems, surgery made it worse, it's been 4 years without money, worked in soda business 24 years straight, I'm about to lose my house in September due to back taxes, very suicidal as of late, I never dreamed that this can happen to people in America who paid into Social security for over 20 years, someone has to step in and stop these atrocities, an alj who has no background in medicine, in my case she admitted she never even read my reports, not to mention I waited 2 full years for my hearing, to have people losing evythng they own is just ashame. If I end up homeless I just can't see me continuing on, what do I tell my grandchildren, all I want Is what I paid into it for 24 years, good luck Cathy I hope you live a long happy life

What To Do If You Disagree With The Decision

How does one with no money survive while waiting for disability benefits??

If you were denied disability benefits, and you disagree with the decision, you can request an appeal.

You have to file your appeal within 60 days of when you received the notification. There are four levels to the appeals process.

  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge
  • Review by the Appeals Council
  • Federal Court review

For detailed information on each level, visit the SSA page on the appeals process.

If you have to go through an appeals process, it can unfortunately delay your benefits significantly. Below, weâve added a section with some ideas on how to survive financially while waiting for the decision, and in some cases, the appeals process.

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Can I Apply For Disability While Working

The short answer is, yes, you can apply for disability while working.

However, you need to be earning under a certain amount and the Social Security Administration may look at the number of hours you are working as well as the type of work being performed to ascertain whether you could be working full time.

The amount that you are not allowed to earn more than is called the substantial gainful activity or SGA limit. If you earn more than that amount, SSA assumes you can do a substantial amount of work and determines that you are ineligible for disability. The 2020 SGA limit is $1,260 per month.

I believe working part-time while you are seeking disability benefits is a very risky proposition, and I am not the only experienced disability lawyer who thinks so.

The SSA might also check how many hours you are working per week. If you are working more than part-time, it may be difficult to persuade the SSA that you cannot work and should receive disability.

As part of the disability claim process, the SSA will be looking into what type of work you are capable of doing. If you have regularly been doing work that you claim you cannot do, this will negatively impact your case.

For example, if you injure your back and are applying for disability while working, it wont help your case if you are working stocking shelves while you wait for approval of your claim.

So to those wondering can I work while applying for disability, the answer is yes, but you will need to:

Types Of Disability Policies

There are two types of disability policies.

  • Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.

  • Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.

Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.

If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:

  • How long do benefits last?

  • How much money will the policy pay?

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Does Social Security Disability Cover Hidden Disabilities

Those with hidden disabilities might hear things like, you dont even look disabled! However, an invisible condition can be just as disabling as a visible one. If your condition prevents you from working, you might be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance .

You probably qualify for SSDI if:

  • You have a medical condition that prevents you from working.
  • You have paid enough into Social Security through work wages.

The Social Security Administration is strict when evaluating SSDI applications. You will need to show how your condition prevents you from working. Unfortunately, proving your condition can be more difficult if you have a hidden disability.

If you are worried about getting disability benefits, talk to an experienced lawyer. Your lawyer can advocate for your rights. They can also help you with every step of the application process.

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