What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Financial Help When You Are Filing For Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you are considering filing for social security disability (SSD) benefits, you are likely suffering from a medical condition that is seriously compromising, if not outright inhibiting your ability to perform tasks associated with work. You may already be experiencing a loss of earnings as a result of your condition, or be facing calls from bill collection agencies, or even the prospect of losing your home. For some individuals filing for SSD, paying for utilities, getting medical care, even putting food on the table, are tasks that get more difficult by the day.
The bad news is, the process of filing for disability is a long one. The initial claim can take four months (or longer) to be evaluated, after which 70 percent are rejected. The request for reconsideration can take several months as well, and around 85 percent of those are rejected as well. If you choose to file a new claim, you face starting all over, with the resultant waiting periods, after which you may be rejected once again. If you choose to appeal your case before an administrative judge (the most commonly recommended course of action), it could be two years before the case is heard.
The real question is, how do you survive financially while waiting to be approved for social security disability benefits? Well, the good news is, there are free resources available to those in need, and tapping these resources can help float you until your social security disability benefits are granted. In anticipation of these difficulties, you should take the following steps:
1. Get help paying your utilities. You local social services department should be able to provide you with the appropriate contact information, and may even offer one-time assistance for bills (not during the winter months). For help during the winter months, check into the low income energy assistance program (LIEAP).
2. Get help, even if itís only temporary, with paying your medical expenses. Again, your local social services department or county health department should be able to point you in the right direction here, providing the names of free clinics, churches, charitable organizations, or prescription assistance programs with resources available to those in need. You may also consider filing for Medicaid, because some counties allow you to receive medical benefits while your claim is being processed, even if your disability claim is ultimately denied.
3. Get help putting food on the table. File for food stamps, WIC (if you have minor children), and any other food assistance programs available in your area.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials