Can I Get Financial Aid While Waiting For Social Security Disability?

Can I Get Financial Aid While Waiting For Social Security Disability?

financial aid while waiting for disability

A recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is shedding new light on a widespread epidemic of financial insecurity affecting those who apply for Social Security disability benefits. 

The report, released last month, revealed that between 2014 and 2019, around 48,000 people filed for bankruptcy while awaiting a decision on their disability appeals. An additional 109,725 people died between 2008 and 2019 while waiting for their appeal.

This kind of delay is unacceptable, and low-income disabled Americans are particularly at risk during the economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re thinking about applying for disability benefits and are wondering if you can get financial aid while waiting for disability, this guide is for you. Find out more from the social security disability lawyers at Social Security Disability Advocates USA.

Does the Social Security Administration Provide Financial Aid While You Wait?

The Social Security disability application process can take a long time in and of itself. On top of this, first-time applicants are frequently denied. This means you can be waiting months or even years to get the disability benefits you need (unless your disability is severe enough to qualify you for compassionate allowance, in which case you may be automatically approved).

While a social security disability lawyer can help you streamline the process of getting approved for benefits, how you’ll generate income while waiting for disability is an important consideration. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not automatically provide any intermediary assistance to those waiting for disability decisions. 

The only exception to this rule is if you qualify for expedited reinstatement—that is, you qualified for disability benefits in the past and lost your benefits due to earning too much money, but have been prevented from working again due to the same disability. In this case, the SSA will issue disability benefits in the interim while your case is reviewed.

If you are able to do so, you do have the option to work while you wait for your claim or appeal to be processed. However, you must not earn a monthly income of more than $1,260, which the SSA considers to be Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) and which may disqualify you from receiving Supplemental Security Income and affect your disability eligibility as well.

Where to Get Financial Aid While Waiting For Disability?

Although the SSA doesn’t offer any interim financial assistance for disability applicants, there are many state and local resources that may be able to help you stay afloat until your disability benefits are approved. Check out the following list of resources to help get you started.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 

TANF is a short-term state-administered program designed to assist those who are pregnant or responsible for a child under the age of 19 who are also low-income, unemployed, or otherwise unable to work. TANF provides cash benefits to help you pay for food, shelter, utilities, and other living expenses. 

Each U.S. state has its own TANF program, so you will need to apply directly through your state of residence. See the Office of Family Assistance website for help applying.

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)

Also commonly known as food stamps, SNAP is another federally-funded, state-administered program that can provide financial assistance while waiting for disability in the form of a monthly stipend you can use at most grocery stores. See the U.S. Department of Agriculture website for information on eligibility and how to apply.

Other Department of Social Services Programs

For additional assistance, contact your local Department of Social Services, where you can find more information on child care, energy assistance, medical programs, and other forms of aid that may be available to you. If you have applied for SSI, many states also offer Interim Public Assistance loans to be repaid once you begin receiving benefits.

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

Your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) may also be able to help you by providing an assessment by a physician of your current abilities and connecting you with available services. This assessment will not only help VR connect you with resources, but can also help document your disability and improve your chances of being approved for disability benefits.

Have More Questions About Disability Benefits?

To get help with applying for Social Security Disability programs, appealing a decision, or just to talk about all your SSDI legal options, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

We’ll schedule a free consultation to review your case and help you navigate locating financial aid while waiting for disability. Call us today at 602-952-3200, chat with us via LiveChat, or send us a message using our secure contact form

For more information about disability benefits, check out the ultimate disability secrets the SSA doesn’t want you to know and be sure to follow us on Facebook.

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