If you have filed a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, you are probably no longer working. Waiting for pending disability decisions can create a difficult financial situation for most. In reality, most individuals lack the financial resources required to survive during the average amount of time it takes to receive a decision on a Social Security Disability claim. Pending disability decisions and financial assistance are common concerns for many clients. Here is what our Joplin disability attorneys suggest you consider while you are awaiting your decision.
Filing a Social Security Disability Claim
Applying for Social Security benefits can be a difficult, and somewhat intimidating, process. It usually requires strict adherence to complex rules regarding both eligibility and the application itself. Completing the required forms accurately can be overwhelming, or maybe even confusing. But completing them properly can improve your chances of being approved the first time. The Social Security Administration will make an initial determination based solely on the information you provide in your application. You need one of our Joplin disability attorneys to help you from the start or you may not be successful.
Social Security Disability decisions take time
On average, a Social Security Disability claim will take 18 months before a decision is reached. The initial application process takes approximately 3 months. But, if you are not approved the first time, the appeals process can extend your wait for many more months. If you are waiting for a pending appeal, there may be financial assistance available. Consult with one of our Joplin disability attorneys to discuss your options.
Obtaining outside financial assistance
If you find yourself in this stressful situation, there are options available to obtain the financial assistance you may need. The good news is, Social Security does not consider any financial help you may receive, when determining your disability claim and how much compensation you should be entitled to. If your claim is approved, then you will receive back pay, which should make paying back the money much easier.
Sources of financial assistance
The first place to go for financial assistance is your county Department of Social Services. Both Missouri’s Department of Social Services and Arkansas’s Department of Human Services provide different types of assistance. They can provide you with information regarding the government programs that may be available to you, as well as any private or nonprofit programs for which you may be qualified.
For many people, family may be the first option to consider. Though you may not want to burden your family, it may be your best choice. Another common source is your friends. It may surprise you how willing friends may be to help if they understand your situation and the fact that it should only be temporary.
Churches and other religious organizations
For those who have a regular place of worship, it may be a good idea to bring your needs to them. If not, there may be other religious organizations that participate in charitable outreach programs in their communities. At the very least, if you need assistance with basic necessities such as food and utilities, you can contact the Salvation Army. To discuss other options, contact our Joplin disability attorneys.
Be careful which type of financial help you receive
Though most types of financial assistance will not jeopardize your disability claim, you still need to be careful and discuss your plans with one of your Joplin disability attorneys. If you are applying for SSI based on disability, which is based on need rather than the existence of a disability, then the financial assistance you receive may affect the evaluation of your claim.
If you have questions regarding financial assistance or any other social security matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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