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How to Get By Financially While Waiting for a Social Security Disability Approval

When you are unable to work and waiting for a Social Security Disability claim to be processed, the financial situation can be bleak to say the least. Bills are due but no income is coming in, and it may be months or even years before you see your first disability payment. What can you do to make ends meet in the meantime? If you are facing financial hardship while waiting for a Social Security Disability approval, there are some steps you can take to ease the financial burden.

State Assistance

If you are having a hard time paying for food and housing expenses, you may want to contact your local human services agencies to see what benefits you may qualify for while you wait for Social Security Disability benefits. If you have children, you may be able to get financial assistance, food stamps, and medical care benefits from the state.

To apply for assistance you will need to bring proof of income and assets when you go to your appointment. Let the agency know that you are applying for Social Security Disability and are waiting for an approval. Bank statements, rent receipts, utility bills and other financial records will be taken into account when determining your eligibility for these programs. You will also need to bring proof of identification and proof of residence when applying for state benefits. By having all of this paperwork ready for your appointment you can speed up the approval process and receive benefits more quickly.

Making Money While Waiting to Get Disability

If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits you cannot earn substantial income, but that doesn't mean you can't make some extra money while you are waiting for your Social Security disability claim to be approved. Selling unneeded items on eBay or having a garage sale can be a great way to earn extra money in the meantime.

Go around your home, and see what items you have that you may no longer need. Remember, one man's trash is another man's treasure. That bread maker that you got for Christmas that you only used once or twice can be sold to get some extra money for gas. Your old cell phone may get you enough cash to buy a few groceries for your home. Even old, broken jewelry can be sold to local jewelers who pay cash for gold. Those earrings that don't have a match and that broken chain can be turned into cash immediately while you are waiting for Social Security Disability benefits.

Look around your home for the things you don't need and turn unwanted items into cash to help pay for bills and day-to-day living expenses until Social Security Disability benefits kick in.

Use Food Pantries While Waiting for Disability Benefits

It can be hard to pay bills and put food on the table when waiting for Social Security Disability benefits to take effect. If you are having a hard time paying for groceries while waiting for Social Security Disability benefits, you may want to call local food banks to see if they can help. Many food pantries have emergency assistance available, allowing you to get the groceries you need if money runs out before Social Security Disability benefits begin.

Local Churches Help Those Waiting For Disability Approval

Many churches have charity programs for their members. If you attend a church regularly and are facing severe financial hardship, contact the church to find out what programs they have in place. Let them know you are applying for Social Security Disability, and ask them if they can help. If assistance is available they may be able to help you pay a bill in an emergency situation.

Ways to Cut Expenses While Waiting on Disability Benefits

If possible, try cutting expenses wherever you can while waiting for Social Security Disability benefits to begin. If you have cable television, make sure you are subscribing to the least expensive package possible. You may also want to consider turning off your land line phone and using a cell phone for emergency purposes only. Many cell phone providers offer free cellular-to-cellular phone calls. If you sign up for a basic cell phone package you can make calls to other people's cell phones to avoid using minutes and racking up large phone bills each month.

Another great way to cut expenses is to use coupons and shop sales for the items you need. Grocery stores run specials every week. Combine those specials with coupons clipped from local newspapers or found online to significantly reduce your grocery expenses. You can also go to thrift shops for clothing and dollar stores are a great place to visit for many household items.

Covering your day-to-day expenses without an income can be stressful and challenging. Remember, there is a difference between what you want and what you need. Until your Social Security Disability benefits begin, you will have to focus on your needs, and that means doing without some of the things you may want. By keeping the above advice in mind you should be able to meet most of your needs while you wait for your Social Security Disability benefits to begin.


The Gov. wants me to sell anything I can to get money what about rent, light,water,car payment (REALLY)

i dont have anything to sell, I was given partial approval in 2013, where i did get a back pay but was told by judge i could work now. Well my surgery failed and i have several complications where i now need two more surgery's. I have lost everything and i only get food and medicaid from the state. I have no income and Im single with no children. i can not even work part time because of my condition. I cant believe its taking so long for a decision to be made. i had to start from begining with my application. All my doctors have me totally disabled indefinatly. Thats not even a qurantee. There is no one out there to help people in my situation. I have tried to get financial help and to this day im still completley broke. What can I do?

Hi Tracy,
I'm sorry that you haven't gotten approved yet. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do if your claim is still being processed. How long has it been since you re-applied after your condition became more severe?

Waiting for over 1 and half for my disability check.I had to get loans anf try to not burden my family hand outs. I am getting a courtn appears because the small town I live in will not hire me since I was fired twice because of my health,struggling to pay 4 doctors that I see 2 times a month ormore..heath is getting worse and the government don't want to ev33n look at my case. There has to be away to have a suppert group to orm some type to others that ar in the same situation with me,,Wow.....

Hi CJ,
I am sorry to hear that. Hopefully someone here will have some advice on what to do.

I have spent all my savings (I'm so glad I planned for the future). I will have to move into my car within a month. How will I be notified if I am approved for benefits? Do I just continue to check in with them? And if I am approved where will they send the checks? Can I get them to be automatically deposited into a bank account?

Hi Darryl,
Yes, you can continue to check online. And the SSA actually requires that recipients use direct deposit, so do not worry about that!