What Types of Extra Financial Support Can I Get?

Submitted by Deanna on

Disability benefits can keep you afloat when an impairment prevents you from working to support yourself and your family. The average wait for a decision on eligibility is between three and four months, but some applicants wait significantly longer. Getting by in the mean time often means seeking out extra benefits or forms of support.

There are a number of public assistance programs for which you may qualify during your wait for a disability decision. And with some of these programs, you may continue to receive extra help, even once you begin getting disability payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA).


State Temporary Disability


Some states offer temporary disability benefits that help carry you through until you receive a decision on SSDI and/or SSI. Start by contacting the local or state office of social services. Every state has one. In some places, this agency is called the Department of Family and Social Services.

There are other forms of financial support you may qualify for while receiving Social Security disability benefits.

In other locations, it may be the Department of Health and Welfare, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Department of Family and Social Services. No matter the name though, most states provide local offices in each county or township.


Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)


You may qualify for SNAP or food stamps while waiting for disability approval. SNAP benefits often remain in affect even after you begin getting monthly disability payments too. A social worker at your local or state department of social services can assist you in applying. Many states also offer online application for SNAP.


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)


TANF is another state-administered assistance program that offers a monthly cash benefit to families that meet financial-need eligibility rules. TANF application may be offered online in your home state, or you can get help with applying from your local social services office.


Other Assistance Programs


Based on your family make-up, financial situation, and other factors, you may qualify for other types of assistance. For example, families with extreme financial-need often meet the guidelines for emergency rent or utility payment assistance. These kinds of programs are usually administered at the city, township, or county level, but the staff at your local social services office can point you in the right direction.


Insurance Coverage and Discounted Medical Care


You may qualify for Medicaid or state health insurance, since these programs have financial-need measurements for eligibility. Many clinics offer services on a sliding scale for patients who meet income thresholds and for those without insurance too. Your regular doctor’s office may have a “need-based” sliding scale as well, so be sure to talk to the staff there about your disability application and your financial concerns. Your doctor can also help you find discount prescriptions and may provide you samples to help cut your costs.


A Word on Unemployment Benefits


Unemployment and disability benefits don’t mix. This is because a disability application is based on the idea that your impairment stops you from working, while unemployment benefits are only available if you are activity seeking a new job. In other words, you cannot get approved for disability if you are on unemployment and vice versa.


Getting Help with Your Social Security Disability Claim


A disability advocate or attorney that understands the eligibility rules and review processes can potentially increase your chances of approval. If your application stalls out during the review stage, a call from an advocate or attorney can usually get things moving again too. Not to mention the assistance an advocate or disability lawyer can provide if you’re initially denied benefits. He or she can help gather evidence, file an appeal, and represent you before the administrative law judge that reviews your claim.

Blog comments

Sharon Keelung (not verified)

I just turned 51 07/11 this

I just turned 51 07/11 this year, ive been denied three time by the Admin Judge, I been fighting this since 2012 or 2013, ive been in and out of the hospitals for back pain, Chest discomfort, now I have silent Angina attacks more often, im in high bp meds FINALLY, and for high bp, I have joint pain in both hips, both hands, and now my left knee is always swollen! I cant walk no further than 10 feet because my knee cramps and locks up. I was at St Joseph Hospital bout a month ago, i told them to fax my information to a social security advocate to my primary dr who is at the center for health and wellness here in Wichita Ks. My finger cramp up more too, degeneration joint decease, major depression disorder, had a blood transfusion in 2005 gave me 3 units of blood to save my life after i hsd my baby by c section and a hysterectomy. Was in a comma for about 1week. Why wont anyone help me??????

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 02:28 Permalink

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

Hi Sharon,

Hi Sharon,
Have you considered speaking with a disability advocate or attorney? They can seriously help you with your claim, especially if you have been denied previously. Sometimes, your best bet is to restart your claim.

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 10:49 Permalink
Melissa Munoz (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

My name is Melissa, 29years

My name is Melissa, 29years old and I have epilepsy. I have an advocate from GAR DISABILITY and they are absolutely no help.. 2 1/2 years now and nothing.. my case manger changed 5 times.. and I was denied already 2-3 times.. I still have uncontrollable seizures 3-4 times a week.. my speech is very slured more so then about a year ago. being that the price of everyday essentials and living are far from free, I took a risk and found employment at a restaurant as a server.. They are fully aware of my disability, but im always leaving home eary due to having my jaw lock up, following a seizure..... any advice what to do from here???

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 14:15 Permalink

In reply to by Melissa Munoz (not verified)

Hi Mellissa,

Hi Mellissa,
I'm sorry to hear that! I suppose it's best to not give up, you may be approved. It may be a good idea to look into temporary disability programs that your state may have.

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 16:12 Permalink
INGRID PATTON (not verified)

In reply to by Melissa Munoz (not verified)

i also had an 'advocate&

i also had an 'advocate'. nothing was happening after 4 months. i took a chance and called my ssdi application case worker myself. i explained my concern. she told me that requested medical records were not being submitted. i happened to have all of my medical records. (you are allowed one free copy of all of your medical records from any facility...you must request them yourself and it is worth it) i told my case worker i had these records. she told me to make a full copy of all i had and send them to her which i did. i was approved two months later. call ur case worker.

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 03:54 Permalink
Aliyyah (not verified)

In reply to by Melissa Munoz (not verified)

Get a lawyer! I the same

Get a lawyer! I the same condition, and i got a lawyer and go my ssdi. You can pay them out of your award back money.

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 11:05 Permalink
Shelly Edwards (not verified)

In reply to by Melissa Munoz (not verified)

I have Lupus and Rhuematoid

I have Lupus and Rhuematoid Arthritis. I was denied once and got one of those lawyers that don’t get paid unless I was approved. I was approved. She fought hard for me. I also have residual nerve damaged from Lime disease, which is what brought everything else on. Get one of those lawyers.

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 10:48 Permalink
Dan (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

Get a lawyer why are you

Get a lawyer why are you waiting. The government always denies claims. It a matter of procedure.

You have to fight for your rights!

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:08 Permalink

In reply to by Dan (not verified)

Hi Dan,

Hi Dan,
It's true! Over 70% of applications are denied the first time they are reviewed.

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 09:07 Permalink
ervina ortaleza (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

Invaluable commentary , I

Invaluable commentary , I loved the analysis ! Does someone know if my business can obtain a template document to use ?

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 13:19 Permalink

In reply to by ervina ortaleza (not verified)

Hi Ervina,

Hi Ervina,
You may want to contact the office that uses the document itself, they may be able to provide you with a template.

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 11:25 Permalink
Violet Williams (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

I been denies three time by

I been denies three time by them .. They say I can work in fast-food joint or lick stamps . I was told in 2014 that I copd that lungs disease well can't walk no further then 15 feet with out been out of breath trying to get air .. My sister try to help with my medicine every month .. Sometime I be out ofdays.. They don't care about us .. They just care about there Beach houses..

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 16:14 Permalink
Grace (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

All you have to do, since you

All you have to do, since you have went through all this. Is get you a lawyer and plead depressed because you are after all this. I am so sorry that you have been through all this.Get you a good lawyer and paralegals, And talk to God and Jesus. God bless you.

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 03:33 Permalink
John scarcelli (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

Hey brother I was denied 2

Hey brother I was denied 2 times took me 3 years finally I got a lawyer out of the phone book and boom within 2 weeks I was receiving benefits and two years backpack you got to get a lawyer

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 22:23 Permalink

In reply to by John scarcelli (not verified)

Hi John,

Hi John,
Thanks for sharing that! It's a good idea to contact a disability advocate or attorney if you're seeking benefits.

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 16:12 Permalink
ted (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

I am countering the same

I am countering the same problem and just keep getting shuffle back and forth from one government agency to another, it seems that the government is both lazy and does not care at all!

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 17:41 Permalink
Frank (not verified)

In reply to by Eric

No Ted, not a long process.

No Ted, not a long process. Get a lawyer. 3-5 years no lawyer, six months or sooner with one. You pay them from back benefits, you lose nothing. I'm not pro lawyer for most things but this time its well worth it...

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 15:26 Permalink
Rhonda Ballhorn (not verified)

In reply to by Frank (not verified)

I'm 53 yr old woman and

I'm 53 yr old woman and I started this whole ssdi process with a Lawyer from the get go. It will be a year in December I've been denied twice and now am awaiting a court date which they say can take up to 18 months to get. I worked at our local Dq for 20 years and at a BBQ Restaurant for 2 and 1/2 years all the while getting worse and worse. I see a counselor for Major Depression and anxiety and she wrote a letter saying she doesn't see me being able to work in the near future if ever, in detail. Also my doctor agrees and filled out papers saying so. I have the hat arthritis in my thumbs since I was 32 I have pain and has deformed them. Also Carpol tunnel in both arms. Neuropathy in my legs that affects my feet too, pain, numbness, balance problems, swelling. If I sit to long or stand to long I swell up and it can take days for it to go down. I have degenerated disc disease in my neck and lower back along with arthritis in both also. My neck has lost its natural curve. Pain all the time in both especially if I stand or sit to long. Had pt for it until my money ran out, it helped a little. I also have a tight muscle thing going on, I forget what it's called, my muscles are flexed all the time so hard to relax them. It gets painful. I've been texted positive for Lupus but don't have the disease yet. Now it's been 6 months and my doctors are working together to find out if I have a rare cancer called Larg T Cell lymphoma. I have had a biopsy and I'm going in today to talk about the results. Also I've had a rash on my body for 6 months and a biopsy on it and it's called Liken plantis an autoimmune disease. It's I'm my mouth also. And more but I think you get the idea. Marriage is falling apart partly due to money problems. So I feel your pain.

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:45 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

Hi I applied 2010 in hospital

Hi I applied 2010 in hospital 3months had hole in bowel went septic have pigskin in stomach hysterectomy mesh fibro osteoarthritis hands curl can't balance memory on tons meds they gave me ssi without even Appling then they took it away 2010 I just got it so it's a long wait change lawyer had one didn't do anything so got new one and boom got it 1st time

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 11:20 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
that's great! It's a long process for many people, but it' a good thing you were able to get it so quickly.

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:31 Permalink
Steve (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

Get yourself a disability

Get yourself a disability lawyer. They usually cap their profit (my wife's was 6K from her back pay). He was fantastic. 30 minute review / hearing and it was over. If you haven't done it yet, do it NOW. God bless and good luck!

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 16:24 Permalink
Dean (not verified)

In reply to by Steve (not verified)

How far back in back pay is

How far back in back pay is allowed? I waited 3 years bc docs said to, now I’m not paid into the system enough but really I became disabled many years prior but due to a recent FDA change of the classification of the treatments I received , I didn’t know that’s what the issue was....I have an attorney and I don’t know if itS worth going eons back if you can prove it if they won’t pay?

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 09:36 Permalink

In reply to by Dean (not verified)

Hi Dean,

Hi Dean,

The SSA will decide when they believe your date of onset is (when they believe you can experiencing your disability). You'll then receive back pay for the time you should have been receiving benefits. Because of this, the amount of time back pay may cover varies for each case.

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 15:48 Permalink
Richard (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

I have major physical and

I have major physical and mental problems shot down twice 3rd time I got it its harder under the age of 53 its dumb Medicare sucks

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 07:22 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

Get a Social Security Lawyer

Get a Social Security Lawyer I did took me two months to get approved and one that doesn't charge you unless they win

Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:51 Permalink
Lori Eaglen (not verified)

In reply to by Sharon Keelung (not verified)

Get an attorney that

Get an attorney that specializes in getting you Social security. A lot of times, like in my case they don’t charge you, unless they win it for you & then they just take a percentage of all of the back pay that you will get during the entire time that you have been sick ( disabled, unable to work ). I hope that this will help you. Lori Eaglen

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 13:50 Permalink

In reply to by Lori Eaglen (not verified)

Hi Lori,

Hi Lori,

Great tip! You're right. Most attorneys are only paid if you win your case, and their fee is from your back pay.

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 13:58 Permalink
Diana mcqueen (not verified)

I just need to know how to

I just need to know how to get extra finances to help me get in a place to rent before winter

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 15:57 Permalink

In reply to by Diana mcqueen (not verified)

Hi Diana,

Hi Diana,
If you are unable to work due to a medical or psychological condition, you may be able to receive disability benefits based on that fact.

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 12:09 Permalink
Ann (not verified)

In reply to by Diana mcqueen (not verified)

This is the worst part of

This is the worst part of not being able to work and not being able to collect unemployment. You feel completely out of control and they wonder why depression and suicide are such a giant problem in our society. There needs to be a transitional housing program for people waiting for SSDI to be approved. I am thinking of starting a non profit to address this giant problem, especially for single mothers who have nowhere to go. I hope you are able to stay with family during this difficult time and that you can get some mental health support to keep you strong. Things will get better, trust me. They did for me and I was sleeping in my car. It doesn't hurt to pray during this time, as I did and I can tell you that He presented himself to me directly when I cried out for His help. Just sayin'!! All the best to you!

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 16:21 Permalink
Kristy Jones (not verified)

In reply to by Ann (not verified)

There really needs to be a

There really needs to be a safety net for us waiting for approval.. its hard to believe a program has not this implemented for this problem I'm a single mother waiting now for over a year and a half I don't know what is going to happened to us and I am scared

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 01:13 Permalink
Cayenne Richards (not verified)

In reply to by Ann (not verified)

Hi Ann, I just happen to be a

Hi Ann, I just happen to be a single mother of two young girls looking into applying FINALLY for SSDI benefits. My welfare exhausted a long time ago. I am from PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety and remember getting angry when my social worker at DSHS suggested I look into applying years ago. Its been a personal struggle for me to accept that I have these conditions and they are "that bad". But the fact is simple. I have had a pattern for a long time of starting and stopping. What I mean is this, every other year I become completely "stuck" and don't work, don't want to take care of any of lifes responsibilities. I don't want to leave the house and it becomes very difficult to be happy. If I did not have the luck of winning the housing lottery 10 years ago, I'm sure I would have been on the streets a long time ago. Ive managed to stay afloat until recently and because I called the city on my "slumlord", she retaliated with threats of eviction and I am afraid of what would happen if I lost my voucher. Where would we go? With the impairment I have, it would only get worse with lifes stressors. I become unable to find the motivation necessary to cook, clean and worst of all, concentrate and remember important dates, times and information. I become irritable too which is hell for my children.

I've thought for a long time that there are places the system is failing us. For example, how easy it is for a woman with children to find housing in comparison to men?? How many places do we have out there to help the entire family unit, not just SINGLE women and children? Why isn't our system working harder to unit families instead of separate them? Or maybe our need for places women can go for treatment and mental health groups when she finds herself suffering from drug addiction but is too afraid to come forward and ask for help because of her realistic fear of CPS being called on her? I wish that Seattle Housing Authority had more advocates that interacted with the clients, most of whom have mental or physical handicaps. If your landlord is in breach of contract and my housing authority stops payment to the slumlord because of "breach of contract", why then is it that they direct me to continue paying my rent if the slumlord is in breach of contract with ME ALSO? Where are the people from the housing authority to reach out to me and help me? Facing homelessness is always a possibility for me, and not working has made finding a new place and cleaning up this old one very, very difficult.

I hope that at the end of the day, I can join up with you to start that nonprofit, Ann. My experiences will not be in vain!

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 12:09 Permalink

In reply to by Cayenne Richards (not verified)

Hi Cayenne,

Hi Cayenne,
Thanks for sharing your story! It's true that even if you don't think your disability is "that bad" that it may be a good idea to apply for disability if you're unable to work because of your condition.

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 09:23 Permalink
rosetebo (not verified)

In reply to by Cayenne Richards (not verified)

Where I live,the only way to

Where I live,the only way to get rental assistance is to have children.For those of us without small kids,there isn't any help available. I was thrilled to find out I'd been approved for my ssdi,but wouldn't receive payments until DEC 2016..I'll be homeless by then,and as I'm dependent on oxygen to live,its a death sentence.but the point I'm making is there are many programs available for those with children,contact your social service office for assistance.

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 14:01 Permalink
kira (not verified)

In reply to by Ann (not verified)

Transitional assistance is

Transitional assistance is definitely needed. Do you know how to start a non-profit?

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:25 Permalink
Pjpal (not verified)

In reply to by Ann (not verified)

Amen! To the brother that

Amen! To the brother that took it to the Lord by praying. If you really believe in Him he WILL hear your prayers. God bless you and keep telling people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Prayers for all who are seeking SSDI and really need it. I have severe osteo arthritis to the point of deformity in my ankle and someone told me to apply for SSDI and I called a lawyer first and they took care of everything. I got a check 4 months later and I was 53 years old. Please get an attorney. If they take your case you will get your SSDI. They wouldn't take on a case unless they knew they'd win. You don't pay,it comes out of your back pay. God bless.

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 22:11 Permalink

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