The financial ramifications of a denied disability claim can be overwhelming. Without a way to generate an income, disability applicants who do not plan properly may face a serious financial crisis before the appeal process can be completed. If you plan on applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important that you plan ahead to prevent undue financial stress should you need to wait months or years while pursuing your claim through the SSA's Social Security Disability appeal process.
Cut Back Expenses
The first thing you should do when planning financially for your Social Security Disability claim is to cut expenses wherever you can. Go through all of your bills and see which ones can be reduced. Do you have cable? Perhaps you can unsubscribe from the premium channels to reduce your monthly cable bill. Do you use a cell phone? You may want to disconnect your landline to limit your communications expenses. Look at each and every monthly bill and see where you can cut corners. Then make the necessary changes to limit the amount of money you have going out of your account each month.
Establish a Savings Account
Emergencies come up. This is a fact of life. You are going to need funds to cover those emergencies if you hope to get through life with as little stress as possible while still trying to qualify for SSDI. If you do not yet have a savings account, set one up. If you have no way to fund it, hold a garage sale or sell some things on eBay. Then put the money that you earn into a savings account and only touch that account if it becomes absolutely necessary to do so.
Apply for Assistance
You may qualify for state-funded assistance while you are waiting for your Social Security Disability application to be approved. Depending on your household income, you may be entitled to food stamps, medical benefits and other state-funded economic assistance. The help you receive from local and state agencies can significantly reduce the financial stress caused by the Social Security Disability appeal process.
Learn to be frugal and change the way you shop. Do you need new clothes? Check the local thrift stores. Heading to the grocery store? Make sure you clip coupons for the items you need and bring them with you. When you do go grocery shopping, only buy what's on sale and stock up on great deals whenever you can. If you stock up on the items you use when they are on sale and you combine sales prices with coupons, you can drastically cut your annual grocery expenses.
Don't Take On Unnecessary Debt
Remember, now is not the time to take on unnecessary debt. This is not the time to run up credit card bills or buy a new car. You need to keep your monthly expenses to an absolute minimum. Only spend what you absolutely have to and do not rack up debt with the assumption that you can pay it off with future disability payments or with back pay from the Social Security Administration. As the saying goes, never count your chickens before they hatch.
It is never easy to adjust to lifestyle changes – especially when those changes mean sacrificing and giving up luxuries you may be used to. It is important to understand, however, that the Social Security Disability claim process is anything but quick and hassle-free. You must prepare financially in order to avoid a financial crisis while you wait for your disability benefits to kick in. Keep the above tips in mind to prevent financial devastation before your disability benefits can begin.