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How to survive when waiting for the outcome of an SSDI case

Social security benefits are available to people who have been seriously injured and will most likely be unable to work ever again. While it helps people stay afloat, a recent article in The Washington Post shows how many disability recipients never lose the desire to get back into the workforce. 

However, it can take over a year to hear a decision once you apply. This puts applicants in tricky situations because they cannot work to earn a living, but they still have bills to pay. Fortunately, there are ways you can bring money into the household while you await the SSDI decision. 

Apply for other types of government support

While you wait to hear back from the Social Security office, you can apply for other government programs to receive assistance. Two popular ones are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. You need to be wary of applying for unemployment benefits. The reason for this is that applying for unemployment typically means you need assistance now but plan on re-entering the workforce in the future. Applying for unemployment could compromise your SSDI claim because the reviewer may assume you feel you can work again at some point. 

Work

This may seem counterintuitive, but some applicants find they can still work to support themselves while waiting on a decision. Again, you do not want to compromise the ultimate decision, but if you can find a job you can physically do, then you are most likely in the clear. For example, an injury may prevent you from doing any heavy lifting or standing for hours, but getting a job where you simply sit behind a desk and type all day would not necessarily go against your claim. Additionally, you can only make a certain amount each month. The term for this is “substantial gainful activity.” If you earn more than $1,180 monthly, then your SSDI claim may receive a denial. 

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