Working does more than just provide income, it can also be a source of enjoyment, pride and meaning. When something happens that permanently affects your ability to work, you are likely to face a range of difficult emotions.
Applying for Social Security benefits can help with the financial aspects of no longer being employed. However, the approval process is notorious for taking months or even over a year to be complete. Waiting for that period of time can be stressful and challenging. You can do a few things in the meantime to improve your situation.
Seek other means of financial support
Your financial situation is a first priority. If things are getting dire, then apply for other sources of assistance, such as SNAP or TANF. You can also take out loans or borrow money from loved ones. Part-time work may be an option, but the government regulations concerning what you do and how much you can make are strict. It may be best to seek professional advice before taking a position.
Update changes to your health
Because approval for Social Security disability benefits can take a very long time, your health is likely to change for the better or worse during that time. Continue seeing your medical provider, and submit to the SSA evidence of any changes to your health.
Fill time with meaningful pursuits
Staying at home thinking about the outcome of your case will only make you anxious and stressed. Use this free time you now have to do the things you were too busy to do before (provided your disability allows you to). Ideas include:
- Catching up on your reading
- Exploring your family history
- Going to free community events
- Learning a new hobby
These activities will not only make the time pass by pleasantly, but will also improve your mental health by giving you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.