Depending on the programs available in your state, there may be a way for you to get cash assistance while waiting for disability benefits to start. While waiting for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make a decision regarding your eligibility for disability benefits, you may be able to get financial assistance through the Interim Disability Assistance program.
How the Interim Disability Assistance Program Works
The SSA says that Georgia participates in the Interim Disability Assistance program. However, the SSA notes that South Carolina does not participate in the Interim Disability Assistance program.
If your state hosts this program, you must meet your state’s financial qualification criteria. It is important to note that the Interim Disability Assistance program is, in essence, a loan to help you meet your basic needs. If you are approved for this program, your state will provide you with cash payments to meet your needs until you receive disability benefits. At that point, your state will require repayment.
Your state may have other programs that offer various forms of financial assistance, including food programs and other forms of temporary aid. A Social Security Disability lawyer may be able to help you find out more information about the benefits these programs provide.
Two Types of Disability Programs
The SSA offers two programs that are designed to provide financial assistance to people who are unable to work due to a disability.
These programs are:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This is a work credit-based system that takes into account your employment history and yearly wages. Most people need 40 work credits to qualify for this program, however, depending on your age, you may not need that many.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program does not take into account your employment history, but instead, your financial assets and resources. To qualify, you must have less than $2,000 in countable assets if you are unmarried and less than $3,000 if you are married, according to the SSA.
You may be eligible for both of these programs. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you with the process of applying for benefits through the SSA and explain what benefits you may be able to collect. A lawyer can review your application for completion and accuracy, explain the claims process, and provide more information regarding if you can get cash assistance while waiting for disability.
Understanding the Disability Approval and Payment Timeline
When you complete and submit an application for disability benefits, officials will examine the documents and evidence you submit. In general, it can take between three and five months for a decision to be reached regarding your application, per the SSA.
It may take even longer to receive a decision regarding your application, especially if the SSA needs additional pieces of information from you.
According to the SSA, you may be asked to submit information regarding:
- Your birth certificate
- Your U.S. citizenship records, if you were born outside of the country
- U.S. military discharge papers, if you served before 1968
- W-2 forms or other self-employment tax returns
- Medical evidence regarding your condition, medications, prognosis, and recent test results
- Any information regarding a recent workers’ compensation claim
You should comply with any requests from the SSA for more pieces of information regarding your application. You can also review any evidence you submit with your application with a Social Security Disability lawyer. They can determine what information can supplement your claim and explain your options.
You Must Have a Qualifying Impairment to Get Benefits
To be approved for disability benefits, you must have a qualifying impairment that is recognized by the SSA. Even if your specific condition is not explicitly mentioned in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments, you still may qualify for benefits. You will need to provide various pieces of information with your application that asserts the severity of your condition and your inability to maintain substantial gainful employment.
The categories covered by the SSA’s Listing of Impairments are as follows:
- Musculoskeletal system
- Special senses and speech
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
- Neurological disorders
- Mental disorders
- Cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases)
- Immune system disorders
A Social Security Disability lawyer’s goal is to help you get the benefits for which you are entitled.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today
The time you spend waiting to be approved for (or start receiving) disability benefits can seem endless. If your disability prevents you from providing for yourself, you may qualify for certain benefits provided by the SSA.
Depending on the state you live in, you can get cash assistance while waiting for disability. Contact the case review team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to explore your legal options.