10739684_mlPeople in Illinois who have become disabled through an accident, illness or genetic condition may be able to seek benefits from the Social Security Administration, but they should also understand those benefits may not be granted to them immediately.

According to a recent report from WIVB, people applying for Social Security Disability benefits may not receive an approval for several months or even more than a year. This is especially true for people whose applications are denied and they must file an appeal. In the meantime, people waiting for benefits have few if any sources of economic support and sometimes must even sell off possessions or negotiate with their lending institutions in order to keep their home.

Assistance from state and local programs

For people whose disability is related to an occupation they held, they may be able to apply for workers’ compensation, which can cover medical care and part of a person’s lost wages. While the program doesn’t replace a person’s income fully, it can provide a protective buffer while the person establishes their SSD eligibility.

Local cities and counties may also have programs in place designed to help residents who are struggling to make ends meet. Food stamp programs enable disabled people to provide food for themselves and their dependents, and can provide much needed relief since groceries are often a large portion of a person’s budget.

Create a budget

A budget can be an effective tool in managing finances during the wait for SSD approval.  A good budget consists of the following:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Cell phone expense
  • Food expense
  • Power bill
  • Water bill
  • Student loan

Essentially, any regular monthly expense should be placed on the budget sheet along with the amount that the person pays. This can provide a clear understanding of how much the person will need to have each month to meet their financial obligations. Creating a budget can also help people see where they can cut back. For example, a person could decide to cancel their cable bill or shut off a house phone and just rely on their mobile phone, thereby eliminating the extra expense.

Reducing property

It can be a challenge for people who become disabled to understand that they will no longer have the income to support their current lifestyle. For people who have a large home or drive luxury vehicles, it may be necessary for them to trade in the expensive family car for a more economical choice that will decrease their monthly payment or sell the home and rent something smaller.

By preparing ahead of time and through careful budgeting, it is possible for people to financially survive during the SSD application process.

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