Nothing to Live on

Today TaxMama hears from Jon in the TaxQuips forum who says, “I applied for SSDI in Jan. and have been turned down twice. I have requested a hearing which may be another 6 to 9 months. How is one to survive while waiting on the government? My claim is based on Major Depression and back issues. I have had 3 back surgeries. The doctors are the ones that recommended I apply. I do have a lawyer that is helping with the case, but why does it take so long? Are there any other programs that can help with expenses until this is over?”

Dear Jon,

 Pain can certainly be debilitating – and distracting, making it hard to focus on anything. Yet, you are clearly trying to do whatever it takes to be productive.

The two reasons it takes so long are:

1)       There is a great deal of fraud in the system. Those rip-off artists are causing at least half of your delay – and rejections.

2)       The system is short of funds. They are trying to hold on to money as long as possible. They seem to think if they keep rejecting people, it will reduce their payouts. SSDI seems to pay after the second rejection, for some odd reason.  Going back the third time seems to work.

What can you do in the meantime?

First of all, have you applied for state disability?  Perhaps you have and it has run out?

Second, look to social services in your community.  They will give you Food Stamps, without a doubt.  They might even give you assistance payments.  Yes, that’s a euphemism for ‘welfare’.  But when you need it, do not be too proud to use it. You’ve certainly paid for it over the years, with your taxes.

Also contact your religious community.  They will often provide various types of support.  You may qualify for Meals on Wheels – and avoid having to cook or shop.

Another thing I’ve seen, and I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. I have started seeing TV commercials for a service that will pay you in advance for lawsuit settlements. That may only be for personal injury.  But perhaps it will work for disability cases, too?  Be very careful about this. Ask your attorney before you do anything. Google “pay in advance for lawsuit settlements” or  “pre-settlement lawsuit funding”.

The other thing you can do to get by is look into a reverse mortgage. I hate the concept. But when you don’t have credit, you can’t get a home equity loan. Perhaps a reverse mortgage can provide you with money each month to cover your bills –  and make your mortgage payments come to an end.

I hope one or more of these ideas help?

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about surviving, and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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