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How am I supposed to pay my bills when I am applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?

How am I supposed to pay my bills when I am applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?

At Sharon Christie Law, a Baltimore Social Security Disability Law Firm, we are often asked the question, How am I supposed to pay my bills when I am applying for Social Security Disability Benefits? In this video, Sharon Christie examines this question and provides you with the answer.

Official Transcript: How am I supposed to pay my bills when I am applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Hi I’m Sharon Christie your nurse attorney for Social Security disability benefits. As you know if you’ve been listening to my videos getting Social Security disability is a long process. It can take two to three years. In many cases a question I hear very frequently is this how am I supposed to pay my bills as I go through this process. 

Now by the time we talk to most clients they’ve stopped working full time and have very limited sources of income. If they’re lucky they may have a working spouse and that’s helpful but still you have bills to pay. Otherwise, if you’re single you may not have a source of income and how are you supposed to pay your bills it is a very difficult question. There’s a couple of things that you need to think about even though you never thought you’d be in this position and have to think about it, but through the Department of Social Services if you can qualify there are programs that would pay a limited amount of money.

Right now, it’s a little under two hundred dollars a month for temporary cash assistance while you’re waiting for your disability claim to be processed. If the claim is approved than you will have to pay that money back but that’s one potential source of income. Of course, there’s always food stamps and I know you don’t want to think about that you’ve worked on your life you’ve always paid your own bills and you don’t want to think about having to ask for that kind of help but it’s something that you may have to think about in this process because you do need help. But it’s a long process and you have to look at all the possibilities. I’ve had some clients that have told me you know I went to a food bank. I needed food I didn’t have the money I had to pay rent so I went to a food bank. These are things that you’re going to have to consider. 

I’m frequently asked if I can manage to work part-time can I do that will that hurt my case? Now that makes cases more complicated but there are many people for whom this is a necessity. So, let’s look at what effect that would have on a disability case. Now remember Social Security has a very specific definition of disabled. Social Security says it means that your health problems are limiting you so severely you’re not capable of what’s called substantial gainful activity. That means you’re not able to work at any type of job at all earning a certain amount of money. Now right now that amount is one thousand two hundred and twenty dollars a month or more before taxes. So, if you’re working part-time and you’re earning that much or more before taxes Social Security will find you’re not disabled just based on the amount of money that you’re making. If you are able to work a few hours a week to help support yourself then that’s something that you can do. It will have to be explained ultimately to a judge as to why you’re doing that. Why you’re able to work ten or maybe 15 hours a week but you’re not physically or mentally able to work more and that can be dealt with at the hearing. But as long as you’re under the amount that Social Security considers substantial gainful activity part-time work is a possibility. 

So, those are some ideas for you as to how you can support yourself as you go through this process. Of course, you can always ask friends and family. I know you don’t want to be knocking on that door too often you can also ask friends and family for help along the way. But hang in there as you go through the process don’t give up do what you need to do to support yourself as best you can as you work through the whole disability process.   

The Path to Social Security Disability Benefits with Sharon Christie Law

Step 1: Understanding Social Security’s Definition of Disabled

The definition of disabled, according to Social Security, is that you have severe limitations from your health problems that keep you from doing any kind of work for at least 12 consecutive months. This is the first thing we look at when evaluating your case. Your diagnosis is just the starting point. To get disability benefits for you, we must prove that your disabling condition causes severe limitations in your day to day activities.

Step 2: Medical Records in Your Disability Case

You must have medical evidence to prove your disability case. The most important evidence is your medical records that show your diagnosis, your symptoms, and your response to treatment.

Step 3: Don’t go it alone: How Sharon Christie Law Can Help You

At Sharon Christie Law, a Social Security Disability Law Firm, we recognize that no one ever plans to get so sick that they have to stop working. When you need to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits we recognize that you will be anxious about the process and whether you can qualify for disability benefits. Our goal at Sharon Christie Law is to help you win your case and give you the financial stability you need! Why work with us?

We do it all for you: At Sharon Christie Law we handle all aspects of the case for you, from preparing and filing your application through the hearing with a judge. We are with you every step of the way.  When working with us, you focus on feeling better, and we focus on winning your case.

We return your phone calls: We understand that you have many questions regarding Social Security Disability Benefits. We never want you to wonder what is happening with your case. We are here to answer your questions. All phone calls and emails are returned within 24 hours. That is our promise to you.

We believe in client education: The Social Security Disability process is confusing. We think it is important that you understand each step in the process. So, we created a section on our website that is accessible only to clients. This client’s only section tells you everything you need to know about the disability process.