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Surviving the tough financial times of a disability

It’s never easy to be kept out of work by a disability, especially if your family depends on you for income. However, with some planning and a little bit of help, all is not lost.

Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News and World Report wrote about Debra and Dennis Muth, a couple who dealt with the fallout after a disability forced Dennis to stop working. His pay went from about $1,000 per week to $1,200 per month; Debra had to take a second job and the couple had to cut down on their spending. She called it “a huge challenge.”

For those who are really suffering, it may be a good idea to apply for social security disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. With the assistance of a good attorney, the application and decision process can be made easier. While this may not be much, in Dennis’ case it meant $1,200 per month that he would not otherwise have.

The Council for Disability Awareness said 1-in-4 20 year olds will suffer a disability at some point of their lives, so planning with an emergency fund may be the best way to weather the storm. Set aside a “rainy day” emergency fund that could come in very handy if you’re out of work for an extended period of time. Get disability insurance. Don’t let yourself get down, out and unhealthily out of shape.

Those applying for disability benefits should be aware it can take a year or longer, depending on the local SSA office’s efficiency and backlog, to obtain a favorable decision in a disability case. The SSA is taking longer to decide cases and and more cases are being decided unfavorably. This should not discourage people from pursuing their claims, as the income and medical  benefits can be vital for those who cannot work.