Anyone who becomes suddenly disabled knows how hard it is to adjust to new restrictions and needs. The first thing a person with a new disability should do is file a Social Security Disability (SSD) claim. Yet it can take months or even years before an applicant sees a penny from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unfortunately, many cannot afford to let bills pile up until they’re approved for benefits.
While there are varying degrees of disability, any physical or mental impairment can end up being expensive. From high medical bills to needed assistance around the house, many newly disabled individuals have trouble adjusting to the financial burdens of having a physical or mental impairment.
3 Tips From A Disabled American On Living With A New Disability
Brad Crelia, a disabled American who receives Social Security disability benefits, told The New York Times it was difficult for him, and others like him, to make ends meet. The New York Times called being disabled a “poverty trap,” but people with a new disability don’t necessarily have to fall into bad situations. By applying for Social Security disability benefits right away with the help of an experienced Social Security attorney and adopting a few practical tips, disabled Americans can stay on their feet until they are found eligible for Social Security disability payments.
1. Create A Stress-Free Budget
Perhaps the most practical thing to do is to develop a spending limit and stick with it. According to the SSA, Americans with a new disability need to track their expenses every month and draft a budget. How much money do you spend on medical bills? Housing? The SSA suggests following budget tips from the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, you can utilize free budget templates available online to start developing a new budget. Also, take time to review and cut unnecessary expenses. For example: Work with your doctor to create a payment plan instead of paying your medical bills at once. Smartphone apps and free bill tracking technology may also be a good way to go.
2. Take Advantage of Federal Assistance Designed for People With a New Disability
Family, friends and neighbors may be willing to help you out, of course. And while they may not understand everything about your new disability, letting them deliver food or help around the house can ease stress. Even better: These offers will also help you better manage your money.
3. Develop A Running List Of Needs
Author and retired clinical psychologist Katherine Schneider developed six rules for living with a new disability for the SSA’s blog. One new disability tip: Be aware of what you need so you can get everything at once on store trips. This reduces your need to return for missed items. This is especially important if you receive rides or need to pay for transportation. Making separate runs to the store because you forgot “just one thing” can get expensive fast when you cannot drive. It can also cut down on the number of receipts you must track, helping you stick to your budget.