“I was denied disability and I am appealing, but I was able to qualify for a caregiver by having my doctor fill out a form. I was awarded 45 hours per month and it will make a huge difference in my life.” ~ Azalea
“Today I got approved for food stamps plus medical assistance. I’m so happy. I had no idea I could apply for these things while waiting for my disability decision – I wish I had applied six months ago. I’m getting $195 per month in food stamps.” – Willow
Quite a few people (tragically) think that they cannot get any help until after they are approved for disability. Not true at all! Most programs do not care if you have been approved for disability.
Many programs just require a note or form from your doctor. Please don’t wait to get the help you need.
⏰ For home care and caregivers, in most programs, it does not matter if you are on disability. They will ask your doctor to sign a form. In most states, home care programs are only available to people with a very high level of need for care.
⏰ If you already have a caregiver: If your condition is severe and friend or family member is helping you with personal care (feeding, bathing, dressing, walking, bathroom, etc) you may qualify for funding to pay that person a salary. Learn more.
⏰ For housing, there are many programs you can apply for that provide cheap, clean, safe, housing. Some programs do not care if you are disabled and only look at finances. Other ones (often the nicer ones) are specifically for people who are either elderly or disabled. In many cases, you do not need to be approved for disability and can apply in with a doctor’s letter. Most programs have waiting lists. Start now, and you will be creating more opportunities for your future.
⏰ For student loan disability discharges, being on disability often makes no difference at all. Most people qualify by getting a special form signed by a doctor.
⏰ For disability parking placards, they don’t care if you are on disability. You need a very simple form signed by your doctor.
⏰ For food stamps, you can be excused from any work requirements if your doctor signs a form.
⏰ If your food stamps are very low, or you got turned down for food stamps, it may be because you do not know the food stamps regulations.
⏰ For other disability assistance, Social Security is not the only form of disability you can apply for. There may be other types of disability assistance you are eligible for.
⏰ For Medicaid you can apply for Medicaid right now. You don’t have to wait. If you got turned down or you were told you do not qualify DO NOT LISTEN. There are many different medicaid programs. Check this link and learn the regs yourself. Many many people are told they can’t get medicaid when it is not true. Check out: How to Get Medicaid While Applying for Disability
⏰ You may be eligible for medical equipment (scooters, wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, etc) or home modifications through your insurance or through other programs.
⏰ For TANF you can request a form for your doctor to sign so that you can get out of work requirements. This program provides small amounts of cash assistance to families with children who are very low income.
⏰ You do not need to be on disability for any of these programs that offer Free or Discounted Meds and Lab Tests
⏰ If Medicaid does not work out, there are other programs you can apply for: How to Get to the Doctor When You Can’t Get to the Doctor
⏰ For disability transportation, most programs have a form your doctor can sign.
⏰ For any programs that require disability, make sure to ask them if you can apply by submitting a letter from your doctor or asking your doctor to sign a form.
If you are willing to plan ahead, be creative and reach out for help, here are some ideas for how to survive financially while applying for disability.
Of course, the best way to avoid waiting three years is to get approved early on. There are many wonderful things you can do to improve your application and greatly increase your chances.
You may also wish to check out this long list of more programs and more ideas for financial survival for spoonies: How to Be Poor in America