“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
I have met quite a few people lately who (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. 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.
⏰ 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.
⏰ 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 handicapped parking placards, they don’t care if you are on disability. You need a form signed by your doctor.
⏰ 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 in states that expanded Medicaid, these states do not care if you are disabled and only look at your finances. Even if you have other insurance, you may be able to qualify.
⏰ For Medicaid in states that did not expand Medicaid, many states have special Medicaid programs for people with disabilities. You do not need to be on disability. The state will collect your medical records and make their own decision.
⏰ 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, check out: 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.
⏰ 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
⏰ 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.