Having your claim denied after having documented all instances of your disability, and especially after having submitted form after form to the appropriate sources through your disability attorney, can be as disheartening as it can be frustrating, but there are things you can do to soften such disappointment by preparing for it well before it happens.
One of them is to have a back-up plan.
However confident you are about your claim, there you are outside your Texas home getting the mail. Bills, ads, a postcard from your sister at Yellowstone and there is a Houston Disability claim denial to greet you. But you’re prepared, while you continue to appeal.
Having a back-up plan is almost as important, if not more important, than filing a disability claim to begin with. This is because two thirds of those who submit long-term injury or disability claims will be denied. This unfortunate reality has led many people with disabilities to pursue alternative means of generating an income, often times after waiting months for a claim to go through, only to be denied at the last minute. You can take steps to make sure that you remain in good financial standing in case your claim is denied by following a few simple steps.
Just as with any job search, first and foremost, figure out what you are good at. Many people with disabilities resort to working from home, which is desirable for many people these days, anyway. One of the avenues that you could pursue is freelance contracting. This could include anything from writing to data entry and from graphic design or internet research to personal requests for random research tasks.
Either way, most freelance contracting online platforms require you to fill out a W-9, but won’t send you a W-4 until you’ve generated a certain amount of income, usually $600. The other advantage to independent freelance contracting is that while you may end up taking a loss on your taxes at the end of the year, as a sole proprietor, you don’t have taxes deducted from your immediate pay, giving you the wiggle room to find sufficient work by tax time, and if you’ve worked in the last year, you might even end up with a return.
Another option is to file with the Department of Transitional Assistance if income isn’t coming – again a circumstance shared by millions of Americans.
With proof of little or no income, the DTA will usually give you a month of food stamps and a stack of paperwork to fill out. This includes a medical release form. One thing they do request is that you file a disability claim with the Social Security Administration. Usually, an appeal will suffice. If you meet the qualifications and return the necessary paperwork before the deadline runs out, you will also receive extended-duration cash benefits, and your food benefits will continue for as long as your cash does, contingent upon the fact that you continue to meet the qualifications for both.
Lastly, your community Housing Authority can set you up with low-income housing. You pay little to nothing for a place to stay. In exchange, the landlord gets a tax break and more money than he would get renting out his property to someone else at full price. Because low-income housing is government funded, it can be very difficult for the landlord to evict you on the basis of your disability. Once you have a home that you can afford, backed up by the United States Federal Government, you can begin to pursue a suitable income online and eventually return to the work force.