Weighing the costs and benefits of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)? You aren’t the only one. Disability benefits are important to millions of Americans who are unable to work due to physical or mental limitations. Whether these limitations were from birth, or an injury later in life caused a physical condition that makes it difficult for the individual to do regular work, disability benefits are often the lifeline for these people. That’s why it’s important to understand how the disability benefits program works and how you can get off your feet if you are forced into a situation where you are not able to work.

Financial Help

Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is painstakingly slow in validating requests for Disability benefits. It takes about an estimated year and a half for a Social Security Disability claim to be processed as it undergoes a rigorous months-long submission and appeals inspection before it is admitted for approval. Even so, not all applications will receive the SSA’s initial verification. Approximately 30-35 percent of the submitted petitions are either denied or returned to applicants for resubmission. So what are the available public support systems you could refer to in the interim of the authorization of your SSDI and benefits? Here are 5 underestimated resource suggestions that may have skipped your contemplation while you were drafting out your list of pro’s and con’s.

What are the best free resources you can utilize as you wait for the upcoming decision of your application?

#1. Family is Where the Heart Is

There’s no shame in approaching your immediate family members for favors of any sort, particularly if you are met with financial difficulty. In fact, don’t hesitate in consulting your family members for supplemental support and guidance while applying for SSDI benefits.

#2. Check In with Local Social Services Department

When in need, your local social services department is perhaps the best external resource you could start with to access referrals relating to financial, medical or other miscellaneous aids. Likewise, your local social services department would be able to provide an assortment of alternatives that you could consider when exploring government, private or non-profit assistance programs. In addition, there are several counties that authorize SSDI applicants to register for and exercise Medicaid benefits over the course of the evaluation period.

#3. You Can Count on Me: The Strength of Friendships

It might be presumptuous to state this but true friends will rarely abandon you in times of great difficulty, particularly when they are informed of the tedious process that determines whether you are qualified for disability benefits.

#4. Local Religious Institutions

If you require immediate financial help, you should pop by surrounding religious institutions within your immediate vicinity. Not only are these venues quick to offer temporary subsidized reliefs, they also do not discriminate against age, differing religious beliefs or physical and mental capacities. For instance, philanthropic organizations such as the Salvation Army are reliable welfare sites that supply daily necessities. However, it should be noted that due to the fact that these are faith-based, non-profit establishments are dependent on limited charitable contributions that are often unable to fulfill the overwhelming demand for rations. As such, there is little guarantee that they are able to sustain consistent support to welfare seekers.

#5. Counter Starvation with Food Banks and Food Assistance programs

Are you skimping on your meals due to food budgetary concerns? Fortunately, there are plenty of nonprofit and philanthropic associations that help ease the anxieties of those facing hunger problems. Local food banks specialize in resolving urgent cases, catering to individuals and families whose disability petitions are most likely to be approved, supplying them with a short-term provision of free meals and other available nourishments stocked in their pantries. Individuals can also apply for and take advantage of food stamps whenever possible.

Before making any hasty decisions, conduct an in-depth research on what are the requirements that most likely meet the criteria for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Engage in discussions with your family on whether applying for SSDI is the most appropriate course of action. Lastly, if you are still on the fence about applying for Social Security Disability insurance, or uncertain of whether certain financial programs could possibly jeopardize your chances at attaining your Disability benefits, it is most advisable to seek the opinion of a professional. Social Security Disability attorneys, in particular, will be able to provide a sense of reassurance as you transition through the overall application process.

You deserve to have the benefits that can be awarded to you if you are unable to work and take care of yourself or your family. Knowing how the disability benefits program works will empower you to make the best decision for your financial future. The program is available to help so do not get discouraged by the lengthy process.