If you have a child who becomes disabled before he turns 22, the child can eventually get benefits off of your Social Security earnings. If a parent dies, becomes disabled, or starts receiving retirement, the disabled child can receive benefits on his parent’s earnings if you prove he is disabled before he turned 22.
One of the number one questions I get as a Social Security attorney is "How do I survive while waiting?" Social Security doesn't pay you while you wait for your case to be approved. It can take up to two years or more to be approved for benefits. What can you do in the meantime?
The first thing is to check if your employer offers short or long term disability benefits. Those benefits will pay you while you wait for Social Security to come through. They often require you to apply for Social Security as part of your policy. If you can keep receiving a paycheck while you are out on disability then your life will be much easier.
You can get help through the State of Arizona and the county if you know where to look. You can apply for food stamps through SNAP. Their phone number is 1-800-352-8401. Arizona also offers cash assistance to parents with dependent children. Other emergency assistance can be found here. Housing help is available for both renters and homeowners. You can get AHCCCCS insurance through the state or through the Obamacare website. If you have trouble with the website call 1- 800-318-2596.
If you are already receiving disability or are older and need long term care or in-home care, you should look at the Arizona Long Term Care Services also known as ALTCS. Behavioral health treatment can be found in Maricopa county through Crisis Network (602-222-9444) and in Pima county through CODAC (520-327-4505). The rest of Arizona has its own behavioral health systems that can be found here. Free clinics are also available throughout the state. As always, if you are in need of help immediately, call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to their website here.
Don't forget to tell your utility companies and your mortgage company that you are not working and are applying for disability. Most utility companies will give you a reduced rate and the mortgage company may allow you to miss a few months on your payments. Why not give it a try? The worst thing that happens is you still have to pay your bills and they may be a little nicer if you miss a month. You can find information here.
Prescriptions can get very expensive. Ask your doctor if he has samples or can prescribe a cheaper alternative. Also check different pharmacies to see if they offer your medicine cheaper. But the best option is Needy Meds. Pharmaceutical companies offer cheap or free medications to the poor and/or disabled.
The Veteran's Administration provides care and support for veterans. United Way, St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill, and even your local places of worship can be great resources for disabled people. A list of Arizona food banks can be found here.
The best resource I have for you is Arizona Self Help. It's a website where you put in all of your information and it will tell you all of the benefits that you might be able to qualify for with phone numbers and websites. We update our list of resources constantly. Be sure to check our page of Resources For the Disabled and follow us on Twitter @FosterLawAZ for updates.
Make sure you tell the people in your life what's happening. You might be surprised the little ways you'll receive help. No one has to know your business if that's not what you want. But no one can help you if they don't know what's going on.
It's very difficult waiting for Social Security benefits to come through and it's a frustrating process. Know going in that it's going to take a long time. Plan for the long haul. Hopefully you won't need the resources listed here but it's always good to know what's available. Please contact The Foster Law Firm with questions at (844)303-0735.
The Foster Law Firm
2345 S. Alma School Road