Compassionate allowance speeds SSDI, but beware of the ‘donut hole’
Donut holes are tasty treats. Try to swallow one whole, though, and it could kill you. There’s a sort of donut hole when it comes to Social Security Disability and if you feel you need the financial foundation it can provide, you need to be aware of system holes in the course of obtaining the benefits to which you are eligible.
It can sometimes take months, even years, to be approved for benefits. As we noted in a post in February, individuals with particularly serious conditions can seek expedited consideration of their claim, and if their condition is on the list of those eligible for a compassionate allowance, they should enjoy swift approval. However, that does not necessarily mean the benefits begin to flow as quickly.
Tips to bridge the gap
By law, the Social Security Administration is required to delay your benefits for five months. Payments are made to cover the sixth full month after you are approved. If you happen to suffer from a disabling terminal illness, you might live so long. Sadly, as the SSA itself acknowledges, many entitled to SSDI in such circumstances die before the window closes.
Obviously, when trying to bridge the gap between approval and benefits, it’s necessary to draw on any financial resources that might exist. It might start by scaling back on expenses anywhere you can. Savings might need to be drawn on, but if you’re like most Americans it won’t be enough. If an SSDI claimant purchased private disability insurance or has benefited through their employer, it might be time to tap into that.
Some experts point to Supplemental Security Income as being a resource. It can be used to pay for food, clothing, and shelter. However, to qualify, individuals have to be close to destitute. Alternatively, there may be some help available through food subsidy programs and Medicaid.
Ultimately, what this reinforces is that individuals who are in dire need of help need to know what their options are and how to best go about protecting their rights. Speaking with an experienced attorney is the way to do that.