According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), it can take up to five months to make a decision on a disability claim. During that time period, you could be left without a source of income. If you are in need of financial assistance, it is important to understand the resources available and how it can possibly impact your claim. 

Can You Get State or Federal Assistance?

While waiting for your disability claim to be reviewed, you can apply for financial assistance from the state or federal government. Federal monetary programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, are administered at the state level by the Department of Social Services. 

In some states, you can apply for temporary disability benefits. The requirements to receive assistance can vary based by state, but being able to prove that you are unable to work is usually a requirement. 

Can You Work Part-Time?

Although you always have the option of taking a job, it could impact whether or not you are eligible to receive benefits. If you have not yet applied for disability benefits, your claim could be denied. 

SSA determines your eligibility based on whether or not you can still perform the duties you previously did before applying. The agency looks at each task you are expected to complete for your job and compares it with the responsibilities for a position like the one you are holding. 

If the agency determines that you are capable of performing a fair amount of the responsibilities, your claim could be denied. 

However, if you are no longer working the part-time position when you applied for benefits, it is possible you can retain your right to receive benefits. If the SSA determines that you were unable to handle the job's duties and you are unable to work full-time, you could be considered eligible to receive benefits. 

Can You Speed Up the Process?

Since you can be without a source of income for up to five months, finding a way to speed up the approval process is most likely a top priority. Depending on several factors, it might be possible to shorten the approval process. 

For instance, the SSA maintains a list of diseases that are typically approved for benefits. The list includes diseases, such as esophageal cancer and kidney cancer. If your condition is on the list, you can request approval through the Compassionate Allowances List Program. 

To determine whether or not there are other financial situations that could impact your claim or if there is a way to speed up the review of your claim, consult with a Social Security disability attorney at Crowley Ahlers & Roth Co LPA or a similar firm.