Q: Just last week, I had to quit my job because of my worsening emphysema. I have this month's rent payment lined up, but I'm counting on my Social Security disability payments to pick up the slack after that. Is this reasonable to expect?
You're not going to want to hear this, but no, it's not. Unless you happen to be married to a high-level functionary at the Social Security Administration, it will take at least a few months for your disability application to be approved. But wait, the news gets even worse: even if you have rock-solid medical evidence attesting to your emphysema, and to your inability to hold any kind of job, your application may still wind up on the “reject” pile, at which point you'll have to file an appeal and wait a few more months for a resolution. More rejections, more appeals, more requests for information, and interviews with government bureaucrats, and it may well be a year or two before you begin collecting benefits.
Does this mean you acted too hastily in leaving your job? Not at all. The fact is that it's difficult enough to collect Social Security disability benefits if you have permanently retired from the work force; it's nearly impossible if you apply for benefits while you still have a job, since a Social Security bureaucrat will assume that you can still work in some capacity, despite your illness.
What you need to do, right now, is hire an experienced lawyer who can give your initial application for Social Security benefits the best possible shot at being accepted and scrounge up any money you can to pay your rent and other expenses over the next few months. It's not an ideal solution, but it's the way the system works. Want to learn more? Contact the northern California Social Security disability experts at the Ledgerwood Law Group (888-761-7383) for a free consultation today!