Becoming disabled and no longer being able to work can be life-changing. Not only do you lose your income, you face the very real possibility of losing everything you've worked hard to obtain throughout your life, including your home, your vehicles, and your savings. Fortunately, you are able to file for social security disability.
However, it may take quite a while to get through the approval process and receive your first disability payment. You're probably wondering what to do in the meantime to meet your financial obligations. After all, your creditors want their money, and your credit could get ruined if you don't pay your bills. Here are a few things that may help get you through this difficult time.
Speak with your creditors
It's important to discuss your situation with each of your creditors. Most appreciate when debtors are honest and try to resolve problems instead of ignoring them. Ask your creditors if they can allow you to make minimum payments or defer all payments until you begin to receive social security disability.
Some creditors may want you to sign a document which, essentially, is a promise to pay in the future. Before you sign any document like this, have your lawyer read it over to make sure it's legal and won't put an undue hardship on you in the long run.
File for bankruptcy
If you are unable to pay your bills and you are at risk of losing your home, having the utilities shut off, or getting your vehicle repossessed, it may be time to file for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy will immediately stop all lawsuits against you for failure to make payments, including a pending foreclosure.
You'll need to carefully consider which type of bankruptcy to file for. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, non-exempt assets are used to repay debt. That means you may lose some assets to the bankruptcy, such as real estate property and additional vehicles.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be expected to make monthly payments to a bankruptcy trustee to pay back your debt. The amount of the monthly payments will depend on your disposable income each month, which could include monies from your social security disability when you start receiving it.
For this reason, you may want to reconsider receiving back-pay of your disability in one lump sum. If you file bankruptcy, it may be better to have the back-pay payments given to you over time instead. It's a good idea to open a separate bank account for your disability payments. That way, it will be easier for you to keep those payments separate from other income sources you may have.
Expedite your social security disability claim & get an advancement
Another thing you can do is to expedite your social security disability claim. In order to do this, however, you have to show that you are having a difficult time financially and are at high risk of problems like losing your home or having your utilities shut off. To expedite your paperwork, it's a good idea to hire a lawyer who specializes in social security claims.
When you file to expedite the claim, you can take the opportunity to request an advancement of your disability payment. Typically, you can only get approved for an advancement if you have a strong claim. For this reason, it's extremely important that your paperwork is completed and free of errors.
It's important to discuss all your options with a lawyer before reaching a decision regarding handling your financial obligations while you are waiting for your disability. You don't want to unknowingly make your financial situation worse in the long run by making a bad decision now. Check out sites like http://www.attorneyelkhartin.com for legal assistance.