In our last post we discussed the common decision of elderly workers to delay applying for Social Security Disability benefits if they have access to unemployment insurance. Those who had access to $5,000 or more were less likely to apply for disability benefits. Workers who did not have access to this amount of money were more likely to apply for disability benefits in the weeks closest to their unemployment insurance expiring.
This is an unfortunate trend which results in many Portland workers suffering unnecessary financial insecurity. Disability benefits are something that disabled workers are entitled to. Putting off the decision to apply for disability benefits pending the expiration of unemployment benefits is often foolish because the disability application period can be lengthy. It is best to apply for disability benefits at the onset of a disability to make sure that the benefits are there when you need them. Delay in this instance is often the worst choice.
A recent study commissioned by the White House found that disabled workers with access to at least $5,000 were much less likely to apply for disability benefits at any point while receiving benefits. While many workers feel that they shouldn’t apply for benefits the failure to apply early may mean financial hardship if the application process takes longer than expected. It is often best to apply for benefits early to ensure that an attorney will be able to see the application process through to appeals if necessary before an applicant runs out of money.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “Study Links Expiring Unemployment Benefits to Disability Applications,” Damian Paletta, Dec. 16, 2011