You face many challenges when you have a disability. You may have to alter how you go about your daily life and deal with limitations that you’ve never experienced before. However, you can overcome obstacles by making adjustments and requesting help when you need it.

The federal government website disability.gov provides information about disability benefits, programs and services. You can go to the site to learn about government resources and community organizations that can provide support.

Figure Out Your Finances

A sudden disability may make it impossible for you to continue working. You may be eligible for:

  • Social Security Disability, which provides income to people who are unable to perform their jobs any longer because of a disability. To qualify you must have paid Social Security taxes. Your benefit amount is based on your Social Security earnings record.

The application for Social Security Disability benefits is complex, and many deserving people are rejected when they first submit a claim. So consulting an experienced disability attorney could make a difference in both the application and the appeals process if your application is denied.

  • Supplemental Security Income, which assists people who have low income and limited resources and are disabled, blind or age 65 or older. Supplemental Security Income can be used by people who have never worked because the benefit is not based on contributions to Social Security taxes.

Seek Support

It’s natural to feel isolated after becoming disabled. But the reality is that you are not alone. Many other people have gone through or are experiencing what you are enduring. It may help you to join support groups and meet others who know what it’s like to live with a similar disability.

You might also need assistance in making changes to your home so that you can live comfortably in this residence. Community services are available, including:

  • Housecleaning
  • Yard work
  • Food delivery
  • Home health assistance
  • Nurse visit to provide medications and check on your health

Get Medical Help

In order to have a home health aide or a visiting nurse at your home on a regular basis, you may have to turn to programs such as Medicare or Medicaid for assistance.

Many people assume that Medicare offers coverage only to people age 65 or older. But Medicare also exists for those under 65 who are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits for up to 24 months or who suffer with a serious kidney disease.

Furthermore, eligibility for Medicare is not based on income or financial need.

If you need medical services because of a disability, you may also qualify for Medicaid. This program helps people with low incomes pay for their health care needs.

Be Good to Yourself

When a disability abruptly enters your world, it’s easy to sink into depression and not know how to function on your own. The website Disabled-world.com offers suggestions on how to cope with sudden disability and move forward.

One important place to start is by getting as much information as you can about your particular disability. When you have knowledge, you have more power over how to proceed with treatments and possible medical procedures.

In addition, do your best to avoid stress and discover strategies to nurture yourself. This could mean finding a new hobby or interest that you may not have been able to focus on before your disability. It’s a good time to look for productive activities that bring you satisfaction so that you can cope with the dramatic changes in your life.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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