Disability loans can be useful tools to bridge the financial gap between applying for state disability benefits and obtaining approval – which in some cases can take months. However, disability loans come with some potential risks, and these loans are not for everyone.
If you are considering applying for a disability loan, you should be clear about who is eligible and what factors may or may not make it beneficial to your financial situation.
What is a disability loan?
A disability loan is a personal loan that you can use for essential everyday expenses such as groceries, bills or mortgage payments if your disability has made you unable to work. These loans are used as a short-term funding tool for the few months it takes the Social Security Administration (SSA) to process your application and should not be used as a substitute for disability benefits.
Advance payments in case of emergency
Before applying for a disability loan, check whether you are entitled to an immediate advance payment. The SSA provides pre-paid disability payments to qualified individuals based on the severity of their illness, the nature and the likelihood that they will receive an invalidity benefit. Also known as suspected disability or blindness payments, they are used to fill the gap of up to six months between application and approval in an emergency. In contrast to disability loans, they only have to be repaid in the event of overpayment and do not bear interest.
You will need to demonstrate that you are currently in an emergency situation in order to qualify and the payments will be returned by subtracting the amount of the emergency advance payment you received from the amount you are supposed to receive in the event of disability.
If you can’t qualify for an emergency placement, consider looking at a disability loan.
Who is eligible for a disability loan?
Since a disability loan is a personal loan, approval is based on the lender and your financial history. The eligibility requirements vary from lender to lender. If you don’t meet the requirements, most lenders offer you the option of filing an application with a co-signer to increase your chances of approval. Your interest rate is also determined by your credit history. The better the score, the lower the interest rate.
Disability loans are not processed through the SSA like disability benefits. Instead, disability loans are run through a private lender. It should therefore only be taken out as a last resort and when you have an amortization schedule to pay off the balance. Keep in mind that relying on disability benefits to pay off your loan may not be the best idea as the government may deny your claim.
Before applying for a loan, make sure that you have already submitted a disability application through the SSA as the loans are a short term solution rather than a long term solution.
How does the government determine who is qualified for a disability?
After completing the online application, the SSA will determine who is eligible for disability benefits using a process that takes 3-5 months and involves the following five questions:
- Work? If you are currently working in 2021 and your monthly income is more than $ 1,310, you are likely not considered disabled.
- Is your condition considered “severe”? To qualify, your condition must be severe enough to limit your ability to work and perform basic physical work for at least 12 months.
- Is it in the list of deactivation conditions?? The SSA has a list of medical conditions that qualify as disability benefits. If your condition is not listed, the SSA must decide whether the condition is considered severe enough to qualify.
- Can you still do the work you used to do?? If you can still complete your work with your medical impairment (s), you are not considered to be eligible.
- Do you have the ability to do any other type of job?? If you become unable to work, the SSA will take into account factors such as age, condition, education and previous work experience to determine whether you are able to find another job. If not, you might be eligible for benefits, but if you could do other work successfully, you might get rejected.
How to apply for a disability loan
You can apply for a disability loan through an online lender, bank, or credit union. With an online lender, the application process is usually completely online and can be the fastest and easiest way to get the money you need. However, if you are a member of a credit union or have already used a particular bank, you may want to check if that financial institution offers their customers discounted fees or prices.
Before applying for a disability loan, compare lenders to find the best deal for your financial situation. Many online lenders are now offering prequalification tools that will allow you to see if you meet the eligibility requirements before submitting an application to avoid a harsh credit check on a loan that you may not be eligible for.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Disability Loans
While any type of emergency loan can be a useful way to get the money you need quickly when you need it, there are nonetheless drawbacks that you should be aware of before applying.
- Convenience: With some lenders, you can get approval in minutes and complete the entire application process from your home.
- Options: You have a wide variety of lenders, banks, or credit unions to choose from when it comes to finding a loan that will work for you.
- Rapid relief: If you are unable to work and waiting for your application to be processed, disability loans fill that void.
- Potentially high interest rates: Depending on your credit, you can get stuck with a high interest rate, potentially leading to high interest debt.
- Payday Risk: Many payday loans are marketed for people with disabilities, but they usually come with astronomical interest rates that you can owe for years.
- Short repayment periods: Depending on the lender, you may be granted a shorter repayment period, meaning you have a higher monthly payment with a shorter term than other types of debt.
Alternatives to disability loans
If you do not meet the eligibility requirements or do not want to take out a long-term loan, you have alternatives to finance the processing time of your disability application:
- State support: These include programs like Cash Assistance, SNAP, Social Aid, and Unemployment Benefit. You can apply for state assistance and see if you qualify with your state’s human resources or social security agency.
- Workers compensation: If you have a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to employee compensation. The process for filing a claim may vary from state to state. So, educate yourself about the process and follow all the necessary steps. Depending on your state’s regulations, you may be entitled to additional disability benefits if you are unable to work due to your injury.
- Cash withdrawals: A cash advance is a short-term loan that you can use to borrow the cash you need with your credit card. This can be done at an ATM or through a bank that offers advances. Cash advances are a form of credit card debt and the money you borrow must be paid back.
- Disability insurance: Disability insurance pays part of your income if you are unable to work and are unable to work. There are two forms: short-term and long-term, which have different amounts of cover and waiting times. You may be able to sign up for an employer-sponsored plan or purchase a custom plan from a broker or insurance company.
- Loans from families or friends: As a last resort, you can ask a trusted friend or family member to lend you money for essentials. If you choose this method, keep in mind that if you cannot repay it as promised, it can break the relationship.
After considering all of your options, make sure that you have a solid plan and the money to pay back the loan if you decide that a disability loan is a path to take. It is also important that you do your research to find the lender who can offer you the best rates and terms for your financial needs.