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Evaluating disability benefits as a form of medical debt relief

Unexpected medical expenses can leave almost anyone in Salem facing dire financial straits. Few may comprehend just how costly medical bills can be, and how quickly they can accumulate. What initially starts out as an injury or illness can leave one requiring years of costly medical treatment. In the face of such mounting debt, it is little wonder why medical bills place such a strain on American households. Indeed, The Council for Disability Awareness reports that medical problems were listed as the primary reason behind 62 percent of all bankruptcy filings in 2007.

One of the main reasons why so many struggle with meeting their medical expenses is because the injuries or conditions that they suffer from leave them unable to work. In such cases, some may hold on to the hope that disability benefits could provide them with some financial relief. However, meeting the requirements to qualify for such assistance can be a timely process. According to the Social Security Disability SSI Resource Center, an individual seeking Social Security Disability must meet the following criteria before being considered:

  •          Be suffering from a condition that could ultimately result in death.
  •          Have a condition or injury that has prevented them from working for more than twelve months.
  •          Be expected to be unable to work for at least twelve months due to illness or injury.

In many cases, it takes time for health care providers to make a definitive diagnosis as to whether or not one’s condition in terminal or will prevent him or her from working. Even those who can qualify for benefits prior to missing work for a year may still have problems having them applied retroactively. In such cases, bankruptcy could still end up being the most attractive alternative for dealing with their debts

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