Answered on Jun 16th, 2012 at 1:47 PM
To receive help for food and bills, find resources to help feed your family and pay your bills. You are probably in uncharted waters if you have worked that long, but you now must ask for help. This list has some examples, and once you get going, you will find many others: local food bank; utility assistance for water, gas and electric; local churches (whether you attend or not & whether you are a member or not - and as many as you can contact) - they will often help with rent or some other resource in your area; Salvation Army; Red Cross; Catholic Charities, Lutheran Family Services; free or reduced cost medical care; ask relatives and friends for help during this time that is expected to be temporary, etc.
"Temporary" as stated above as either you will get back in the work force or receive disability benefits. To be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) you must suffer from a medical condition (physical or mental) that is expected to last for 12 months or more and prevents the person from working 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. Note: this is not just the job that you have done for 30 years, it is any job.
If this applies to you, do not delay. Apply. Submit copies of what records you have and give a complete list to SSA of the doctors you have seen and they will obtain them for you.
You can apply in person, by phone, or online. If you are denied, seek competent counsel by going to http://www.lawyers.com/Social-Security-Disability/browse-by-location.html and finding someone near you. Hire counsel now if you feel uncomfortable proceeding alone or due to your health are not up to the task.
PLEASE NOTE that an in person consultation is always best when you have a legal problem. DO NOT RELY on information for a legal remedy without having contacted a lawyer. Facts and circumstances of every case have to be applied to the law that is relevant for the state or location in question.
NEVER rest on a right or defense you may have. Legal rights are not like wine - they don't improve with age or time. Time limits can completely prohibit recovery. SEEK LEGAL ADVICE IMMEDIATELY. Go to http://www.lawyers.com/Social-Security-Disability/browse-by-location.html to find someone in your state.
Be sure to visit my website for answers to other Social Security Disability questions. http://haller-law.com/faq
No attorney-client relationship has been established because of the information provided. Seek local counsel to address your particular facts. MJHJ