I wanted to provide links to a couple of articles about sources of financial assistance for people on disability.
Financial Assistance for People with Disabilities
Help for People Waiting for Social Security Disability Benefits
Finding some source of assistance while waiting for Social Security disability benefits is crucial because the process of getting disability from Social Security can take a long time. It generally takes three or four months from when you apply to get a decision, but only about 30% of people get approved the first time around. Most people have to appeal. It can take a year or more before you start receiving benefits.
I was really lucky when I had to stop working and applied for disability. It took only four months for me to get approved and I did not have to appeal. I was approved on the first try.
I also had a retirement fund that I was able to cash out. Because I was not at retirement age, I had to pay a penalty. I don't remember how much it was, maybe 10%? Also I had to pay taxes on it, so I did lose a good bit of it by taking the money out early, but if I hadn't had that, I would have been in serious trouble. I was able to live on that retirement fund money for the four months until I got my disability.
I talked to a lawyer that specialized in disability claims when I was applying and I asked him what people live on while they wait. He told me many of his clients ended up homeless, living in shelters or on the street, while they appealed denied claims for disability. That was really scary to me.