Those are good questions. I plan on asking them all. I am certain about one though. Your disability money is figured solely on the chunk you put into Social Security, not your last salary. Now granted I only have been in the workforce since I was 15 (27 years), but I spent a good deal of that time earning a decent salary. So the last report I got a few weeks ago from the SSA office says that I will get somewhere around $2,400/month once granted. That's chump change compared to the money I was used to making, but I have to come to terms that I don't have that kind of earning potential in the state I'm in, so I need to get past that. It will definitely pay a good chunk of our monthly outgo because I spent so much time getting us out of as much debt as possible. So I can make the mortgage, credit card and my daughter's tuition with that and have about $500 left over every month for auto repairs and stuff like that. Then my wife's income will be used to pay the variable expenses and to put some mason jars 3' deep in the back yard!
The only problem with that scenario is that it takes a while to get approved and they do something (I have to find this out) to your unemployment once you start the disability filing process. I'm not so sure they don't just cut it off. At any rate though, I think after first denial that I'll win at first appeal with my lawyer; at least that's what he's telling me. But they do make it all up once you get approved. It could just be rocky getting to that point. But my first route is still going to be employment. I'm very interested to see what goes on at a job fair for people with disabilities. Never done a regular job fair, so I hope it's not too crowded. All the able bodied job fairs around here lately have had lines wrapped around the building, but I bet this one is different.