Living and surviving on only SSDI is possible. However, making ends meet with disability benefits alone can be a challenge. It’s important to know how to make the most of your benefits and consider other income or benefit sources.
Budgeting and minimizing your monthly costs can make it easier to live on SSDI alone. It also helps if you don’t have debt or other financial obligations to pay. Of course, that’s not a reality for many people.
Here are some tips for surviving on SSDI benefits.
Benefits for Family Members
Some of your family members could be eligible for additional monthly benefits. According to the Social Security handbook, family members on your earnings record could be entitled to benefits. You could also receive other benefits if you have a young or disabled child.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another program from the Social Security Administration (SSA). While SSDI comes from Social Security taxes, SSI comes from general tax revenues.
SSI helps if:
- You are disabled, blind, or a senior with little or no income.
- You need money for basic needs like shelter, clothing, and food.
If you are struggling, you might be eligible for both SSDI and SSI benefits. It’s best to apply and see if you’re unsure. If you have a very low household income, you might qualify for SSI benefits.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you apply for benefits. Your lawyer might also have access to additional resources for you. To schedule a FREE consultation with John Foy & Associates today, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Earning Additional Income on SSDI
When the SSA looks at your SSDI application, they will see if you are currently working. If you are earning much income, the SSA could deny your benefits. However, you’re still able to make some money while on SSDI.
To be on SSDI, you cannot engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). For the year 2020, SGA is $1,260 per month. If you are earning less than SGA, you might be able to make some additional income.
There are small ways to bring in some more money on top of SSDI. Doing odd jobs for family or friends, selling items on eBay, and babysitting are just a few options. Some extra income can help you pay for additional living costs.
Ticket to Work Program
Suppose you want to try working while on SSDI. Social Security allows you to receive benefits while you earn money. The Ticket to Work program provides different benefits to those on disability who return to work.
You can also enter into a trial work period while on SSDI. In 2020, any month you earn over $910 is a trial work month. You can continue receiving full SSDI benefits for up to nine months within 60 months.
If you have limited income, you might qualify for food stamps. Plus, you might be eligible for more food stamps if you have a disability. Even if you were not able to receive food stamps before, you might qualify now.
Energy Assistance Programs
You might be able to get energy assistance each year. Your benefits will depend on your income, location, and energy bills. However, you probably won’t receive support automatically — you’ll need to ask about it.
Contact the company that provides your energy. Tell them that you’re on SSDI, and ask about any energy assistance programs in your area.
Clipping Grocery Coupons
Sending some time clipping coupons can make a significant difference to your grocery bills.
Save coupons for food items that your household regularly buys. Also, shop the sales when you visit the grocery store. You might be surprised how much you can save.
Medication Assistance and Samples
If you are on SSDI, you might have medication costs for one or more conditions. When SSDI is your only income source, medication prices can take a toll.
Ask your doctor about any medication samples they can provide. Also, look into medication assistance cards that can reduce your costs.
Home Aide Benefits
You could be eligible for a home aide program. These programs can include:
- Meal delivery
- Doctor home visits
- Physical therapists
If you have a loved one caring for you, that person might be able to get funding. Look into programs in your area.
Many transportation programs in your area could be available to you, including:
- Wheelchair services
- Medicaid taxis
- Medical transportation
- Paratransit services
Transportation aides can help you get from one place to another at a low cost.
Housing costs can eat up a significant amount of your SSDI. If your living costs are too high for what you receive, look into low-income housing options.
Some apartments will base their rent on income. Others offer rentals for those with disabilities or seniors. You might save a lot of money on rent payments by looking into these options.
School Meal Programs
If you have school-age children at home, some programs might help with their meal costs. See if the school district has reduced or free meal programs for breakfasts or lunches. If you rely solely on SSDI, you will likely meet the requirements.
Surviving on SSDI can be challenging, but it is possible. If you need help with your application or disability benefits, it helps to speak with a lawyer.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can walk you through your best options. They can also help ensure you’re receiving the benefits you deserve.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have helped many SSDI applicants get their benefits over the last 20-plus years. We know how stressful it can be to survive on only SSDI. We also understand how desperately you need assistance.
Working with us is risk-free because:
- Our consultation is 100% FREE.
- We do not charge you unless we win your case.
- We are upfront and honest about our fees.
To schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation today, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.