When living on Social Security Disability, making ends meet can be a challenge, to say the least. While your Social Security Disability benefits are intended to help you cover your expenses, the amount you receive does not always add up in the real world, and many people find themselves struggling to pay bills and cover living expenses. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to alleviate some of the financial burden and make your Social Security Disability benefits stretch further. In some cases, your family members may be eligible for auxiliary benefits. If you've been having trouble making your Social Security Disability payments cover your monthly living expenses, try some of the following tips and suggestions.
Apply for Additional Assistance
If you are really having a hard time financially, you may want to consider applying for additional benefits in addition to the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits you are already receiving. Benefits such as food stamps, Supplemental Security Income and medical assistance can provide you with additional resources during the month. It is important to note, however, that these benefits are based on income limitations and need. If your household income exceeds the limits established, you will not qualify for these additional benefits.
Start Clipping Coupons
When most people discuss tips to make Social Security Disability benefits stretch further, they discuss things like budget and low-income housing. Coupons, however, are a wonderful way to reduce expenses without sacrificing quality of life. People who use coupons on a regular basis can cut their grocery expenses by fifty dollars a week or more. Shop the sales at your local grocery stores and combine the sales prices with coupons. You'll be surprised to see that you may actually be able to cut your grocery bills in half.
Look Into Energy Assistance
If you qualify for SSI and food stamps, you will likely qualify for energy assistance as well. Energy assistance isn't automatically given out to those who qualify for it. It is usually provided as a once-a-year benefit that will help defray your annual energy costs. The exact amount of your benefit will be determined by your total energy bills, where you live, and how much income you have. Contact your energy provider and let them know you are on Social Security Disability and that you would like to find out what energy assistance programs are available in your area.
Additional Income Sources
Many people assume that they cannot earn any income when receiving Social Security Disability payments. This is not necessarily the case. Recipients of Social Security Disability benefits can receive income as long as it does not exceed $720 per month. If you can manage it, try making extra income from home. You can sell items on eBay or perform work for family and friends. Even babysitting for a few hours a week can help you make a few extra dollars and those dollars can add up to help you cover some of the expenses that Social Security Disability just isn't covering.
Look for Income-Based Housing
Housing expenses can take a big chunk out of your monthly Social Security Disability benefits. If you are struggling to make ends meet, you may want to look into apartments that charge rent payments based on your monthly Social Security Disability income. Some apartments cater to elderly and individuals with disabling conditions. The exact amount you pay for a rental in these places will depend on what your income is, but it will likely be lower than what you would pay if you were paying market rates.
Ask Your Doctor for Samples
Many people who are on Social Security Disability have significant medication expenses. Oftentimes these expenses can be offset by asking your doctor for medication samples when they are available. If you explain your situation to your doctor and ask if samples are available, they may be willing to help you if they have samples of the medications that you need.
School Meal Programs
If you have children who attend school, call the school office to see if your school district offers a free or reduced meal program. Some schools will provide free breakfasts and lunches to students if parents are struggling financially. Ask the school what the requirements are and how you can apply to enroll your children in this program.
Financial difficulties can be a humbling experience, but it is nothing to be ashamed of. Keep the above advice in mind and don't be afraid to ask for help where help is available. With a little planning and a few money-saving strategies, you can make your monthly Social Security Disability payment stretch further, allowing you to live more comfortably and without the unneeded financial stress.