If disability benefits are your primary income how you manage your benefit money is very important. You can use these tips and tricks to make the most of the money that you receive and make sure that you are able to pay your bills and get the essentials that you need:
Create A Budget
When you have a limited amount of money coming in each month having a budget is very important. There are many different ways that you can create a household budget, but it’s essential to track your expenses to make sure that you’re living within your means. You can use free templates to create a monthly household budget, or you can use just a piece of paper and a pencil if that’s easier. But you need to write down all of your household expenses and the dates your bills are due to start with, so you can make sure that you have enough money coming in to pay all your monthly expenses.
Prioritize Essential Expenses
A budget should include money for things like entertainment, clothing, and things that might not be essential but are still desirable. However, your budget should always prioritize your essential expenses like housing, utilities, medical care, and food. Make sure those are covered before you allocate money to any other expenses. You should check to see if you qualify for programs like SNAP or WIC that can help by giving you money for food or some utilities.
Qualifying For SSDI
If you are disabled and you have medical documentation showing that you won’t be able to work for at least a year because of your medical condition you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security disability benefits are available to anyone that has worked and earned work credits, or to people who have disabled since childhood so they have never worked. Applying for disability benefits can get you a stable monthly income that will help cover your living expenses.
Take Advantage Of Discounts
Many businesses offer discounts for people who are disabled, have young children, or are seniors. Ask at local businesses to find out about special programs and discounts. You can also get discounts on essentials like utilities through government subsidies and programs that offer lower costs for people who are disabled.
Review Your Budget Often
It’s a good idea to review your budget often to see where you can cut expenses or change the way that you’re spending. That way you can eliminate things that you don’t really need and make sure that you are able to cover increases in the cost of essentials, like paying higher utility costs in the winter.
Use Free Financial Tools
There are lots of free financial tools online that you can take advantage of to craft a better budget, look for discounts, and figure out how to stretch your money as far as possible.
Maximize Tax Benefits
Make sure that you are claiming every tax credit and benefit that you qualify for when you file your taxes. It’s a smart idea to talk to a tax professional that specializes in disability benefits to make sure that you’re not paying taxes when you don’t need to and to make sure that you’re claiming all the credits you quality for.
Advocate For Yourself
It’s tough to be your own advocate, but if you’re disabled you need to be an advocate for your own interests. Keep up to speed on tax laws, disability benefits, and discounts that you may qualify for. All that hard work could result in discounts, extra support, and other benefits that could help you live more comfortably.