What Other Benefits Can I Get With SSDI?
When you become disabled before you are old enough to retire, you become dependent on other sources besides work for your regular income. If you have worked at a job covered by Social Security Disability Insurance, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits. However, many people find that these benefits do not fully replace the income they had before they became dependent on disability benefits.
There are other kinds of benefits you may be eligible for, that will help you to continue to live and support yourself and your family. A Social Security Disability Lawyer may be able to help you identify some of the government benefits you may be qualified for.
Supplemental Security Income
This benefit is offered by the government for people who cannot receive SSDI and applies to those who meet several conditions:
- You must be over 65.
- You are blind or disabled.
- You either never worked or you did not accumulate enough credits to qualify for SSDI.
- You no longer qualify for SSDI, and have not worked for a long time.
- You have low income and assets and you also have dependents who are disabled.
Eligibility for this benefit depends on the income and assets of the individual applicant. This is a benefit that can go along with SSDI, for people who are under 65 and still receiving SSDI benefits. Because the benefit is determined by income, the same people who qualify for Supplemental Security Income often also qualify for Medicare, which is an important way to get health insurance.
While this health insurance benefit is normally only for those 65 and older, there are certain people, including certain disabled people, who may be able to receive Medicare benefits before they turn 65. Medicare has different plans with different coverage options, and applicants can review the options and choose the one that best benefits themselves and their families. The monthly fee or premium is different depending on the chosen plan.
There is usually no premium associated with Plan A, although people who purchase it may pay up to $458 per month. Plan A has a $1,408 deductible for each insurance period and $0 coinsurance for the first 60 days. Part A covers hospice care, home health care, and inpatient care at a hospital. There may some differences in specific coverage according to state laws.
The cost of the Part B plan is $144.60 per month, or higher if you have a higher income. There is a $198 deductible, after which you are usually responsible for 20% of your bill for approved services, including hospital visits, outpatient therapy, and durable medical equipment. If you have Part B, much of your regular preventive care is automatically covered by your policy. such as screenings for cardiovascular disease, glaucoma tests, scheduled vaccines, lung cancer screening, and a yearly wellness exam. Part B also covers items like clinical research and ambulance services.
Part C and Part D
These plans offer several options and are based on income. Part C consists of private plans that include the services offered in Parts A and B. Part D is for drug coverage, and there is a list of approved pharmaceutical drugs and generics, with drugs listed by tier.
Medicare also has other options like a Medicare prescription drug plan and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap). When choosing a specific plan, it is recommended that applicants consider relevant factors such as whether they take specific drugs that might be more specific, if they take generic drugs, and if they need their drug costs to be kept to a minimum if possible.
Supplement Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
Many people find that one of the hardest things to do with limited resources is to purchase healthy choices for meals. The SNAP program, formerly known as the food stamp program, seeks to fill that gap so that people who are working with limited income can still be healthy and make healthy choices without worrying about how much they are spending for groceries.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the program, although it is administered by state Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) agencies. This program was originally started to help low-income families make it through troubled times, but the program has expanded to help more people and offer more options. Now the SNAP program can be used at not just groceries but convenience stores, department stores, and even farmers’ markets.
Workers’ Disability Benefits
You may be able to get disability assistance through an employer or through an insurance company if you or the employer was carrying the correct kinds of insurance policy to cover situations such as yours. Depending on what the policy states and how it works with your SSDI, you may be able to use the extra disability benefits as supplemental income or use the extra income until you are approved to receive your regular SSDI benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
While many people complain that the amount of compensation offered by these kinds of programs is not very much, the benefits can be very helpful, especially if you have become disabled because of work and are now needing the extra income. Most employers, unless you are an independent contractor, are required to have insurance to protect themselves and their workers in the event that an employee becomes injured or ill because of their employment.
Even small businesses are responsible for their employees, and if you can prove that your employer was negligent, you may wish to pursue a civil claim against the company. If you are an independent worker, pursuing a civil claim may be the best way to collect from the company that is responsible for your disability.
Veterans Affairs Disability Benefits
Disabled veterans may be eligible for their own benefits, which are not just limited to income. If individuals become disabled because of their service, they are eligible to receive monthly benefits, whether the condition was completely a result of their service or was simply made worse by it. Surviving family may also be eligible for benefits, including a spouse, children, or even parents.
VA disability compensation is tax-free and may be a benefit received alongside several other kinds of benefits. Veterans may also be eligible for other kinds of benefits, such as reduced-rate loans or other services offered through local agencies.
Temporary State Disability Benefits
When you are unable to work, the bills pile up fast. You may need help before you are approved through the federal disability benefit program. Your state probably offers assistance to disabled individuals so that they can make it through until the time they are able to start collecting their SSDI.
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
HEAP is a federal program that helps keep the heat on for qualified individuals who currently have low or reduced income. The program also offers financial assistance for those who need cooling assistance, and the representatives can help families to make their homes better weatherized so their bills are not as high. If needed, there is additional financial assistance for individuals who need to have their furnaced repaired or even replaced.
Other Local Programs
Depending on the locality, there are several other kinds of benefits individuals may be eligible for, at least on a temporary basis. For instance, there are some township programs that offer rent assistance or daycare vouchers for those who need help. Most places have different kinds of options so that individuals can obtain extra food, and there are often local organizations that offer donations of clothing and other needed items.
An Almost Endless Amount of Help
If you feel lost and alone because of your disability, never forget that there are many government programs and individuals who want to help you meet all your needs. While it may seem overwhelming, your SSDi attorney can help you connect with the places that offer help. These services and goods are often offered with no questions asked, and the recipients are treated with fairness, compassion, and respect.