Although the federal government provides financial assistance to those with disabilities, it may not be enough. The poverty level of people with disabilities is two times higher than individuals without a disability.
Types of benefits
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) provides financial assistance to people who have a work history but are no longer able to work. Those who were never able to work due to a disability may receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Individuals living on disability benefits may be struggling to make their monthly income cover all of their expenses. Many people receiving these benefits would like to work but are incapable of working or are unable to find a job.
Other individuals may be afraid that getting a job would jeopardize their benefits and worsen the financial strain.
The impact of debt
People receiving disability benefits may really fall behind if they had debt before the disability. Student loans and medical expenses are the top causes of debt. CNBC found that nearly 70% of college graduates are in debt. The average cost of student loan debt is $30,000.
Most people receiving government assistance get approximately $1,500 per month to cover their expenses. This adds up to about $18,000 per year, making it nearly impossible for those receiving disability benefits to pay for their living expenses plus monthly student loan payments.
Help is available
Many people don’t know that help is available to them. If your bills are more expensive than you can afford, you may qualify for Direct Financial Assistance, a government program offered to most individuals that qualify for SSD or SSI and need more aid.
There are also government programs that help people with disabilities find jobs. Speak with a disability attorney if you have questions regarding program eligibility, need assistance applying for disability benefits or if your application has been denied.