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Disability benefits: Low incomes create difficult situations

When a person needs disability benefits to survive, not having enough to make ends meet is a tragic situation. If the benefits decrease or don't arrive on time, it could mean that someone is left with nothing.

When someone begins thinking about working to get off disability, it can create a difficult situation. Disability is designed to decrease as you earn more, but earning just above the poverty limit is enough to have benefits cut off completely. That amount, $1,170, isn't really enough to survive in many parts of the country.

Benefits are suspended any month where a person on disability benefits earns over $1,170 beyond the first three months it occurs during a trial work period. Essentially, those on benefits get three months of trial and errors to determine if they can support themselves.

For people who receive Supplemental Security Income, earning more than $85 begins to impact their disability checks. For every dollar over $85, they lose $.50 from the disability check. Recipients who get the maximum $735 check for SSI may earn up to $1,555 per month and still receive disability payments.

People on disability may be living on less than minimum wage. While there are other benefits like Medicaid and food stamps to assist them, it isn't always easy to get by. If the disability check, supplemental income or other benefits are cut off for any reason, those receiving the benefits may find themselves in a bind, without a home or struggling to afford food or medications.

As someone who requires disability payments to survive, it's important that you never miss out on your benefits due to errors and that you have all the additional benefits you qualify for. Your attorney can help you be certain you're receiving everything you're entitled to have.

Source: The Washington Post, "After the check is gone," Oct. 06, 2017

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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.

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