Disability and homelessness: Rising rent

There is often a link with mental illness and other disabilities. For someone who has always had a disability, it may coincide with mental illness. For someone who suddenly finds him or herself with a disability, depression or anxiety may soon take hold as a result of the change in circumstances.

The reason it's important to know this is because of how it affects people when they seek disability. They may not be able to work at all, so even if they receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, they're relying on that one benefits check to pay for everything they need.

With costs rising in the housing sector, that's a major concern. The budgets these people live on are already tight, but increasing rents make it nearly impossible to live. One mother explained that just a $50 rise in the cost of an apartment made her son, who was living on his own for the first time, struggle with a budget of just a little over $500 a month for food and other necessities. He stopped taking medications, was evicted and then left with no sign of where he went.

This is sadly not an unusual circumstance. It's a reality that many disabled individuals simply can't afford rent or increasing costs. This puts them, and potentially others, at risk of injury and homelessness.

There are options, though, to get further benefits and support. If you find yourself struggling, don't be afraid to talk to your attorney about other benefits or options that may be available to you. Your disability check is just one part of your financial profile.

Source: KUNR, "The Intersection Of Mental Illness And Unaffordable Housing: One Reno Family's Struggle," Bree Zender, June 05, 2018

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