Anyone living on disability? Is it difficult?

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TEEDEE
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29 Jan 2017, 12:25 pm

I'm considering divorcing, but if I do, I will have nothing but a small income from disability---for many reasons. I'll be able to take nothing with me, maybe a very small, pretty much insignificant amount. He earns all the money (a lot--more than 200k a year)--and he owns all the property and owned it before we married so I'll get nothing there. It's going to be hard going from having a lot of money to nothing. My disability income is about 10 thousand a year----way below poverty line and I've never been poor, I have no idea what to do or how people live on low incomes--for instance,my entire income is too low to pay rent in a decent area. How does this work? :? Anyone living on disability can give advice on what to do , thanks.



SH90
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29 Jan 2017, 12:38 pm

Poverty level is around $12,000 for a single person; you should qualify for other assistance… I would talk with an attorney before deciding. If the marriage has been long enough, you may get alimony (each state has different rules).

The advice and options you’re going to get, will greatly depend on location and personal information. You need an attorney and most provide free consultation.



TEEDEE
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29 Jan 2017, 12:51 pm

Thanks for the advice. Due to my circumstances and our state, alimony is very unlikely, which is fine with me, since I want a clean break anyway without fighting for support (I probably would not win due to new legislation and my personal circumstances). Also, the stress of an acrimonious divorce isn't something I want to live through unless the monetary reward for fighting for money would be big, and it wouldn't be. I'll have to make due with very little if I leave, and I'd be really, really poor. I actually don't even know anyone who is as basically destitute as I'd be, so I'm a bit lost as to how to proceed.



SH90
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29 Jan 2017, 1:04 pm

You have one benefit with disability, it’s consistent… Well possibly help with health care. But being consistent source of income, you could make extra money from hobbies or skills you may have. If you can drive and maybe get enough money for a small Class B RV. You could live a decent life just traveling within your budget (what I would do).



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29 Jan 2017, 1:29 pm

Can you cook inexpensive meals? I think this may be a lost art in America.
Around here, grocery stores sell "family packs" of food at very low prices to attract family shoppers to their stores.
For example, they sell hamburger or chicken in four pound packs at $3 per pound and one pound packages at $4 each.
If you can eat the same food day after day it is possible to eat well on a very small budget.
Which brings to mind another hard question. Do you have the skills to make a budget and stick to it?



TEEDEE
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29 Jan 2017, 2:09 pm

I don't buy expensive meats---I eat vegan and do fine with B-12 supplements and a good diet with few processed foods. Better for me and cheaper too. But what I'm worried about is will I have to give up things I don't want to give up----a car, internet. What kind of healthcare will I get? It's going to take some thinking on my part.



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29 Jan 2017, 2:28 pm

TEEDEE wrote:
I don't buy expensive meats---I eat vegan and do fine with B-12 supplements and a good diet with few processed foods. Better for me and cheaper too. But what I'm worried about is will I have to give up things I don't want to give up----a car, internet. What kind of healthcare will I get? It's going to take some thinking on my part.


Medicaid, if that still continues to exist under the trump administration that is, if you wouldn't still be able to afford a car you could look into whatever public transit there is in the area and learn those routes.


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TEEDEE
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29 Jan 2017, 2:54 pm

Good point. I've living in Manhattan for ten years and didn't keep a car there. I could do it again, I guess.



BTDT
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29 Jan 2017, 3:14 pm

http://www.latimes.com/local/california ... story.html
This article suggests the possibility of Internet subsidies for the poor., though it is really about a failed attempt to help the poor with access to the Internet, now that it has become essential for basic services.



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29 Jan 2017, 5:15 pm

I have lived in just about nearly all walks of live imagine-able. When living on the run or mobile, you have to be very resourceful, but be aware that you do not have access to a kitchen of your own, thus your ability to actually «cook» food becomes limited. I do not know the circumstances of your «divorce/separation» but State-sponsored marriage is a fraudulent-scheme anyway (what is basically a three-party marriage instead of a two-party unification).

Anyway, not to off-tangent, life on SSI is not terribly difficult IF you are getting the right assistance, and actually have somewhere to live, but most places have waiting lists of several years for any kind of low-income housing. Interestingly, you chose a user-name that rhymes with the manager's name at a low-income apartment-complex where I currently live; his name is T-D. Nice fellow. His wife seems to currently be on rotation for handling tenant-concerns.

If you're going to end up with nothing and have no other options, you could probably qualify to live here (I can give you the manager's phone-number so that you can ask him about unit-availability and maybe he can mail you an applicant-form to fill out), and it would be easier/cheaper to split the rent with a room-mate if you're willing (I cannot take anybody who has «stuff» because my place is already cluttered with stuff that I am trying to sell on-line and re-organise). I do not currently have a car (the last one broke down on me and I have not gotten a replacement yet) but I do have Internet-service here (obviously) and cover the electricity (and water is free for tenants to use) and I have two twin air-mattresses but haven't opened the other one yet.

Anyway, when I used to live in a car around a decade ago, I kept my extra stuff in a storage-unit, I took showers very early in the morning in corporate-buildings that had showers (before everyone started working), otherwise at the locker-room showers of a community college (and if neither were available then it was to the swimming pool which you had to pay $ for so I did that infrequently). Knowing where all of the Wi-Fi hot-spots are, and their quality, was of benefit, but most of the time I went to a Public-Library to connect my laptop (although there was a time for a few months when I literally took a desk-top to the library with a Wi-Fi adapter), most McDonald's, Coffee-Shops (such as Tully's and another place called Java and a few other lesser-known business-entities), Grocery Stores (such as Safe-Way, QFC, Whole-Foods, etc) also often had Wi-Fi, I felt mostly set. I was originally working full-time when doing this routine but eventually came a time when I was forced into/onto SSI/SSA/SSDI or whatever it's called (gee, thanks a lot, Police-State USA), but I had enough experience to know how to pull it off, although I would not recommend this life-style for a female (I also had a tent at one point where I would set it up out in a forest near where I parked, but living on Disability without a car or a home is very difficult, you need either one or the other, but not neither).

IF you're going to be on Disability, and if you have a car, I would strongly suggest moving to a location where the cost-of-living is very low, absolutely as low as possible. The current place that I am at qualifies, other than the Internet-service kind of sucking for its cost (between 90$US to 170$US per month depending on package and it's still only limited to DSL; this back-ass-wards flag-waving retirement-community war-veterans cop-town not always doing anything very efficiently), but it's something of a small-town community where most people know or recognise most other people. I wish to move to Kansas in the future though (perhaps we can make arrangements for you to take over my unit by the time I re-organise enough to be able to move to Kansas).

When living on Disability, besides absolute essentials (like food that cannot be mailed), buy anything and everything you need from on-line services (I get a lot of my computer-related equipment from NewEgg and other stuff from Amazon). I also learned how to make my own wraps (instead of buying the burrito soft-shell wraps from the store). King Arthur non-bleached organic-flour from the King Arthur on-line store and that saves me even more money since I can make wraps myself (because I mostly eat what I call vegetable-wraps; they usually consist of lettuce, tomatoes, butter, cheese, green-peppers, cucumber, and alfalfa-sprouts if I have sprouted any - I have sprouting jars with sprouting seeds to be able to grow my own). I am not entirely vegan or vegetarian, I just eat mostly vegetarian-looking meals, but sometimes I will add fish or pastrami or roast-beef or other kind of sammich-meat into my vegetable-wraps (actually, vegetable-folds, since I usually fold the shells into a semi-circle).

My current situation is that I have several hundreds of books to list on-line for sale in addition to trying to organise a bunch of clutter; the reason for this is because my mother's recent husband died of health-complications around four-and-a-half years ago, and he was a real pack-rat, and my mother was driving me nuts after making me come to their house and keeping me stuck here in this town for the last few years, when I was originally only here for a couple of scheduled weeks before my flight was supposed to take me back to Washington state, but she made me miss my flight, and did not even have the courtesy to notify the air-line nor let me try to contact them in any way. When I got stuck here, I had to live at my parents' house but, because my mother was driving me bonkers, I had to move out of «Mom's Basement» ™ some-how sooner or later, and have been at this apartment-unit since around June or July of last year (the tenancy is on a one-year contract). See, she is very disorganised, and I just couldn't really get much work done with all of her frequent interference and annoyingly argumentative-attitude.

The step-father whom I speak of who died a few years ago was such a pack-rat that, believe it or not, they even ended up building a whole entire LITERAL WARE-HOUSE (I can even upload pictures and show you the Google-maps to see for yourself that it is a LITERAL damn ware-house) connected to their house in order to be able to store all of that stuff that he bought/collected over the years of his life-time (I am guessing that the total value of everything if sold individually at retail would probably amount to 800K$US, which is a terrible loss since I calculate that it's at least over 1M$US in losses by depreciation, several items still not even opened!; but I need concentrate on assisting my mother with selling most of the books from his library - I have already managed to sell a few thousand worth so far but there are still literally hundreds more to list, which is difficult for me to do efficiently, due to all of the clutter to be re-organised so that I can actually live my own life for once in an efficient manner).

If you're good at office-work and decide to take this last-resort option, due to lacking in other options, then I could certainly do with temporarily hiring a secretary to do some office-work here, for there is still a hell of a ton of work that needs to be done, considering that my mother is soon going to be selling our previous house in order to move into her newer (but smaller) house, and the more stuff that can be sold off, the sooner, the better, then we don't have to dump a lot of potentially valuable things mixed in with a bunch of clutter into a land-fill. I only make this offer because there is only one of me and there is only so much that one of me can do (people don't know how much it sucks to be the only one who even qualifies to be able to do most or even any of the important work), need help with office-work (something my mother completely sucks at no matter how many times I try to teach or explain things to her), all I ask is that you keep this place clean and organised and spotless if you choose to live in my unit, dishes washed and put away as soon as you're done with them (I have a rather small kitchen but my mother's house has a huge kitchen; she just doesn't know how to be well-organised), I also do not want any smoking nor alcoholic-beverages nor drugs but since you're a vegan this would probably be a non-issue.

I know, I know, why the hell am I on SSI/SSA/SSDI or whatever it's called, when I am perfectly healthy and well over-qualified to be able to work just about any job in existence, well, the story is complicated, but to make a long story short, Police-State USA makes it illegal for me to even try to get to anywhere I might want to try to work, because my religious-beliefs forbid me from funding any part of the extortionist dis-services systems of any state or government in any way (this includes driver's licenses, license-renewal fees, stamp-duties, levies, tariffs, fines, and basically anything that can be interpreted as being a tax, for it goes against my conscience due to being the same thing as funding a domestic-terrorist organisation). Anyway, I have plenty of experience with low-cost living, and I can tell you for a fact that I felt happier living in freedom, even when I was homeless, than I was living with my drama-causing parents (the recent step-father I spoke of was a radiologist, but Mr. I-have-five-degrees-and-work-as-a-doctor-so-I-am-obviously-better-and-smarter-than-you Attitude got on my nerves, due to all of their Statist-oriented liberal-indoctrinations, which was why I left the house to go live on my own; the original step-father prior to the radiologist worked in the oil-field business with Esso which is why I have lived/travelled around several parts of the world due to the company paid family paid re-locations, countries such as Venezuela, Japan, Canada, Singapore, Australia, USA, and occasional visits to other countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and some other places I am probably not remembering).

TL;DR : Otherwise, long story short, if you want to skip all the above reading, living happily (even if your life-style is seemingly at the homeless-levels) IS easier than living in misery (even if you live under the same roof as someone who gets paid a six-figure income). Please excuse me for any TMI. Even I need to complain about my life periodically.


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29 Jan 2017, 5:52 pm

The most important thing to know about U.S. disability benefits is that:

--If you have been employed within the last four years, you are eligible for SSDI which would provide the amount of benefits you need to pay all your bills, especially medical bills. SSI, on the other hand, pays a flat $735 a month regardless of need.

--Always hire a lawyer who will help you applying and arguing for benefits. Your lawyer gets paid nothing unless you are awarded your benefits. In that case, you pay up to 25 percent of the benefits you accrue while waiting for a decision will be paid to the lawyer when you succeed. The rest remains yours. If you hire a lawyer (not a requirement, but a very wise thing to do), stay in contact at least monthly, and ask a LOT of questions. That is the lawyer's job, so don't be shy.

--Once you receive your benefits, you are also eligible for Medicaid, SNAP food benefits and two types of housing assistance. Your home state might also have benefits for which you would qualify. Some benefits, like housing can take a looong time on waiting lists, so apply early.

--Lastly, too many benefits lawyers forget or simply don't tell beneficiaries about the list of rules ( https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/ ) that come with receiving benefits; for example, you are allowed only $2,000 in resources (assets like cash and valuables) which aren't exempt (exempt resources include clothing, food, electronic devices, medical devices, furniture, books, DVDs and CDs and hobby materials). The Social Security Administration will send you a booklet which describes a few of the rules, but keep the URL address handy. You will want and need it frequently for detailed information.


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SH90
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29 Jan 2017, 5:57 pm

I believe the OP is already on disability. I imagine she will qualify for food stamps and Medicare… Budgeting is the tricky part, but that will again depend on location.



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31 Jan 2017, 12:53 am

I'm on Social Security Disability & only receive $867 a month(it was $864 last year). I lived with my parents before I moved in with my girlfriend 4 years ago. She's disabled too & is on SSI. She qualifies for food-stamps & has a Section 8 housing voucher. She lived in a low income place when she 1st moved out of her parents. Her rent was based on how much her income was & she qualified for the Section 8 after living there a year. My parents wanted me to move out & was told that I would have to be living on my own before I would qualify for housing assistance but I couldn't afford to move out on my own 1st without those programs already in place to help me so those programs probably vary by state & the state I moved to when I moved in with my girlfriend is ALOT more progressive. I have Medicare for my primary health insurance but I also qualify for Medicaid extra help because my income is low enough. My girlfriend also qualifies for fuel assistance which is only enough to help out with like one or two months of her gas bill in winter. The only health insurance she has is Medicaid but that's accepted most everywhere here. Few docs would accept Medicaid when I lived in Louisiana because it wouldn't pay them enough so I had to pay for private insurance & than continue it through my work & then COBRA when I quit working which cost half of my benefit check before I got on SSDI & qualified for Medicare after a year.


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Belushi87
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31 Jan 2017, 1:29 am

it depends on where you are. i personally get a certain amount every month and that goes towards rent, bills and food. i get medical and dental, but i can only make a certain amount every month on top of what i get from disability. if i got over then they would have to take off the difference on the next month's pay.

so it has its disadvantages and advantages. i can work part time and claim my paycheck every week and get dental medcial or i can not work and live off what i get, but it could only take me so far.



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31 Jan 2017, 9:48 am

Living on disability is very difficult in the UK when the bloody Tories want you to work and have classed people in persistent vegatative states as "fit to work"...


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31 Jan 2017, 12:21 pm

I think other people have provided you with good information about different benefits you can look into. I agree that if you miserable you need to go ahead and find a way out of it.

If you are not familiar with what it is like to be poor, I recommend this Morgan Spurlock episode where he lives on minimum wage for 30 days:



Spurlock and his wife (? partner? girlfriend?) are also vegans. I liked that they found a lot of free resources when they were doing this. Not everyone knows that such things are available.

I very much disliked being poor growing up. Living on the amount you're talking about is possible, especially for a single person, but the transition would be quite difficult if you did not grow up poor. You may not be able to continue to eat healthy or to live in Manhattan. A place like Ohio or West Virginia would be more accommodating to your budget. For example, the B vitamins you're talking about would pay for several days worth of poor people food.

I strongly suggest taking the other posters suggestions and talking to someone about what other benefits you could get and what your legal rights are.