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DisabilityWhat If My Disability Benefits Aren’t Enough to Live On?

January 30, 2023

How do you survive financially on disability benefits? It’s a fixed income. If you’re disabled and can no longer work, can you receive enough money to support yourself — just like you did when you were working? This is a legitimate worry for some who are considering applying for disability benefits with the help of an attorney. That being said, this blog post tells you what to do if your disability benefits are not enough to cover your expenses.

Social Security Disability Lawyer in Nebraska and Iowa

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O.’s Social Security Disability team can help you secure benefits needed  to support yourself. Chellsie Weber, our wildly successful and experienced disability attorney, Abby Reid, our wonderful and thorough disability paralegal, and the rest of our caring attorneys and staff, can offer support and advice as it pertains to your disability and the benefits approval process. Remember, you’re more likely to have a successful disability claim with an attorney by your side. Call us today at 402-991-2100. You also can share your story here.

What Is The Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

Government assistance takes on a few forms for those who are disabled and can’t work. There are two main disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which provide monthly benefits to disabled workers. While SSDI is based on your work history, SSI provides benefits to low-income individuals who meet specific financial criteria. Both programs are designed to help provide you with coverage for essential living expenses. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, however, you may qualify for both in some circumstances. 

How to Find State and Local Financial Help 

The average monthly disability check ranges from $800 to $1,800 per month, according to government reports. In early 2019, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit of about $1,234 to all disabled workers who received SSDI. 

With inflation and the higher costs of living, that may not feel like enough. However, your limited income may help you qualify for other help from federal, local and state agencies. 

  • Depending on your financial situation and where you live, you may qualify for additional help from Medicare or Medicaid. This can cover your premiums, copays and prescription costs. 
  • You may qualify for food assistance programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or commodity food distribution. 
  • You may qualify for help with housing costs, such as programs such as Section 8, which offers housing vouchers to help with rent or mortgage payments. You may qualify to live in public housing with your rent based on your income. 
  • There is a Federal Communications Commission program — the Lifeline Program — which helps those who have lower incomes cover the cost of cell phone service. You may qualify for phone use discounts through this program. 

There are local organizations that offer financial assistance or help with food and utilities. Check with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Iowa Department of Human Services, or with a social worker to determine what resources may be available if you are disabled and struggling to get by. 

Can I Work Part-Time if I Receive Disability? 

You can work part-time while receiving disability benefits, but it must be minimal. Otherwise, the government will assume you are able to go back to work and earn a living on your own. Read more about this here

Do I Need An Attorney to Get Disability?

If you are unable to work and earn a living, share your story with Chellsie and Abby. The disability team at Watson & Carroll have helped thousands of disabled workers maneuver the disability claims process. 

About Watson & Carroll 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones – not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a medical malpractice case or advocating for disability benefits, we work to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld. 

Our firm can help. Call 402-991-2100 or email contact@watsoncarroll.com. You also can fill out our confidential contact form.


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