Social Security disability benefits afford steady source of income each month. That income can be used to pay for everyday living expenses, medical bills, and other daily costs, including things like modifying your home to accommodate the physical challenges or limitations of your disability.
Disability Benefit Programs
Disability benefits come in two forms: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Dependent upon your circumstances, you may qualify for both programs or only one. Either way, benefits are can be used to cover all incidental and ongoing expenses.
You should keep in mind however that your monthly disability payments may not equal your former income from employment. This is often the case and may mean you must look for other sources of support.
The good news is that individuals that receive disability benefits frequently qualify for other forms of support at the federal, state, or local level.
- If you receive SSDI benefits, your home state may have a supplemental disability benefit for which you qualify as well.
- Medicaid coverage may be available immediately, based on your financial circumstances, and Medicare eligibility additionally kicks in after two years for SSDI recipients.
- If you receive SSI, then food stamps and other forms of income-based benefits are usually available as well.
Your local social services or welfare office can help you learn about and apply for other sources of support. If you’re able to qualify for other benefits or social service programs, then you may be able to save at least some of your Social Security disability payments for bigger expenses, including the costs of modifying your home.
Home Modification Options
Disability benefits are not your only option for covering the costs of modifying your home. There are charities that offer no-cost and low-cost programs to help the disabled make essential home modifications.
- If you’re a disabled veteran, the Veterans Administration (VA) has two different home modification grants for you may qualify.
- Charitable organizations, like the Corporation for National & Community Service, also offer home modification programs to qualified individuals.
Be sure to investigate all of your options, and don’t forget to check with the department of health or human services in your home state as well. There may be grants and other programs offered at the state or local level to help you remain in your home.
Applying for Social Security Benefits
As you seek ways to maintain and improve your life with a disability, you should consider applying for every form of support for which you may be eligible, including SSI and SSDI. SSI applications must be made via a personal interview with an SSA representative, usually at the local office. SSDI benefits can be applied for online or at the local field office. You can also apply over the phone for both programs by calling 1-800-772-1213.
Before starting your application, you may also wish to consider consulting an attorney or disability advocate. Although legal counsel isn’t required, applicants with a disability attorney or advocate on their side have a higher approval rating, particularly if an appeal is necessary.