Money Management: How To Live Well On Social Security

As someone with disabilities who got approved for disability recently, I've heard much about the challenges of getting approved for disability, and how complicated it is to live well once you get it. 
Here are some ideas on how to get approved more easily and how to live well once you get it.

Roughly 12% of men and 15% of women rely on their monthly Social Security check for at least 90% or more of their income, CNBC reports. If you’re raising a family with SSI making up all or most of your income, it’s important to make every dollar of your monthly payments count. Fortunately, smart money-management tips can help your payments go further, while also keeping costs low.

Don’t take no for an answer

SSI is a lifeline for many, but almost 80% of disability claim applicants are actually rejected at first. Although this can be discouraging, it happens to most, so it’s important to be prepared for this possibility, and know there’s still hope. Applications may be denied for a myriad of reasons, such as, a sparse work history, failure to provide enough medical evidence, or surpassing the income threshold. Fortunately, if your claim is denied, you can appeal this decision in court. Your hearing will involve a fair and objective review of your case, as well as give you the chance to show any extra evidence that proves your eligibility for SSI.

Be flexible with your budget

Budgeting to ensure you have enough to cover all your costs is key to achieving financial independence. However, it’s important to be flexible: your budget may need to change in line with your current financial situation and the economy. For example, perhaps you notice you’re always spending more on gas than you’ve budgeted for. So, that means you need to increase your gas budget for the time being. In turn, you’ll probably need to decrease your budget in another area to keep on top of your financial goals.

Sign up for a PASS account

SSI benefits are only eligible for people with no more than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for married couples). So, if your assets total more than this limit, you may end up losing your benefits. Fortunately, there is, however, a way around this: opening a PASS (Plan to Achieve Self-Support) account. A PASS account lets you save money (usually for a specific work goal like starting a business or starting education or training) without damaging your eligibility for SSI benefits.

Living on SSI can be challenging, but it’s certainly doable. By appealing a rejected claim, being flexible with your budget, and signing up for a PASS account, you can ease financial burdens and better stay in control of your finances.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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