If you can’t work anymore because of your health, and you don’t know how you’re going to make ends meet, you shouldn’t have to do it on your own. Depending on your work history, income level, and disability, you might be eligible for disability benefits to help you support yourself and any dependents you might have.
Benefits Through Social Security
Individuals out of work because of their physical or mental medical condition can apply for social security disability if they’ve paid enough money into the system over time. Most employers in the U.S. will use a small part of your wages to contribute to the Social Security Administration.
People who have earned enough work credits by contributing over time will qualify for retirement benefits after they’ve reached the proper age, or they can apply for disability benefits if they’re going to be out of work for at least a year.
As long as you’ve worked recently and for long enough, you should be eligible for benefits for as long as you are unable to work because of a disability. If you can’t perform your old job, but you are still capable of moving into a different career field, you might not qualify.
Supplementary Security Income
Another program you might be eligible for because of a disability is the supplemental security income program. This is administered through Social Security, but it doesn’t depend on your investment in the system.
These benefits are meant to supplement your income and help you survive if you are a disabled or retired individual with a very low income. The benefits are paid monthly and disabilities are determined according to the same criteria used for social security disability, but it also depends on an assessment of your income and available resources.
If you are a veteran with an honorable discharge, you may also qualify for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. You gave generously of yourself in service to your country, and you deserve continuing support and care.
While your veteran status should automatically qualify you for many helpful programs, including healthcare through the VA, disability benefits for veterans apply only for disabilities or injuries that are connected in some way to your military service.
If you believe your disability was caused or exacerbated by something that occurred during your service, you should consider applying for benefits to see if you qualify. Unlike with Social Security, your disability does not need to completely prevent you from working. Even partial disabilities are recognized.
Don’t Give Up
If you’re disabled and living on a limited income, you’re already facing a lot of stressors. Navigating the process of applying for disability benefits is one more challenge filled with its own unique obstacles. The important thing is to not let yourself get discouraged. Don’t give up, and don’t hesitate to get help from a qualified professional in figuring out your applications if you need it.