“What If I’m Coming Up Short at the End of Each Month?”

There are a number of programs available at the federal and state level that may provide income assistance. Some of these programs are briefly outlined below, and additional resources are listed in Step 10 of this blog series.

GENERAL ASSISTANCE

  • State-funded programs can assist individuals with few or no assets and little or no income.
  • Generally, a qualified person can receive assistance with food and housing, plus a small monthly check to help with living expenses.
  • Contact your state department of social services or state department of public welfare.

SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI)

  • This federal program provides monthly income for eligible seniors, or those who are blind or disabled and have incomes below federal minimum standards.
  • The amount of money received is based on financial need, not FICA contributions on earnings previously paid under Social Security requirements.
  • Eligible persons often qualify for food assistance and Medicaid on a state level.
  • If you are on Medicare, SSI will, in most cases, pay your premiums.

AID TO FAMILIES WITH DEPENDENT CHILDREN (AFDC)

  • AFDC is a federal benefit program for children with permanent disabilities.
  • These benefits may also be available for children in families in which one or both parents are disabled, retired or deceased.
  • An individual cannot receive both SSI payments and payments under the AFDC program; however, a parent or child may be eligible under both programs and can choose whichever one is best for their circumstance.

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INCOME (SSDI)

  • Monthly payments under SSDI are based on prior FICA contributions on earnings under Social Security requirements.
  • Medical requirements for disability are the same as for SSI.
  • SSDI benefits may be taxable if your income exceeds certain limits.
  • SSI, AFDC and SSDI may be reached at 800-772-1213, or go to www.ssa.gov.

DISABILITY INSURANCE POLICY OR INCOME PROTECTION PLANS

A disability insurance policy or income protection program is a private insurance policy purchased and paid for by the insured.

  • These types of policies/programs may also be a benefit provided by an employer.
  • Policy/program benefits are based on a percentage of the policyholder’s base salary.
  • Disability policies/programs may interfere with eligibility for state/ federal programs (such as Medicaid) that impose income restrictions.
  • Contact your employer’s human resources/benefits director or your insurance agent.

EMPLOYER DISABILITY BENEFIT PLANS (SHORT-TERM/LONG- TERM LEAVE)

  • Short-term disability is usually temporary. If the medical condition does not improve, long-term disability benefits may take over, with changes in benefits.
  • An individual must satisfy the medical requirements of the disability policy.
  • This benefit may interfere with eligibility for state/federal programs that impose income restrictions.
  • Health and life insurance benefits under an employer group policy may be directly affected by the status of the disability.
  • Contact your employer’s human resources/benefits director for more information regarding your benefits, options and rights.
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