While the disability benefit programs offered by Social Security have changed countless lives for the better, it hasn’t made them all easy. Depending on your work history at the time you become disabled, your monthly payment can vary significantly, but most recipients find it necessary to plan their spending carefully.
If you’re adjusting to a lower income due to becoming disabled, budgeting may not seem like a way out of financial insecurity. However it can help you understand how restrictive you’ll have to be with you spending compared to before, and you may find that you still have money to do the things you enjoyed doing before.
Budgeting Tips for People on Disability
- Get other forms of assistance. This is essential for people receiving SSI, especially if they don’t have family to fall back on financially. But even with a solid SSDI check, you can still benefit greatly from asking for help. There are programs to assist people on disability with utility payments, phone service, and other common living expenses. These can vary depending on where you live, but you may be surprised how many you’re eligible for even with a larger SSDI income.
- Add all your bills together. You may choose to do this step first, as some of your monthly expenses may be taken care of if you contact the right agencies and services. Either way, the total number of bills and other unavoidable expenses will give you a more realistic understanding of your financial picture.
- Calculate your other expenses. Once you know how much you’re spending on bills take a look at what you spend on things that you may not really need. The purpose of this isn’t to eliminate all discretionary spending (i.e., spending on “wants” as opposed to “needs”), but to identify spending patterns that may become a problem later on down the road.
- Decide what you’re willing to give up. Becoming disabled should feel like your life is over, but you may find that if you’re spending too much on things that you don’t need, your creating more stress and insecurity for yourself. If you budget wisely, you will have more money to do the things that make your life fulfilling.
Going on disability is never an easy decision to make. It can be painful to accept your limitations, especially if they aren’t still limitations you’re used to having. Let us make it easier, by calling, emailing, or texting our offices to consult with a disability attorney. Katherine has helped many people whose lives were changed by the onset of disability. Schedule a free consultation and she can help you, too.