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What other benefits can I get with Social Security disability?

Those who are disabled may be able to receive additional financial support while claiming benefits through one or both SSA programs dedicated to them.

Receiving additional benefits on top of Social Security disability

While Social Security benefits are managed at the federal level through the Social Security Administration (SSA), financial support programs for low-income Americans are generally handled at the state or local level. This means that eligibility requirements can vary from state to state.

Those that receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may also receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is known as receiving “concurrent benefits” but the qualifications for each are different. Likewise, there is no prohibition from the federal government on receiving other benefits in addition to these SSA programs, but some states may not allow recipients of disability benefits to participate.

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The difference between SSDI and SSI

For those who become disabled or are unable to work before reaching retirement and have accumulated sufficient “work credits” the SSA provides a monthly disability benefit through SSDI. Family members of a contributing worker, spouse or child, can also qualify for this disability benefit based on the contributor’s account with the SSA.

On the other hand, SSI benefits are based on income guidelines established by the SSA. Those who are over 65 as well as those who are blind or disabled may qualify for this monthly financial support. Furthermore, some states supplement SSI payments with additional money each month.

Income limits for those working and earning income may be different, the SSA provides an example of a person receiving concurrent benefits. However, disability benefits may not be sufficient to live on, individuals and families may be eligible for other financial support programs.

Medicare and Medicaid

When you apply for SSI benefits you are automatically applying for Medicaid, the federal and state healthcare coverage program for people with limited income and resources. Recipients of SSI may be eligible for Medicaid automatically in most states, while in other states you will need to go through another agency to apply for and establish your eligibility. In those cases, the SSA will direct you to the appropriate office in order to apply for Medicaid.

Although the Medicare health insurance program is generally for people over 65, those who are eligible to receive SSDI payments will automatically qualify for Medicare coverage after 24 months. People with Lou Gehrig’s disease will qualify for Medicare the first month they receive disability benefits.

Other disability payments individuals may qualify for:

  • Disability payments from an employer or insurance company
  • Temporary state disability insurance benefit
  • Veteran Affairs disability benefits
  • Workers’ Compensation benefits

Welfare financial support programs

There are a series of programs which provide money to buy food, pay for housing and cover other basic necessities. The programs, although federally funded, they are operated at the state and local level, so their names may vary across the nation. This means that the requisites to qualify may be different from state to state as well, and whether you can claim financial support from these programs while receiving disability benefits.

SSA benefits are deposited directly into a recipient’s bank account each month, the date depends on which type of benefit you are receiving. Financial support payments through the states are generally placed onto an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The name of SNAP, otherwise known as Food Stamps, can vary from state to state along with requirements to claim SNAP. This program provides financial support for households struggling to pay for food and other nutritional essentials.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF provides financial support for low-income households and can go by different names in each state. The program also covers various support services designed to ensure that families are not left behind, including job preparation support, work assistance and help with childcare.

The exact programs on offer from the TANF, and requirements to qualify, varies between states because although the funding comes from the federal government the system is administered at a state and local level.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The LIHEAP program benefit helps recipients cover the cost of heating and cooling their home. The program provides two types of funds, regular and emergency, as well as funds to improve the weatherization of housing.

The Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount for recipients to offset the cost of internet service in the home. Households can receive a discount of up to $30 per month, on tribal lands up to $75 per month. Additionally, recipients can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.


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