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keeperumiami, Senior Tax Expert & Financial Planner
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 6110
Experience:  Sr Tax Expert/Financial PlannerCPA/PFS (retired)Over forty years of advising individuals & small businesses
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I am receiving social security disability. Recently my rent

Customer Question

I am receiving social security disability. Recently my rent for a studio apartment went up from $820.00 a month to 1,108.59 plus an additional 273.59 for security on a one year lease. I can not afford this increase do you know who I can speak to for help or advice ? Thank You
Submitted: 24 days ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  keeperumiami replied 24 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** goal is to give you a complete & accurate answer. I am working on your request now & I will respond as soon as possible.

Expert:  keeperumiami replied 24 days ago.

Social Security Disability is not "means" tested. This means that your benefit is not related to your living expenses, it is based upon what you qualify for considering your historical and projected earnings (as if you were not disabled).

Therefore increases such as you are experiencing do not affect your disability benefits.

There are a few suggestions that come to mind that are worth exploring in your situation.

1. Contact the Social Security Administration to determine if you qualify for SSI (Supplemental Social Security).

It is best to make an appointment at your local Social Security office to discuss your options.

2. If you are on Medicare (which happens automatically after you are on SSDI for 2 years), and are not currently receiving what is called "Extra Help" with your Medicare insurance premiums, you may now qualify for that. You can discuss these requirements at the same time as you discuss qualifying for SSI.

3. You didn't mention which state you reside in, but you should contact your state's Public Assistance office as there are many local programs that you could qualify for to assist with your expenses for food, rent, utilities as well as other living expenses. If you are not now receiving public assistance, these increased expenses may qualify you for assistance or additional assistance to what you are now receiving if you are currently receiving benefits.

4. Depending upon your disability, there are programs available from drug manufacturers to assist with pharmacy costs. I know of one particular instance where a pharmacy program reduced the cost to the patient for one drug from $180. a month (while the patient was in the so called "donut hole") to $25. a month. This was one of many programs that are available on particular drugs that must be investigated on a drug by drug basis.

I'm sure there are other specific programs, but you have to determine if you qualify for any of these based upon your particular circumstances. It is rare that you'll find any programs that turn funds over to you, but there are many programs that will pay or reimburse you for specific expenses, particularly if you are now collecting SSDI.

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