Financial help for the disabled may be available through various programs such as nutrition assistance, benefits for dependents and healthcare insurance. It may hit a family especially hard if the household breadwinner is disabled, in which case, short- and long-term disability benefits may be necessary, depending on the extent of the injury.
Nutritional Assistance When the Breadwinner is Disabled
Putting food on the table can become a concern when the breadwinner is no longer able to work due to a disability. Qualifying families may be able to receive help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The amount available is different for each family. It is usually based on income and financial resources.
Benefits for Dependents When the Breadwinner is Disabled
Financial help for the disabled also may be available through dependent benefits. Dependents sometimes will qualify for monthly payments when a breadwinner receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This generally applies to spouses and children but sometimes will include other family members.
Requirements for a spouse are that the SSDI recipient is 62 years or older, or has a child under the age of 16 who is eligible for dependents’ benefits. Children must be younger than 18 and unmarried.
Healthcare Benefits When the Breadwinner is Disabled
If the breadwinner receives SSDI, after 24 months he or she is eligible to receive Medicare. While that may sound like a long time to wait, particularly with the sometimes-lengthy waiting period before a claim is approved (especially if the application is denied and must go through the appeals process), the 24 months may have already passed, or nearly passed, by the time disability benefits begin.
Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance, which most SSDI recipients don’t have to pay. Medicare Part B provides medical insurance, which generally requires a monthly payment.
In addition to Medicare, some SSDI recipients may be entitled to receive Medicaid. This is generally available to people with low income.
Go over your eligibility for short- and long-term disability benefits and general financial assistance with a lawyer who is familiar with the disability process. An attorney can help identify financial help for disabled individuals and their families.