Disability Living Allowance
Living with a disability is already difficult under the best of circumstances. Daily activities are much more difficult. Taking care of the basic necessities of life is challenging, even though most people don’t even think about them and take abilities for granted. But, to add insult to injury, many disabled individuals live well below the poverty line. Virtually destitute, they often have to make hard choices between paying for food, household expenses, or even proper medical care. So, any type of disability living allowance will help ease the financial burden of a clinical physical, mental, or emotional disability.
Qualifying for a Disability Living Allowance
Speaking from personal experience, qualifying for a disability living allowance can be a frustrating experience. You, or a designated helper, will have to fill out a lot of paperwork. Your financial and medical histories need to be fully disclosed. In most cases, you will also need some paperwork and a signature from your health care providers.
The wheels of government seem to move slowly. Even after submitting all of the necessary documents and undergoing medical examinations, it will take some time for a decision regarding monies for a disability living allowance. Patience is necessary; but, it is frustrating, when you are already in a financially stressful situation.
On the plus side, if you qualify for an allowance for disability living, chances are good you will also meet the requirements for receiving Medicaid. Although it doesn’t pay for dental care, it can make a big difference in the cost of medications, doctor bills, and even hospital stays. So, hang in there. If you qualify, it will be worth the wait.
Two Types of Disability Living Allowance
In my experience, there are mainly two types of disability living allowance. Your health and financial history determines which allowance application to fill out. In some cases, you might even be turned down the first time you apply. But, don’t give up. If you ask, they will explain why your application was initially rejected and what you need to do, in order to qualify in the future.
So, here is a brief explanation of the disability living allowances made available to citizens of the United States:
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income is for the individuals that have never been able to work, or have not been able to work in the last few years. The allowance is available to those people that may not be living alone, but do not have the ability to contribute to the household expenses.
Aptly named, this is a supplemental source of income. It isn’t meant to fully support a disabled individual. The maximum amount any one person can receive is around $500. If that individual has any other source of unearned income, other than child support, that amount is deducted from the maximum allowance.
However, if you receive financial aid to pay utility bills in the winter, food stamps, or other public programs, it will not count against you, because this aid is paid directly for services and not spendable income for you.
Social Security Disability Income
The most beneficial disability living allowance available in America is Social Security Disability. The aid is available for those people that were once able to work and support their families. Due to some sort of disability, you might qualify, if you can no longer work, or your work is restricted to 20 hours a week or less. Of course, there are financial caps to the amount of income you can bring in from other sources. For example, you might be able to work from home, via the computer, for a few hours a week. But, it’s not enough to support your family.
The maximum amount you can receive from SSDI is $1500 a month. But, if you receive a pension, workmen’s compensation, or some other benefit, that amount will likely be reduced, even if you qualify.
Like SSI, it will require a lot of paperwork from both you and your health care providers to qualify. In most cases, your application will be rejected the first time. However, you will be advised what needs to be done, in order to meet the qualifications. In fact, there are lawyers that specialize in SSDI. Once your application is approved, the Government pays the legal fees. After your approval has been processed, your first check will reflect the monthly disability living allowance back to the time you first submitted the application.
In short, applying for a disability living allowance can be challenging. But, hang in there. When, you are already dealing with the challenges of a disability, you shouldn’t have to be burdened by the choice of purchasing food or filling your prescriptions. It can make life a little easier.