can I live on social security disability alone

If you are disabled and living off Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits, your fixed income could present unique challenges regarding where you live.

Individual states assess these benefits differently, so your monthly payments might go farther in some states than others.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, Missouri and Arkansas are in the top 10 lowest costs of living indices and home prices in the United States.

If you’re wondering, “Can I live on Social Security disability alone?” there’s a good chance that the answer is yes if you live in one of these states.

Can You Live on Disability?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals with a disability that prevents them from working. 

While living solely off SSDI is feasible, individuals may find it challenging to cover all their expenses. Supplementing disability benefits with additional income sources or aid programs can alleviate financial strain. Effective budgeting and minimizing monthly costs are key to managing with SSDI alone.

In Missouri, as of 2021, the average SSDI payment is $1,319.28 monthly.

The question of whether someone can live on social security disability alone in Missouri depends on a variety of factors, including the cost of living, the individual’s expenses, and the availability of additional resources.

The cost of living in Missouri varies depending on the area of the state. In cities like St. Louis and Kansas City, the cost of living can be higher than the state average.

According to data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Missouri’s living cost is slightly below the national average.

Missouri is generally considered an affordable state to live in, especially in rural counties like Ripley, Wayne, and Shannon.

Smaller cities in Missouri that also offer affordable living include Jefferson City, Sedalia, and Hannibal. 

For those living in Arkansas, the cost of living is even lower than in Missouri.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the cost of living for a single person in Arkansas is approximately $36,500 per year, or about $3,042 a month.

While the cost of living will be higher in Little Rock or Fayetteville, smaller cities like Hot Springs, Fort Smith, and Texarkana offer a lower cost of living that could benefit individuals on a fixed income. 

In either state, if you share housing, you can also share the living expenses, which will decrease your monthly expenses.

You can rent a room in your house or combine funds to buy a home with others. 

Many Americans are also considering residency outside of the United States. One of the primary benefits of moving abroad is the lower cost of living.

In addition to lower housing costs, healthcare is often more affordable. Costa Rica and Mexico, for example, offer robust healthcare systems at a fraction of the U.S. cost.

For SSDI beneficiaries who rely on prescription drugs, this could make all the difference in making ends meet. 

Do I Qualify for Additional Assistance?

Individuals who receive SSDI in Missouri or Arkansas may also be eligible for additional assistance through programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

These are federal programs that provide additional financial support to those who qualify. 

To be eligible for SNAP, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with limited assets. In Missouri, the asset limit for most households is $2,250.

In Arkansas, the asset limit is $2,000 for most households, but it can be higher with a disabled family member.  

Despite these additional resources, it can still be difficult to live on SSDI alone.

Many individuals with disabilities have additional expenses related to their condition, such as medical bills or the cost of assistive technology.

In addition, the cost of housing and transportation can also be a significant expense for many people. 

For some individuals, working part-time or participating in the Ticket to Work program may be an option to supplement their income.

The Ticket to Work program provides job training and placement services to individuals with disabilities who want to return to work.

Participants in the program can work while still receiving SSDI benefits, which can help them build their skills and earn additional income. 

Social Security Disability Lawyer

Living on social security disability alone is difficult, but it’s not impossible.

Contact the Cottrell Law Office today if you’ve applied for social security benefits and were denied.

Wes Cottrell of the Cottrell Law Office has over 32 years of experience in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and social security disability cases.

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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