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Are Social Security Disability Benefits Enough to Live On?

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    JK, but because of your young age you have not had the time to have family = expense, usually = debt.

    You have not had time to accrue any hardships, ie; divorce, death of close family where you incurred expenses. You have not incurred the cost of higher education for several children. Give it time, you will learn. Job losses, so you dip into savings. By the time you can retire many have been thru most that was meant to make old age easier and now rely on SS. Sad!

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    I am currently on SSDI. My husband was denied and is currently fighting that decision, especially since Department of Vocational Rehabilitation said they can't help him get a job (he is too disabled). Prior to my husband becoming disabled we had bought a house, the payments are $700 per month, then we have to pay for electricity, garbage, septic, and water. Our cars are fully paid for but are more than 10 years old. We have car insurance (mandatory in our state). We do qualify for and receive food stamps and medical assistance, but once he starts receiving SSDI (which will be who knows when since we have been fighting for the last 2 1/2 years, which is nothing compared to other people who have had to fight for 5-10 years before they got their disability payments.) We don't have enough money to pay for basics. I am allergic to many foods and chemicals. I have to eat a wheat-free, egg-free, lactose-free and many other foods that I am allergic to I must avoid. I have had success with eliminating my allergies through a technique called N.A.E.T, but it is expensive and I have not been able to continue treatments. I can't afford the medications I can take, I am allergic to many medications that are covered by Medicare/Kaiser Senior Advantage (Kaiser doesn't believe in alternate medical anything, natural medicines or new techniques). If we sell our house we won't qualify for low-income housing for up to 5 years. We live in a rural area, so rent was cheap until people from California discovered our little town and started to move here causing a rental rate increase, so now it is cheaper to keep my house, not that I could afford to move if I wanted to. Without rental assistance and food stamps, I don't know how people can possibly make it on the low amount given to us (I receive a higher than most who have responded here, as mine is $1100 per month plus we get food stamps). I get a small discount on all of my utilities, except septic, because of being disabled. I think if enough of us get together and petition the government for an increase in benefits and food stamp levels according to the actual cost of living they will (or not). Also, anytime a representative from our area is around (having town meetings), I try to attend and give her a piece of my mind (I have don't this many times).
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    J.K.Logic Wrote: I've only been in the workforce for 12 years of my life, at 28. So I won't pretend to have experience of living off of SS benefits after retirement. But I did look up out of curiosity how much the average SS monthly payout is. For retired workers, as of Social Security's website cites from December 2013's Beneficiary Data, the average person received $1,294 a month in benefits.

    For disabled workers, it's a little less at $1,146 per month.

    I bring up my age to reference a point.. since I was 17 I have paid all of my bills by myself. And I have always lived within my means and been responsible with not taking on too many bills, outside of necessity. For the last decade, I have lived in several different cities and states, but have routinely found that my monthly income need always hovers around the same every month, give or take a few hundred. That number is roughly $1400-1700 per month. That covers all monthly recurring bills, food, gas and all other misc., usually on average at least. Some months are better, others are much more costly.

    So to imagine being unable to work, or retired from a long life of working, and trying to survive on $1150-$1300 a month, that sounds like quite a struggle indeed. I suppose that if you were capable or lucky enough to have fully paid off housing and auto concerns by that point, this would make it a much more doable situation. Then I could see it. Still, it would be tight, and hard to imagine that check doing anything beyond just getting by, from month to month.
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    I also live off my ssdi,when they say they give u enough to live on they do.
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    My JaredS Wrote: Are you currently receiving Social Security Disability benefits? If so, this thread is for you.

    I have always wondered if disability benefits are enough to support someone who is receiving them or if you need further assistance to help you get by. This is especially so for individuals who live alone and don't have a secondary income helping you take care of bills and other expenditures.

    So if anyone is currently receiving SSDI and wants to share your story then we would like to hear it. Do you find yourself able to live comfortably or is it a struggle for you to get by?
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    My name is margaret and I am 63 years old and years ago I was awarded social security and ssi and was making a little over $11,00 a month I rented a shared room in a retirement home. While I was in a nursing home recuperating from a hip replacement surgery I was informed that someone at social security decided that I was getting to much money and I don't know how this could be possible but they took away my ssi and are deducting $85.00 a month as repayment of the over payment. The place that I was living in put my things in storage and gave away my dog because my neighbor couldn't get enough money from the bank to pay my rent. I am stranded in the nursing home suffering from complications from my neuropathy and fibromyalgia. I don't know where I am going to go with so little money and no one to help me. If anybody knows anywhere I am at Panorama meadows in Panorama City.
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    Yes, it can be done! I live in what we affectionately call Taxachusetts! I am NOT retired but am collecting Social Security Disability benefits, and I am the governments worst nightmare! When I first got on Social Security Disability half of my check went toward rent which fortunately included heat and water! I paid the electric bill which I managed to keep to about $25 A YEAR, that's right $25 A YEAR. I managed to also pay for car expenses, and food but had pretty much had nothing left! Now to comment on my second statement: "I am the governments worst nightmare!" You ask why, because I am a former social security representative (used to work for the 800#) and I was an advocate for the homeless (so I am well versed in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Welfare, and Subsidized housing). I've called Social Security for information for myself and when the person said they didn't have access to the information I wanted "I did NOT argue". I simply asked the person to please be PATIENT with me and asked if they would kindly go to the main menu and put this, that, and the other in. They DID and then asked me how I was able to take them to the information I wanted. I smiled through the phone and said simply that their job had once been MY job, and therefore I knew the system! Of course I ended the call with a BIG, BIG, BIG SMILE on my face!
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    People do NOT seem to realize you were NOT meant to live off Social Security. Social Security was INTENDED to be 1/3 of your retirement. People were SUPPOSED to also save for their retirement (1/3) and finally the government EXPECTED that employers would give retirement benefit (1/3). UNFORTUNATELY, MOST do NOT save for retirement AND many employers no longer give retirement benefits.

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    Maronita1 Wrote:

    People do NOT seem to realize you were NOT meant to live off Social Security. Social Security was INTENDED to be 1/3 of your retirement. People were SUPPOSED to also save for their retirement (1/3) and finally the government EXPECTED that employers would give retirement benefit (1/3). UNFORTUNATELY, MOST do NOT save for retirement AND many employers no longer give retirement benefits.

    Social Security was also passed during a time when the average person died before they even became eligible for it.

    Yes, Social Security was never meant to be the only form of financial security for retirees, but it has become that for millions of people now that major corporations no longer provide pensions and 401k's rise and fall with the stock market, which millions of people found out in 2008-09.

    Many people don't save what they need to for retirement because they can't save what they need to for retirement. The average American hasn't received a raise in decades. Sure, they may have made more money per year, but the cost of living has far outpaced any extra money they have made.

    It's not as simple as blaming the victim. Life is far more complicated than that.