What is Life Really Like Living off of Social Security?

About 14 million people receive a social security check due to disability or an injury. People suffering from these conditions want to pull themselves by their own bootstraps but simply are unable to. On top of all this, there is an underlying stigma placed on those living off of disability. Yet, do we even know what it’s really like to live like that? Hopefully, the following points will enlighten us all in that regard.

Staying on Track

A person on disability must stay on top of his or her medical appointments to continuously prove the need for disability. That might sound like a simple thing to do for someone who is fully abled, but it can be a challenge to even get to the doctor’s without relying on other people if you’re disabled. This is on top of the fact that there are many rules that must be observed, which sometimes require legal advice from an experienced social security lawyer, such as Oxner + Permar, LLC. For example, it is important to stay under the SGA level or the substantial gainful activity threshold to continue to receive assistance. It can be very easy for someone to lose that assistance even though they really need it.

Low-Quality Living

Disability guarantees support but not comfort. Most people who receive these checks have to settle for low-quality housing. Of course, this is preferable to being homeless, but it may be stressful and hurt morale. Many of these people are minorities and women who are still grateful to have a roof over their heads, but some of these homes have their own set of issues, like bad plumbing among other things. With low-quality housing, comes low-quality neighborhoods and schools. A low-quality neighborhood is likely to be more prone to gangs, drugs and an overall high crime rate. The schools are likely to have less funding and higher dropout rates, which is something to be considered if a person on disability has a dependent who would be attending one of those schools.

Head of the Household

It may seem impossible, and it certainly is hard, but many heads of households must provide for their families while living off of disability. It certainly takes some sacrifice, such as living off a very strict budget that allows for almost no niceties, but a parent must sacrifice for the good of the family. It should be noted that children may qualify for benefits as well. A part of the stigma about families that are on disability or welfare is that they eat mainly junk food or unhealthy food. A trip to the grocery store, though, can teach you a lesson in that healthy food is more expensive. This is unfortunate as this means that the head of the household must feed his or her family unhealthy goods just so that they can continue living in some form of stability.

Off the Grid

Living off of disability does not give a person or family much room for additional bills. It is hard for most people to live without credit cards, but this is a reality that most people on disability may face. This means poor credit scores, and it shuts down several opportunities. Still, it does end up saving those on disability money because it stops them from buying things that they really do not need.

No doubt that life as a dependent of SSID is not ideal for those on it. The stigma placed on those who must take this monthly check is regrettably misplaced, but these points and knowledge of people with disability can help change that.

Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.

Leave a Reply