You can apply for cash, healthcare, education, and food assistance from additional government programs. Financial assistance often has additional requirements besides income. To qualify, you or someone in your household must generally fit the categorical criteria for age, military service, or medical status, depending on the program.
Social Security Disability Insurance
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides payments through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program if you have a disability that prevents you from earning a sufficient income. The average SSDI benefit amount is $1,358 in 2023, but the range is between $100 and $3,627.
When applying for disability insurance, you must submit documents that prove you meet the government’s requirements. The SSA has a strict disability definition and will ask the following questions:
· Are you working? You will likely not qualify if you earn more than $1,470 a month (or $2,110 if you are blind).
· Do you have a severe condition? Your disability must limit your ability to complete basic work-related activities, including standing, sitting, and remembering.
· Is your disability on the SSA’s medical conditions list? If your diagnosis is not on the list of disabling conditions, the SSA will need to decide if it is severe enough to deserve benefits.
· Can you still do your previous job? The SSA may deny your claim if you can still work.
· Can you do other jobs? The SSA will look at any of your transferable skills to determine if you can still earn money through a different position despite your condition.
You do not have to get a disability lawyer, but you have the right to hire one as an advocate. A disability lawyer can complete the application and gather medical records on your behalf.
Medicaid and CHIP
Medicaid is a government health insurance program that provides affordable healthcare to millions of low-income individuals, families, pregnant women, seniors, and disabled people. The program must follow federal guidelines for coverage and costs, but states can expand eligible groups and increase income limits.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a part of Medicaid that has more lenient requirements for children. For instance, parents could earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but their children could still enroll in CHIP.
Medicaid and CHIP insurance also have different covered services. CHIP healthcare coverage includes more free services than Medicaid, such as dental and vision care.
Veterans Education Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) manages veteran benefits for veterans, service members and their families. VA benefits include financial assistance for healthcare, service-related disabilities, housing, and more. One of the biggest benefits is for education and training.
The GI Bill program helps pay educational expenses for you, your spouse and dependents. VA education benefits can cover tuition and pay a monthly housing benefit while enrolled. Specific GI Bill benefits depend on the program:
· Post 911 GI Bill provides a maximum of 36 months of benefits up to 15 years after release from active duty. It covers 100 percent of public-school tuition and several thousand for private and vocational schools.
· Montgomery GI Bill provides up to 36 months of benefits with 10 years after separation from active duty. Instead of paying the school, the VA pays you directly.
· Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program pays up to 36 months of VA education benefits directly to qualified family members.
Each GI Bill has different service requirements and benefit amounts, so you should compare each to see which offers the best opportunity.
Assistance for Women and Children
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program stems from SNAP to provide food assistance for pregnant and postpartum women and young children. While the program focuses on women and children, men and other guardians can apply for benefits for their children as well.
At a WIC office, a representative determines if you or your children meet:
· The residential requirement of living in the state where you apply.
· The income requirement of earning less than the state limit.
· The nutritional risk requirement, such as being anemia or underweight. The screening is performed by a physician or another medical professional at a WIC clinic usually.