Disability and living alone, how do you make ends meet?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by BelleoftheSouth, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. BelleoftheSouth

    BelleoftheSouth New Member

    For the singles here who are on Disability HOW do you do it?

    How can you pay your rent/house payment/car payment/insurance/groceries/insurances/electric bill/etc.

    If I applied for disability I 'might' receive $1,000.00 a month.

    How do you do it?

  2. Lana56

    Lana56 New Member

    I am on disability and get 840 per month.I get food stamps,fuel assistance,discount on my electric bill,lowered my car insurance,and if I need help with mortgage I can go to the town for help.After being on disabilty for two years from the date of applying I was put on medicare.The state pays for premiums and copays.I get medications with medicare part D,which only cost a few dollars.I can also get help through my hospital for medical bills-medical bills are not completely covered under medicare.I struggle,but get by.It is a life of asking for help and applications,but it gets you by.I also got an exemption on my taxes through the town.Apply for the disability and don't wait if you need it.That is a fight in itself that can take take time.Later if you get it then you can look into help.I wish you luck.To tell you the truth-I wish I could work!! Take care. Lana56
  3. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Dear Belle:

    I guess I am very fortunate. I have worked for the same company for 16 years. They have been merged, but we were able to retain some of our benefits. One of the BEST benefits is that I have a disability policy that will pay me a TOTAL of 70% of my pre-disabilty salary. I have RA as well as FMS, and have been off work since March 2006. I got 6 months short term disability at 75% of my salary (including the CA State Disability) and then since September I have been getting State Disability and a total of 70% from my Disability carrier (UNUM Provident).

    I am not sure if or when I will be able to return to work, as my RA is still out of control, and has adversely affected my liver, lungs and heart. My LTD carrier may require me to apply for SSDI, and they can do that, but they have to continue to pay me until I get it...so I am hoping that I will be able to financially afford to live while trying to get well. I will have to pay for my own medical insurance, which could be about $1000 per month, but I could not afford to do that if I was not getting 70% of my salary. I have a 7 year old daughter, and I am a single parent.

    Also, since I live in LA county, I am planning to move closer to more relatives in the midwest as soon as the school year is done. My housing costs will be cut down to 25% of what they are now...plus I will not have to pay for private school for my daughter. We are looking forward to it.

    I am amazed at how others can manage. I guess it just shows some of the shortfalls we have in our healthcare system. I feel that people with medical disabilities should get more money, as they have more expenses.

    Good luck to you...and as the other poster mentioned...there are many groups that may be able to offer you assistance. You may have to jump through some hoops, but there are programs out there to help you. Do you have a connection to your Church? I know that our Church helps a long list of seniors and disabled people. We recently had one of the teachers go through a terrible bout with Cancer. She had been with the school for 20+ years. All the other teachers were able to donate their vacation to her, so that she did not have to worry about the financial impact of her illness. Unfortunately, it looks as if she is loosing her battle with cancer...which is terribly sad, but knowing that our community was able to make it possible for her to spend the time with family and friends makes the pain a bit less.

    Good luck to you.


    [This Message was Edited on 12/31/2006]
  4. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    I only get 513.00 a month after my Medicare gets paid than I pay my Blue cross 0 Medical part D that cost me 174.00 a month

    After that if you can not swing anything else.There are food stamps.if you live alone and make what I make About 614.00 Welfare helps.

    You had to fight a bit for yours sure cause I had to fight and fight I did.I had no in tension of being ignored reject my claim .I don't think so .

    I live in Rhode Island and got a bench approval.........Got everything they owned me....................
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. Exfa

    Exfa New Member

    I am wondering how you go about getting all of that help??
    I am single and living on SSdisability and I can't qualify for food stamps, or any of the things you are getting. I am in Indiana and they really give you a hard time here as far as getting any state benefits. I don't even know where to go every thing is a different office and the info they want is too much for me with this brain fog mess. Would you be able to give me any advise as to where to go or what to do next. I am barely making it and when my Medicare kicks in in March that will be another expense for me. Thanks. Exfa
  6. BelleoftheSouth

    BelleoftheSouth New Member

    I just don't think I can work much longer and I have a very easy job, I sit in front of a Computer all day.

    I make good money, but I'm losing my 'concentration' ability.

    My employer seems to understand BUT my co-workers stay upset.

    I wish they had Fibro/CF/RA/IBS for one week...maybe they'd leave me alone then

    HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL and I hope 2007 is BETTER for ALL of US!

  7. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Get rid of everything you own: home, business, vehicles, friends, etc. Move to 3rd world country, buy house and live like royalty.

    I realize everybody can't do this but it was the only way I could think of to make mine and my husband's lives as easy and comfortable as possible AND to have affordable access to healthy food and a maid. Maybe we'll move back to the US when I recover but as of right now, it doesn't look like we'd want to.


    I've actually run into quite a few people here who have done the same. No cfsers, but a fibro, liver cancer, heart problems and another cancer.[This Message was Edited on 01/01/2007]
  8. Exfa

    Exfa New Member

    Wow...........I wish I could do what you are doing. I would love to leave the USA. I have a friend who lives in Panama and he would love it if I moved there. I have thought about Costa Rica.....but,.....I am soooooooo poor I couldnt begin to get there and I don't have the strength to move from room to room let alone out of the country. I envy you tho. What do you do for Drs? They are probably better where you are than here in the USA. My house isn't worth anything and that is all I have. No other money at all except SS disability. So nothing to sell....just trapped in this cold Tundra(I live in Indiana)where it is cold and gray every day..........hot and gray in the summer.
  9. Exfa

    Exfa New Member

    Thank you so much for that website....I am going to check it out right away............Exfa
  10. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    I am researching livng places and panama, is that where you are? i had no idea, how are things for you now?
  11. angelscutoo

    angelscutoo New Member

    May I ask where you live? I wish I could live comfortably on what I get. Everything has become so expensive.
  12. marcygirl

    marcygirl New Member

    I live in NY - about 1 1/2 hours north of NYC - in the country. I have worked for 44 years, but not at the same place and, therefore, don't have a retirement. I was an RN, had put my two weeks notice in for something a little less physically taxing and immediately thereafter, was down for 9 weeks from horrible pain in my groin (hip joints), knees, achilles tendons, fingers, etc. I immediately made an appointment for a rheumatologist and was told I had fibromyalgia and to take tylenol for it. HELLO! Don't you think I'm smart enough to try Tylenol on my own! Fortunately, I did have a Pulmonologist that gave me Vicodin, Lyrica, Amatriptyline, and, finally Percodan since the Vicodin wasn't touching the pain. After nine weeks of this, I said to my Dr., "I can't get a job saying I may need to take a few months off a couple times a year when this flares up again, should I keep looking for a new job or file for disability?" Now, bear in mind, the term "disability" had never before entered my mind - never - not once in my life. I'm only 58 years old. The Dr. said, "just keep looking for work". I said, "OK" figuring he knows best and this would get better, so the next day I started putting together my resume. The following day - BOOM! right back down and in pain again. I decided to file for disability on my own. They gave me a form detailing previous Drs, diagnosises (sp), etc. Once I went through my old records which I had since I had worked in Real Estate for a while and needed to keep all records for tax purposes, I realized there was a history there of pelvic pain, disc protrusions, degenerative changes of the thoracic spine, and many other spine problems. I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2004, but only had problems lying on my hips in bed or when I pushed on my back, hips, and thighs. I had, also, been diagnosed with emphysema in 2001. It seems that whenever I didnt' feel well, I'd go to the Drs. and/or get some medication and once I felt better, I'd just go back to work and plow through. This time, thought, I knew I had hit a brick wall.

    Let me back up a bit to show the whole picture though. I had lived in Florida for 8 years prior to moving back to New York a little over a year ago. While in FL, I went to Rheumatologists, Neurologists, and Orthopedic Drs. because I couldn't tell if my pain was from my bones, skin, or muscles. That is what I've found out to be fibromyalgia. Being a fairly new patient to my Dr. in NY. I compiled my old medical information, put together a letter telling him that I filed for disability and gave him copies of all my previous records of hospitalizations, flare-ups, chiropractors. He kept trying to tell me that fibromyalgia is just an ache and not pain. I told him he's wrong. He said the problem is that there's no means to measure it and since it's a chronic problem, they dont' like to give pain medication because it's addictive. I told him, as an RN, I know that, but as a patient in pain, I don't care. It's not only a constant ache, put waves of pain go along with it. It's like a terrible toothache that's not going away and nothing is being done for it. The percodan doesn't take the pain away totally, but it does take the edge off of it and the focus of it enough that you can think of getting up off of the couch and making yourself a sandwich or go to the bathroom.

    Anyway, to finally get to the point of how to support ourselves between the time of having to file for disability and being approved (hopefully). I filed 30 days ago. Again, backing up, last year in FL, I got caught in the economic crisis and since I was working in Real Estate, I not only lost my job, but my home (Foreclosure and bankruptcy). I moved to NY and was able to fall back in my RN license, but just had enough to keep going in a rental and keeping my head above water thinking I'll just have to work for the rest of my life and won't be one of the ones fortunate enough to retire and enjoy life. That was my thinking until this came crashing down on me in full bloom. After filing for disability, I was directed to SSI (I've had to learn a bunch of new abbreviations) because I didn't have any income. They gave me foodstamps, told me I had $20 too much in the bank because I had $120 in there to be eligible for Medicaid, and would have to find a place to live for up to $400/month. I asked where I could get someplace for $400/month and was told, "That's for you to find". My lease expires in 3 weeks (I'm currently living on the lease security and was told by my landlord, that if I left a hole in the wall or anything upon moving out that he would, "Take me out in the woods and beat the sh*t out of me". Can you imagine! I have nice things and my place is kept clean, my rent was $1,250 a month and I was supporting myself - until this and now I'm finding that there is no place and no programs are available if you aren't earning anything due to medical problems and you don't own your own home. I have started looking a people pushing carts piled with black garbage bags in a different way and I'm not saying that lightly. I'm less than a month away from that. When I called SSI again and said, "So, if I find a room to rent I can tell the landlord that you'll pay up to $400/month". The response was, "I can't tell you what to do". I have been directed to homeless shelters, United Way, my Senator with all saying, "I don't know what to tell you". This is the system I've paid into for 44 years. I've paid a lot of other peoples way, but when it's now come to me, I'm told there is nothing for the time between filing for disability and getting approved. I was told that I could be placed into a shelter for a night once my three weeks is up and I no longer have a roof over my head. To makes matters worse, the emphysema is taking its toll and the breathing is more and more labored with less and less exertion. I'm learning what the term "Invisible People" means and am finding that I'm getting closer and closer to being one. Another term I've learned is Senior and/or subsidized housing, which is something I hadn't even considered since I'm only 58 years old and I've put in some applications for that, but have come to learn that the waiting lists are approx. 2 years long.

    The answer to the question, "Disability and living alone, how do you make ends meet" is, "I don't know". I live alone and haven't yet been approved, now have no income and am sinking quickly. I was told by someone today that I should have been planning this once I started getting sick and made believe I hurt myself on the job. First of all, I never, ever, thought this would happen and have always tried to do the right thing and support myself only to learn that you have to know the rules of how the system works and finagle (sp) it. How pathetic. What happened to the good old honest truth?
  13. jole

    jole Member

    Hi Belle. Fortunately, I'm married or I couldn't do it. My disability after working for 30+ years is only $640/month. Even living in low income housing where they only take 1/4 of your income, that wouldn't leave me nearly enough to survive on.

    I would first of all give up my car and use public transportation. I couldn't have a phone line, would just use a cell phone 'cause they're cheaper. Just basic cable tv, if that.

    And a very little for groceries, which I pick up as much as possible at Dollar General. I already shot at Goodwill, and would continue that. Today they had a sale where everything cost $1.10/item. I got 2 pair of jeans, 2 sweaters and 2 tops for less than I could have gotten 1 item anywhere else.

    We are still fortuante to still have our own home, but as we all know, that can change in the blink of an eye.

    I wish you the very best.

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