How to live on SSD?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Patti2, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. Patti2

    Patti2 New Member

    My Dr. wants me to go on SSD because the DD is so hard for me to handle as I am sure it is for everyone out there.
    The depression with the DD would allow me to recieve disability,brain fog , the fatique with this is unbelieveable.Durning my last flare up, which was the worse one I ever had, I looked in to SSD. I had forms sent out and everything. They would allow me $1084.00 a month to live on once it goes through and it can take up to 18 months to get started. No money in between. So what do you do in the mean time. I have been fighting and not letting it win, but what do you do when you can't work and your income is the only income in the house? Any suggestions?
  2. CATLADY912

    CATLADY912 New Member

    It only took me a year to get disability. The first time I was turned now I went straight to a lawyer who handles disabillity claims. You might get lucky and be approved the first time. Any time you are not working and if its approved for the time you are not working you will get back pay.

    I had a husband and a savings account and that helped me but if you are alone, go to social services and get all the help that you can. You have worked hard enough I'm sure to be entitled to something if you are not working. If you have underage children at home you will or should be able to get something for them and you.

    I don't now what else to tell you since I was not alone during that time. If you have a boyfriend lets hope he will help you. Family members can help if they are that type. My mother also helped out.

    Since I don't know all your circumstances this is all I can tell you right now. But if you do get turned down the first time, get a lawyer right away. The disabiliy lawyers do not get anything until the claim is settled and than it comes out of your back pay.

    Hope this helps some.

    Janice
  3. sofy

    sofy New Member

    It took me 5 months to get ssd but many wait much longer. I am single, self supporting but not without savings. Have always been a saver, thank goodness, so when I knew I absolutely could not get up another day, cuz of fatigue I had to stop and apply. You will have to make plans and adjustments. Lower your living standards, apply for public housing, move in with family or friends whatever it takes. What would you do if you simply could not work from tomorrow on. Have you made plans? If so now is the time to implement them. If not then look at everyting you do have and see what you can do. If you need help ask friends, church or social services to help you make a plan. I really dont know where to specifically point you but I do know that having a plan can be reassuring and empowering.
  4. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    Patti, the others have very good suggestions.

    Also, if public assistance isn't available, try to find out about private assistance. I'm sorry I don't know how to help you find it--the public places didn't tell me about any of them, but my counselor gave me a few places to call.

    I went about it all wrong. (For one thing, I didn't apply for SS the first 2 years, because I figured I had private disability and should leave SS for the other people who didn't have private disability. Well, come to find out private disability requires you to apply for SS.) And the private disability was denied for the first 2+ years too.

    Unlike the others, I wasn't good at saving until a couple years before I got sick, so didn't have much saved. Then I lived on my whopping $100 a month income, and credit! I'm *still* paying off the credit card debt 3-1/2 years later, and figure it will finally be paid off in 2 or 2-1/2 more years. I just hope I keep getting my full disability amount until then, because if they reduce it I'm screwed.

    One thing I'm confused about (I don't have SS yet, going to reapply soon). The day you apply for SS is your "protected filing date". I thought SS had to give you "back pay" until that date.

    And reduce your expenses as much as possible! Buy generic. Do you *really* need cable? Internet? Cell phone? etc. Your answers are up to you, but I didn't do quite as well as that as I should have, either.
  5. Peace7

    Peace7 New Member

    Find out where all the support services are in your community.
    Contact United Way's First Call for Help to help find out where they are and look in your phone book under social services.

    Conctact the Dept. of Children and Family Services (or whatever the welfare office is called in your area) Get an application for food stamps and Medicaid. Start filling out the applications but leave off the date and income information.

    Contact Salvation Army, Catholic Community Services, Lutheran Social Services and your local churches. Find out what kind of help they offer and what their requirements are. For example some organizations will pay for rent, utilities and food, while others will only give you food.
    Some may require that you have a shut-off notice before paying a utility bill.

    Find out where the food banks are and begin using them now.

    Find out where there are free dinners offered such as churches or rescue missions.

    Contact your phone company and utility companies to find out if they have programs to help those who are disabled and in financial need. Our phone company offers a lifeline credit to the disabled. It isn't much --about $5 a month, but it helps us to keep the phone service.

    Keep your basic phone service and cancel everything else such as call waiting, caller ID, 3 way calling, and monthly long distance service. Instead of paying for long distance service every month get a phone card and use it as little as possible.

    Cancel cell phone and cable TV service.

    Pay off any debts, you won't be able to get assistance for that.

    If you need medication, ask your doctor if you can get on the free medication programs offered by the manufacturers.

    Look for ways to save money. I have found that I can use 1/2 as much laundry soap and still get my clothes clean.

    Cut down or stop giving gifts.

    It may not take 18 months to get SS approved.
    My application was finished (at the examiner's office) in Sept. 2001 and I started getting SSI in February 2002 and SSDI in July of 2002. In May 2003, I received my back pay.

    -Anne
  6. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    I'm canadian, but what Anne mentioned is what you need to do. I did something similar and was fortunate to have a caring doctor that got me free homecare and social worker and mental health nurse also.

    I used food banks, got any family help I could get, didn't get haircuts, new clothes, etc.

    perhaps one could secretly use a credit card, gambling that you win your SSD case and can pay off when you get your retroactive benefits.

    Working longer than I should have damaged me. Also, Had I known it would take me al ong time, i would have applied earlier before I depleted so much of my savings.

    Is there subsidized housing in your area?

    Good luck. It sounds like you are doing the right thing.
  7. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    how to live WITHOUT it! I would only get $888.00 a month if I could get it, but I was just denied, have no other disability money and my husband is sick and missing work all the time. He's only making enough to pay what is deducted from his check for insurance, etc. We have no income and haven't had for three months. Our savings is gone now and we have no family or friends to borrow from. We are exhausted from the mental strain and have developed an apathy about life. We've joked about a suicide pact. HaHa.
    I would be thrilled to get the measley amount I'd be allotted, but an appeal is out of the question, as I MUST return to work after being "disabled" for seven months due to my back problems. I do not know how I'll possibly be able to work, but work I must!
    I am just so very tired of struggling.
    Kady
  8. j-bearmama

    j-bearmama New Member

    run searches for "tightwad", penny pincher, miserly mom, cheap skate etc.

    I am a certified el cheapo!

    I cut our electric bill by $25 by using the clothes line and drying rack SOMETIMES. When I used it ALL the time my bill was about $45 less.
    you can cut your grocery bill VERY easily. no more JUNK, no more name brands, buy cheaper meat etc. ( fortunatly my husband and son .. and I do when I feel up to it, are all hunters. so buying meat is not something we do often.)
    I only buy meat when the antlers on my head start to show. LOL

    if you can physically do it, and have some space.. plant a garden. You can also check with friends/family who have gardens and see if they'll share.

    Before we had a garden, I used to help Weed my neighbor's garden in exchange for some of the crop.
    You can check with local hunt clubs or contact "hunters for the hungry" and see if you can get some free meat there.

    Please note that it is ILLEGAL to buy or sell wild game. BUT you can barter and trade for it.
    I used to pay for the occasional baby sitter with a roast or a couple steaks.

    Good Will and other thrift stores are great places for clothes, furniture and GIFTS.
    We also make crafty gifts that are cheap. or buy books at used book stores as gifts.
    Also baked goods make nice gifts.

    Don't be afraid to ask local churches for some help with grocery items.
    Contact your electric co. and see if they have a "budget plan" that way you pay the SAME every month.

    consider cheaper ways of doing things.
    If you have no very small kids or naughty animals, consider a kerosene heater for DAYTIME use in winter.(you can be SUPER cheap and cook on it too!)

    I have about a MILLION $ saving tips. I could not begin to list them all.
    See if you can find copies of the books The Tightwad Gazette. there are 3 volumes. they are out of print,but you might be able to get them from amazon or ebay.

    the library is a good source for cheap idea books too.

    In time you too will be able to pinch a penny until Lincoln screams! :)

    Jbear
  9. tulip922s

    tulip922s New Member

    I read the response to your post and they contained some excellent ideas. This transition from working and making a comfortable income to the SSD nightmare is truly a tough one. In my opinion, that means we just need to get tough right back and do what it takes to survive this chapter in our lives. Best of luck to you and keep us posted. Tulip
  10. shoshi68

    shoshi68 New Member

    I know. been there, still around talk about it- but won't bore now. great suggestions above. Have tightwad Gazette-excellent.

    thinking of you,
    shoshi