With the severity of your physical, mental, or emotional disability, you may be heavily dependent on your monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits checks. However, especially true if this is your only means of income, you may only be able to stretch these checks so far. In other words, you may still struggle to make ends meet. Continue reading to learn what to do if your SSDI benefits are not enough to live on and how an experienced New Jersey SSDI benefits lawyer at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can work to ensure you are financially taken care of.

How are my SSDI benefits calculated?

When calculating the amount of SSDI benefits you should receive each month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) references a general formula that it believes to be a fair and just depiction of the financial support you are entitled to and overall require.

That said, the SSA will base your SSDI benefits payout on your average covered earnings over a period of time, otherwise known as your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). Then, the SSA takes these earnings amounts to formulate your primary insurance amount (PIA). As of 2024, the maximum payout you may receive is $3,822 monthly.

What if my SSDI benefits are not enough to live on?

Unfortunately, your SSDI benefits payout may only be enough to cover your essential needs (i.e., housing, clothing, food, etc). That is, it may not be enough to live on. This may have you turn to other federal or state government assistance programs. More specific examples read as follows:

  • Lifeline Program: this may offer additional help for phone-related costs.
  • Medicare or Medicaid: this may offer additional help for medical-related costs.
  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC): this may offer additional help for housing-related costs.
  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP): this may offer additional help for food-related costs.

However, if you do not want to be any more financially dependent on the federal government, you may consider returning to work instead. Of note, the SSA has a Ticket to Work program. This is essentially a trial period in which you evaluate whether your disability still allows you to maintain gainful employment activity. All the while, you may still have the financial security blanket of receiving your monthly SSDI benefits checks, until you begin earning wages above the program’s set limit.

Or, another less drastic measure you may take is hiring a financial advisor. This individual may identify financial resources at your disposal or expenses you can cut out of your cost of living. Ultimately, they may lay out a realistic monthly budget you can easily follow.

Rest assured, our team at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur has experience in handling cases just like yours. So please do not be afraid to reach out to a skilled New Jersey SSDI benefits lawyer.