How does one survive in America on SS Disability income?

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posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 03:17 AM
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I came down with schizophrenia in my late teens. After a couple of hospitalizations I decided I wanted to work. I got a job and tried working for 8 years. I was never able to hold a job longer then 6 months. I spent long periods of time out of work and looking. No matter how hard I tried my illness was always getting the way and holding me back. After a long time of being unable to find work I decided to apply for disability. It took 6 years but I finally got it. It was six long borring years of sitting around broke. Sometimes I didn't leave the house for a month.

Now that I have ss disability I'm not sure how I'm going to survive on $850 a month. I'm very bitter about having to survive on this amount. When I was working I bringing in $1600 a month.

I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know I can't hold a job and I feel like I'm forced to live as a second class citizen in the most expensive country on the planet.

I get $200 a month in food stamps. Today I was at the grocery store and the lady in front of me bought 15 cases of soda $60 worth with food stamps. Here I am eating potatos and ramen noodles every day.

I bought a truck because I need to be able to get to my doctors appointments. $300 of my check goes on gas and insurance.

I live with my grandmother right now rent free. When she's gone I have no idea how I'm going to make it on my own.




posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 03:30 AM
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That's pretty interesting. You seem pretty well organized for someone who has schizophrenia. To live on $850/mo +$200 food stamps you should have no problem. Maybe you could take over your grandma's house when she is gone and continue to live for cheap.

I know of some places in South Carolina where the rent is only $400/mo plus electric so about $500 a month. That leaves you with $350 + $200 for food and other expenses. I doubt you need a truck, you need to maybe take a bus instead. A truck is too much expense for you right now probably.

A lot of people with schizophrenia end up homeless so you are doing well for yourself currently.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 04:05 AM
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First off, it's good that you are reaching out for help on ATS. I would recommend to find a local heath food store that accepts food stamps as your first place to go for all your food. A lot of people would say that "heath food stores are too expensive." I spend about $250 a month going to a local natural food store, and get all that I need every month. If you find a good health food store that also sells natural food, ask one of the cashiers if you can get a discount by buying items by the case. That's how I get so much food at a low price (I actually did some calculations and found that I was saving more money than going to King Soopers, Wally World, or Albertson's for food). Quantity is more, and the food is NATURAL ORGANIC!

Next, you shouldn't have to be spending that much to go t o all of your appointments. Medicaid/medicare have a voucher that pays for all of your gas for trips to all of your doctor's appointments or anything official that you MUST go to. Go to your local OPA (office of public assistance, the food stamp-SNAP place) and have an appointment set up before you go. Talk to your case worker about getting the gas vouchers, and ask your case worker about any other vouchers that can help you in getting other items you may need (such as clothing, etc).



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 04:14 AM
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Otherwise, if you don't have a natural organic food store locally, try to find a store that offers case discounts on products you buy. A good co-operative or something like that that will also take food stamps. You can save a VAST amount of money on food this way. Good luck to you OP!



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 04:25 AM
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Have you considered doing odd jobs on the side for cash money? They are not glorious, but you have a truck. Get a used mower and cut grass, landscaping, selling firewood, raking yards, collecting and selling scrap metal...

If you are not in a small town and in a metro area...you really don't need the truck.

Not sure of where you live, but if possible...save your money and buy a small lot out in the country. Here in NC, I see 1-2 acre lots for sell at 5-10,000 dollars... in the country with no restrictions. Just s few miles to town, too. You could then build a cabin, live a self sufficient "Mother Earth News" lifestyle... and 850 bucks a month would be a lot of money. Saving 400 bucks a month is 4800 bucks in one year. Can you garden at your current location?... grow food and sell fresh produce and develope skills you will need later.

I mean, you are here in the survivalist forum...



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 04:45 AM
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you might not like this answer but... to each his own...

you can live in thailand like a king for 500$ a month. rent food entertainment. im very serious. i met and married my wife in thailand. i really loved the country when i was there. i am prolly gonna have to go disabled too. and when i do i will move to thailand and live out the rest of my life their. it is a bit different. but i never went to another country before and i was told not to by friends. i never once felt afraid there. the people were nice and friendly. to give you a example i found nice hotels in bangkok for 10$ a night and that included breakfast and wireless internet.
it really depends on how willing you are to let go of your fear to how many options you will have.
i tell you it can be done and when it is time for me to go disabled then i will be moving there. america has become way to expensive and will continue to do so as this country declines.

this is just my opinion so best of luck to you...


edit on 19-3-2012 by rwguessjr because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:15 AM
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It's hard but not impossible. I went from earning 2300.00 in military pay to 1200.00 a month from SSI Disability after being shot (not serviced connected). First thing I did was to move from up north where it is impossible to live off that amount (if you have an apt, car etc). I moved to NC ended up in a VA facility till I decided what to do in life at 24 and a quadriplegic (so I had no medical bills, no food expenses). Being disabled wasn't going to prevent me from living independent. I went back to school earned 2 degrees moved out the VA and got a job but couldn't earn too much without loosing my SSI. Then reality set in....640.00 mnth for a apt, elec 100.00, entertainment 150.00. I had a van but no payments so the rest went to food (I never qualified for food stamps or public assistance). I started buying food in bulk, stock piling raman noodles, canned goods, my cupboards overflowed. One month just buying meat next month canned goods/noodles etc. Being alone I didn't require much food but had plenty to healthy people had no food. During natural disasters in NC, I was feeding my neighbors and their kids due to their inadequate living styles. Life was great. Years later after working 8 yrs I became home bound and couldn't no longer work. Still unable to get assistance or stamps I sucked it up moved into a less secure neighborhood. Rent is now 500.00, cut off cable, rid of cell phone, electric less then 80.00 I'm comfortable my cupboards overflow, freezer filled to capacity, so you can do it. Been 24 yrs since becoming disabled and I still live independent, hard but not impossible. Best of luck to you stay strong.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 12:42 PM
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reply to post by wantsome
 


I've heard of some people on disability starting small businesses and keeping the income off the record. I'm all for that idea because I do not think the inability to hold a conventional job should mean that people are forced below the poverty line. If they can make some extra money by rebuilding carbs and selling on ebay, good for them! She probably has a business or some means of off the record income.

Right now many Americans feel that you're living too well. I do not feel that way but expect things to get worse.
edit on 19-3-2012 by Evolutionsend because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 01:17 PM
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You are going to have to start hunting, fishing, and growing your food. SSI sucks, but it is better than nothing. Maybe you can do yard sales to bring in extra income.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 01:21 PM
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Have a means of under the table (illegal) income on top.
That's it.

Agriculture,Pharmacuticals,Sales etc...



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by wantsome
I came down with schizophrenia in my late teens. After a couple of hospitalizations I decided I wanted to work. I got a job and tried working for 8 years. I was never able to hold a job longer then 6 months. I spent long periods of time out of work and looking. No matter how hard I tried my illness was always getting the way and holding me back. After a long time of being unable to find work I decided to apply for disability. It took 6 years but I finally got it. It was six long borring years of sitting around broke. Sometimes I didn't leave the house for a month.

Now that I have ss disability I'm not sure how I'm going to survive on $850 a month. I'm very bitter about having to survive on this amount. When I was working I bringing in $1600 a month.

I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know I can't hold a job and I feel like I'm forced to live as a second class citizen in the most expensive country on the planet.

I get $200 a month in food stamps. Today I was at the grocery store and the lady in front of me bought 15 cases of soda $60 worth with food stamps. Here I am eating potatos and ramen noodles every day.

I bought a truck because I need to be able to get to my doctors appointments. $300 of my check goes on gas and insurance.

I live with my grandmother right now rent free. When she's gone I have no idea how I'm going to make it on my own.


well, just vote republican, and they will get you off the federal welfare system, so you can go find a job. and as for the food stamps, the republicans can't wait to get rid of that. so buck it up, and like the republicans say, GO GET A JOB! and quit freeloading off the taxpayers.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by wantsome
 


Honestly speaking, you should apply for HUD, but research what counties in your state have the lowest wait times for approval, some counties have a 5 year waiting list other counties have a 2 month waiting list. This will help you with rent and you need to apply while you are living rent free. Also most HUD programs have side programs to help with utilities.

You might also want to see if there are advocacy groups for the mentally disabled in your area, Google is your friend. You might also want to plant a small garden, little initial investment with huge gains, if your willing to put in the work, gardening is also very therapeutic for those with issues.

Check with local churches and the salvation army to see if there are food pantries in your area to help with food. If you don't want to ask for help (pride), then volunteer time to help them.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by jimmyx
 


I could not have said it better myself sir. Star that post if you think republicans need to take a long walk off a short pier!



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 01:39 PM
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Taxpayers are stupid. You say "Get a job!"? I say "Quit your stinking job!" Stop being a slave to the system. We should all sign up for SSI and Welfare and quit our jobs. It's a good plan, trust me. I'm Republican. No wait, I'm in the Esoteric Order... forget it. I don't exist. Go away.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 01:53 PM
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Really, you need a combination of things......

Are you in line to get Grandma's house?
If so, it is paid off? Or is there still a mortgage?

That's the first thing to consider.
The next...even if all of that is cool, you'll still have tax and insurance to contend with.
One word....ROOMMATE paying rent

If Grandma's house won't be an option, then better start making some good friends to get hooked up with a place to go to if the worst happens.

Another word....COUPONS
You should be buying everything with coupons. You'd be amazed at how much you can get for a little bit.
Here's the caveat though...clever couponing takes TIME. But, if you're not working, you've got plenty of it, so there you go.

The car is a big expense. If you could get a cheaper motorcycle, that would be better, and still solve the problem. Check on those gas vouchers for necessary visits, as another suggested previously.

Another time-related one...try your hand at growing some simple veggie crops. You'd be surprised what you can grow in a small area, especially with some of the things out now. That will stretch your food dollar a bit.

Take up fishing, and get some nearly free meat that way. (price of bait, equipment, etc.)

As others said, money under the table jobs are another key supplement. When we were really bad off, we did cakes, art, and other odd jobs for cash to supplement until we both landed back on our feet. (wife and I).

THRIFT STORES, for other needs. You can find a lot here, on the cheap.

Not sure where that Health Food advice came from. It's exactly why I DON'T eat more healthy items...the expense. Anything "organic" just ups the price of it, and since there's ZERO regulation in it, you're not even sure what they mean by the term. Buy produce at a farmer's market type place instead, and you're better off for it (price and quality). Downside here though, is that they may not take food stamps (though many do if they are set up for it).

The big thing...planning your meals (and other purchases0. Impulse is your enemy. When you shop, you have to wring the last possible bit of purchase power from every penny. You have to think that way to maximize what you have,



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 02:04 PM
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You seem to be doing pretty good. You write comprehensible English. You have access to a computer and the Internet. You've got a vehicle and a place to live. You want your fellow countryman to pay you a better wage for not working? We already give you $12 grand a year for doing nothing. Consider it a gift, a baseline. The rest is on you. Social Security, disability or not, was NEVER intended to provide you a full income. It was designed to prevent you from starving and give you a base of support to help whatever familiy member was helping to support you. That's quite a cushion you've got there while you apply yourself to figure out what to do with the rest of your life with the abilities you have. Lots of us never had that.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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Move to a state that is cheap. Many rural areas are safe and cheap.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 02:26 PM
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I really feel for you OP. I've had to give up my proper job in the past few years because my own health finally got so bad that I couldn't work 14 hour days and care for my disabled wife. We now both live on disability benefits here in the UK and while we're not rich by any stretch of the imagination, we're comfortable (mostly because I've paid 40% almost all of my working life and as such our benefits are slightly higher) and we never go without food, heat or other essentials.

It saddens me that sick people in other countries have to go through so much just to be able to live their lives. I truly hope everything works out for you in the end OP.

Rev



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by wantsome
 

You have but two choices, in reality. One is to live with some else, or in some kind of group home, two is to team up with another person who is on Disability.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 03:18 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Pretty valid points....

Thing is though, the system is so jacked that it prevents you from doing ANYTHING without cutting off that assistance immediately and absolutely. It's why people don't get minimum wage jobs while on unemployment, while they look for something better.

I do agree with the sentiment though. There many employment opportunities where one who can articulate himself online, can earn a living.





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