YOU ASK:

I am already getting Social Security Disability benefits, can I get other benefits from Social Security?

WE ANSWER:

If you feel that you cannot live on the amount you are getting from your Social Security Disability, you can also apply for other benefits provided by Social Security, particularly if your total monthly income is below the poverty line.

The first thing that you should do, though, would be to check your deductions on your monthly income. If you are working, you can deduct all expenses you have towards enabling you to adapt to your work in spite of your disability. This may include buying motorized wheelchairs, computerized communications equipment (if your disability is related to your speech or to your sight), additional therapy sessions and so on.

You can try to apply for Supplemental Security Income, which provides financial assistance to persons who cannot otherwise afford the basic day-to-day expenses. This benefit pays you monthly based on your income.

If you are able to get Supplemental Security Income for the next 24 months, you will also become eligible for Medicaid. Although it is not a benefit from Social Security, it will indeed come in handy.

If you have dependent children below 18 years old, you can also look into the possibility of their getting benefits from Social Security.

However, one benefit you will not receive along with Social Security disability benefits will be Social Security retirement benefits. What will happen is that the disability benefits you receive will be converted into retirement benefits. So you can't get both benefits at the same time.

Yet, if you became disabled before you opted for early retirement, it may be possible for you to get both early retirement benefits and Social Security disability benefits.

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