Published on: March 10, 2014
It's been said that around 40 percent of homeless individuals in the U.S. are suffering from some sort of physical or mental illness. Still, much less than half of that number actually receive insurance for their conditions. Receiving such insurance has proven to decrease hospitalization of the homeless population, and improve their quality of life.
If you weren't already aware, simply being homeless does not rule out the possibility of receiving disability insurance, but it's still extremely unfortunate that, when it comes to receiving compensation, the odds seem to be against the homeless.
That aside though, here's what disability insurance for the homeless is all about - who qualifies, how you get it, etc.
The difference between SSDI and SSI
When people commonly think about disability insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance is what most often comes to mind. These are benefits awarded by Social Security, to people who are dealing with a disability and who have a work history.
It's usually the case that those receiving this type of compensation, must have worked 5 out of the last 10 years - the amount of compensation they receive is also contingent on the individual's past earnings.
On the other hand, Supplemental Security Income isn't as talked about, or well known. These are usually the type of benefits that homeless people receive. You can receive SSI even if you haven't worked - often times these benefits will be granted to those who have less than $2,000 in assets.
Disability Insurance and Institutional Living
A person is eligible to receive SSI for 6 out of every 9 months they stay in a government-run emergency shelter. However, there is no restriction on receiving insurance in a privately run shelter.
Methods of Getting Paid SSI
You'd think it would be challenging for someone without an official spot to hang their hat, to actually acquire their compensation each month, but Social Security provides multiple options, to make this process easier for them.
In many cases, the homeless don't have checking accounts, let alone debit cards - in which case, Social Security can send the payment to a relative or a third party, and then they will hand the payment off to the needy recipient. For those who do have a bank account though, payments can be directly deposited in there, or put on a card available for use at virtually all retail locations and ATMs.
SSI for Non-US Citizens
It probably goes without saying that if you're a US citizen, your chances of receiving disability insurance are quite a bit higher than they are for non-citizens. Nevertheless, it is still possible for non-US citizens to receive disability insurance. If you're currently undergoing the official process of becoming a US citizen, for instance, it's possible that you'll be able to receive disability, all other qualifying factors being met, amd depending on your current immigration status of course.
Is SSI Enough to Support a Homeless Individual from Month to Month?
That really all depends on the life that the individual leads. If the on-going condition or impairment is very costly, they may not have much left to spend on anything else. If the individual consistently seeks their meals through a shelter, they may have some money left over to spend on clothes and other essentials.
Don't Hesitate to Contact a Disability Advocate Today!
If you're currently without a home and are also suffering from a significant medical condition, don't hesitate to seek a free consultation from your local disability Advocate. You have the right to treat your condition just like everyone else!