Welfare Benefits help people in financial difficulty and can prevent short-term poverty. The latest statistics from the Social Security Administration reveal that 70 million people in the US receive at least one type of social welfare. Many people find it hard to budget on benefits, especially as the cost of living continues to rise. So what can you do to make the money you receive stretch further?
Keep a close eye on your ingoings and outgoings
When budgeting, make sure you take into account all sources of income, including any earnings from your partner. You also need to know how much each of your outgoings is and set aside money from your benefits to cover the cost of each one. It’s best to do this every month as costs are rising steadily at the moment. For example, $80 for a week’s worth of groceries could easily become $90 a month down the line.
Ensure you’re getting what you’re owed
There are six main social welfare benefits that Americans can apply for. These are Medicaid, Housing Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). To budget effectively, make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to. This can take time and perseverance, though. You may be one of the 80% of applicants who are denied SSI after your initial application. But you can appeal your SSI decision in court. A hearing will take place and an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will decide whether you’re entitled to SSI. This is worth doing as the average SSI payment is $617 per month.
Prioritize outgoings over savings
Normally, saving is something that is championed. But when you receive social welfare benefits, such as SSI, there’s a limit on savings of $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. Having a little money in your savings is wise in case of an unexpected emergency. However, you should prioritize spending your money on paying back any debt that you have, such as your mortgage or credit card.
When you’re on social welfare benefits, budgeting can feel like a difficult task. But it’s not impossible. By following these tips, you’ll make the most out of the benefits that you receive and ensure that all your bills are covered.