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Social Security Disability Options for Elderly Living in Poverty


Many people look forward to their “Golden Years” after decades of hard work, but the reality is that some elderly individuals and those approaching requirements may not enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Whether due to lower-earning employment, medical issues, insufficient planning, or other factors, there are some seniors who are forced into poverty. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are 4.7 million people aged 65 years and older who are living at or below the poverty level. Though it is encouraging to learn that the number of elderly in poverty has decreased by almost 70 percent in the last 50 years, there is still cause for concern.

If you or someone you know is in need of financial assistance, you may qualify for benefits through various organizations and resources. One of the most important options to explore is filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program; if approved, these funds can play a crucial role for purposes of economic security and stability. A Maryland Social Security disability lawyer can tell you more about disability benefits for the elderly in poverty, but a summary may be helpful.

How Financial Woes Disproportionately Affect Seniors: Poverty is a major issue throughout the US, but the implications for the elderly are profound. In 2020, an individual is considered to be living at or below the poverty level if he or she earns $12,760 or less per year; for married couples, the poverty threshold is $17,240. It would be a challenge for anyone to live a suitable lifestyle on this amount without financial assistance from other resources, but the elderly face unique considerations. For instance:

  • Serious medical conditions start to enter the picture as a person ages, increasing the costs of care;
  • The elderly are more likely to need prescription and over-the-counter medications, which can be expensive;
  • Older individuals may need higher levels of care or be unable to live independently, making it necessary to move into assisted living or hire in-home care.

SSI Disability Benefits Can Provide Crucial Financial Support: Many people will qualify for Medicaid and/or Medicare for certain services, medications, and health-related expenses. However, these amounts do not cover other expenses. You may receive SSI benefits to cover many costs of living if you qualify under the strict eligibility rules, which include:

  • You must suffer from a disabling medical condition that is expected to last at least one year;
  • Your net worth must be under the threshold amount designated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). For 2020, the limits are $783 per month in income and $2,000 in assets; for married couples, the amounts are $1,175 and $3,000, respectively.

Contact Our Maryland Social Security Disability Attorneys for More Information 

For more information on how to qualify, apply for, and get approval for Social Security disability benefits, please contact the Maryland Social Security disability lawyers at the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can set up a free consultation to review your situation at our offices.


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