The Best Money Tips for People with Disabilities
Planning for the financial future can seem overwhelming. It’s a must for everyone, and if you expect your needs to change over time, it can provide tremendous peace of mind to you and your loved ones to establish plans sooner rather than later. Thankfully, there are a few resources that adults with disabilities can utilize to prepare for the future.
Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities
Do you currently receive disability benefits? A few years ago, people with disabilities couldn’t save more than $2,000 without putting the benefits they rely on at risk. As a result, it was nearly impossible to plan for expenses more than a few months away, let alone years into the future. However, with the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, commonly known as the ABLE Act, people with disabilities and their loved ones can save for the future without sacrificing essential benefits like SSI, SNAP, and Medicaid.
As Able National Resource Center explains, ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to save up to $15,000 per year and use the funds to pay for current and future disability-related needs like housing, healthcare, and transportation. Unfortunately, ABLE accounts are only available to individuals who became disabled before the age of 26, but legislation is in the works to expand the eligibility onset age to 46. In the meantime, adults who don’t qualify for ABLE accounts can save via special needs trusts.
Paying for Home Modifications
Modifying a home can be quite costly for those with disabilities. These adaptations can include adding an entrance ramp, widening doorways and hallways, lowering countertops, and remodeling bathrooms. If you need to modify your home, there are many organizations that offer accessibility grants. If you’re currently a homeowner, another option is a mortgage refinance, which can give you an infusion of cash if you give up some equity in your home. This extra cash can then be used to pay for any modifications you need.
How Insurance Helps People with Disabilities
Low-income people with disabilities often struggle to come up with the large sums of cash needed to pay for expenses like healthcare, caregiving, and end-of-life expenses. Through insurance, adults with disabilities can break down these large expenses into manageable monthly payments.
As The Arc explains, many people with disabilities qualify for Medicaid, which allows them to receive health and long-term care services with no out-of-pocket cost. Individuals who aren’t eligible for Medicaid-provided long-term care can purchase a private long-term care insurance policy. Unfortunately, premium prices may place these policies out of reach for some households.
While Medicaid supports people with individuals while alive, it doesn’t help with end-of-life expenses. For that reason, it’s wise for adults with disabilities to purchase final expense insurance. These affordable policies provide funds for funerals and outstanding expenses after death, allowing people with disabilities to be interred with dignity.
Finally, despite misconceptions, life insurance is an option for many people with disabilities. Adults with a disability that doesn’t affect their lifespan can qualify for traditional life insurance policies. Term life insurance doesn’t affect benefits eligibility and premiums can be quite affordable while providing ample coverage to support dependents after a death.
The amount of coverage an individual needs depends on their family’s expenses and outstanding debts; however, learning about life insurance options doesn’t require meeting with an insurance agent. Online resources make it possible to research and compare policies from the comfort of home.
Understanding Social Security Survivors Benefits
It’s important to weigh all your resources into your decisions, and depending on the type of Social Security benefits a disabled adult receives, their survivors may be eligible for benefits after they pass away. While dependents of SSI recipients aren’t eligible for survivor’s benefits, surviving spouses and children may be eligible to receive SSDI benefits following the death of the insured family member.
Widows and widowers may receive benefits if they were married to the deceased for a minimum of nine months before death and are either over the age of 50 and disabled or over 60 and non-disabled. Parents of the deceased’s adopted or biological children may also be eligible for benefits. Additionally, NOLO points out children can receive survivor’s benefits until age 18, or age 19 if enrolled in secondary school. Children with disabilities acquired before age 22 are eligible for survivor’s benefits regardless of age.
The first step in planning for the future is understanding the resources available to you. While these resources may not make a drastic difference in current income for people with disabilities, they do offer tools for planning for their and their families’ futures. Whether it’s planning for future care or making sure family is cared for after you’re gone, make sure you’re thinking about your long-term financial stability.