When individuals become disabled, they generally expect that their healthcare costs will be higher than average over the span of a lifetime. However, a newly released analysis indicates that individuals who receive Social Security disability benefits are often compelled to use more than one-third of their benefits on out-of-pocket healthcare costs alone.
The analysis was conducted by Social Security Works. This group analyzed more than 20 years of data provided by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services when reaching its conclusions. In all, the average SSD beneficiary spends well over one-third of his or her benefits on out-of-pocket deductibles, Medicare premiums, co-pays and other healthcare needs not currently covered under Medicare.
Why are out-of-pocket costs so high for SSD beneficiaries, especially when a great number of disabled people live on very modest and wholly fixed incomes? In addition to the fact that many beneficiaries receive benefits checks that are somewhat small to begin with, SSD benefits have not kept pace with the skyrocketing costs of healthcare in the U.S.
As a result, community outreach groups, private charities and other forms of public assistance are often pressured to help meet the needs of disabled individuals whose SSD benefits checks are quickly gobbled up by out-of-pocket medical costs.
If your SSD check is not stretching far enough to meet your needs, please consult an experienced attorney. He or she may not be able to help you secure more SSD benefits outright, but may help you navigate other solutions to your financial issues.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Health Care Consumes Over a Third of Social Security Checks,” Ben Veghte, Jan. 22, 2014