Social Security Disability: Extra Benefits for SSDI Recipients

If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may wonder about other benefits you can receive.

While SSDI provides financial assistance to those unable to work, there are other benefits that you may be eligible for as well. These extra resources can help you cover expenses beyond basic living costs and medical care.

An open mind is your greatest asset when seeking additional government help.

Expand the opportunities to stretch your household budget by applying to programs run by other government agencies for low-income families.

Of course, the Social Security Administration supports many opportunities, too.

Other Government Benefits

First, we explore other benefits people receiving SSDI might get from government agencies outside the Social Security Administration. Given the meager monthly check, you might qualify for bonus resources earmarked for low-income families.

Free government money for bills and personal use hinges on your percentage of the Federal Poverty Level, which matrixes income against household size, as do these programs outlined below with specific parameters for disabled individuals.

100% Federal Poverty Level

Household SizeIncome Limit
Each additional$5,140

Home Repair

Disabled people receiving SSDI can get additional home repair and improvement benefits set aside for low-income households. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) the Department of Energy runs favors individuals with disabilities.

Guess who is eligible for home improvement grants? WAP establishes two primary criteria that local certified contractors follow.

  1. Disabled individuals receiving SSDI meet the criteria if their monthly check falls below 200% of the federal poverty level.
  2. A home energy audit reveals repairs or improvements with a Savings Investment Ratio (SIR) that exceeds a specified limit.

Energy Savings

SSDI recipients can get extra gas and electric bill benefits earmarked for impoverished families. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) oversees the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which has two elements.


Free appliance programs (stoves and refrigerators) are a hidden feature of LIHEAP and a new rebate initiative set in motion by the Inflation Reduction Act. Both efforts support upgrades to energy-efficient appliances to reduce the use of natural gas.

Utility Bills

Apply for LIHEAP through your state agency to get direct help paying your utility bills, the traditional feature of this program. LIHEAP initially lowered heating and cooling costs through financial assistance.

Dental Care

Many individuals with disabilities receiving SSDI get bonus dental care benefits temporarily through Medicaid, a joint federal and state government program for low-income families. You might qualify for Medicaid while waiting for Medicare coverage to begin.

Medicaid covers dental work for adults based on rules established in each state. Many individuals getting SSDI have a two-year window to fix their teeth using subsidies to make oral care more affordable.

While Medicare kicks in automatically after two years, it does not cover oral care. Therefore, act quickly while the dental benefits last.

Food Stamps

SSDI recipients might be able to get food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: SNAP). SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of low-income households so they can purchase healthy groceries.

Apply for food stamps at your state agency, which makes the final determination. Each state makes its own rules for this resource, but several requirements apply nationwide.


The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides financial help to low-income households with children. If you have children and receive SSDI, you may be eligible for this additional benefit.

Apply for TANF by contacting your state agency, which makes final determinations. Also, work requirements may limit this opportunity to disabled individuals taking advantage of employment support (see below).

Section 8

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides rental assistance to low-income families. If you receive SSDI, you may be eligible for this bonus apartment rental benefit.

Apply for Section 8 through your local Public Housing Agency. The program caps your rental costs at 30% of household income, meaning the subsidy is often substantial for people relying on disability benefits to survive.

Tax Credits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers several tax benefits disabled individuals on SSDI might qualify for. A tax credit is an additional amount you can subtract from your income taxes owed.

Disability Credit

The disability credit would apply to individuals with taxable disability income during the year if they did not reach age 65 before January 1. A portion of your SSDI payments might be taxable if your total earnings exceed a ceiling.

People with private insurance policies might also owe taxes, depending on how they funded the premiums.

Earned Income Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) might provide extra cash to many disabled people. The EITC is more valuable because it is refundable; it creates a negative tax liability.

While SSDI does not count as earned income, other sources include what you make while working and specific disability insurance payments.

Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) might put additional money in your pocket. The CTC is partially refundable (up to $1,400 per qualifying child), while it is worth a maximum of $2,000 if you have a liability.

Claim the CTC by completing 8812. Most people getting SSDI are unlikely to approach the $200,000 income phase-out for this credit.

Childcare Credit

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) can provide extra cash to disabled SSDI individuals attempting to return to work. The CDCTC is also refundable and worth $3,000 for one person and $6,000 for two people.

You might qualify to claim the CDCTC if you paid someone to care for a child or dependent, enabling you to go to work, look for work, or attend school.

Extra Social Security Benefits

Next, we explore other benefits individuals receiving SSDI might get through the Social Security Administration (SSA). You do not want to overlook any of these more apparent opportunities.

Medicare Benefits

Everyone eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) also qualifies for Medicare benefits after a 24-month qualifying period. Medicare covers hospital stays (Part A) and medical care (Part B). Some people with disabilities also receive help with prescription drugs and coinsurance.

Prescription Drugs

Many individuals with disabilities qualify for Extra Help to pay monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments related to the Medicare Prescription Drug Program (Part D).

Apply for Extra Help online at the website. However, you must enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan first, but it is worth the effort. The Social Security Administration values the benefit at $5,100 per year.

Complete the online application if you meet the following criteria.

  • Enrolled in Medicare Parts A, B, and C
  • Combined savings, investments, and real estate
    • Less than $16,660 for an individual
    • Less than $33,240 and married
  • You are not also getting SSI or Medicaid (see below)

Expanded Support

Many people with disabilities get expanded support when they are dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid rules vary by state, but in many cases, disabled individuals qualifying for both programs get several additional benefits.

  • Part B monthly premiums go away
  • Parts A & B 20% coinsurance shrinks to zero
  • Nursing home and personal care services
  • Limited vision and dental care

Apply to become Medicaid dual-eligible by contacting your state medical assistance office. You may need to meet resource requirements to qualify.

Auxiliary Benefits

SSDI recipients can get auxiliary benefits through the Social Security Administration, which are extra monthly payments to their qualifying spouse or children based on their work records.

Apply for auxiliary benefits at if you believe one or more of your family members might be eligible per the government criteria.

  • Spouse: under age 62 and the joint caregiver of your children under 16
  • Children: unmarried, under 18, and enrolled in school full-time

Survivor Benefits

The Social Security Administration supports survivor benefits after an SSDI recipient dies. Your spouse, children, and parents could be eligible based on your earnings.

You cannot apply for Social Security survivor benefits online as funeral homes report deaths to the SSA. However, you can follow up by phone if you suspect the process broke down, as the additional payments could be significant.

SSI Benefits

Many disabled individuals receiving SSDI can simultaneously get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Social Security Administration to augment their monthly payments.

You might also be eligible for SSI  if your income and resources fall within the SSA parameters. Your work record determines your SSDI monthly payment, which may fall below the specified threshold for the current year.

Employment Supports

The Social Security Administration provides employment support for SSDI recipients to help them return to work to augment their income long-term.

SSA employment supports help in your efforts to become self-sufficient through work and includes multiple provision levels along the way.

  • Continued payment under vocational rehabilitation
  • Impairment-related work expense accommodations
  • Full cash payments during the first 12 months of work
  • 36-month re-entitlement period if you stop working
  • 5-year reinstatement period without a new application