How To Increase Your Income If You Have To Stop Working
If you are not working, be sure you take advantage of all disability income plans offered by your employer and for all benefits for which you might qualify.
- Sick leave
- Vacation time
- Short term and long term disability benefits
Make sure you've applied for all benefits for which you might qualify. These might include:
- Short-Term Disability Income (STD): If you've just recently left work due to illness and you live in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, or Rhode Island, you might qualify for state- mandated short-term disability income. To learn more, see: Short-Term Disability Income (STD).
Social Security Disability Income (SSDI): Social Security Disability Income generally kicks in after five months of continuous, permanent disability.To learn more, see:Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).
Even if you're on disability, you might still be able to pick up some extra earnings while continuing to qualify for benefits. See the work section of Social Security Disability and ofSupplemental Security Income.
- Social Security Retirement Income: If you're at least age 62, you might qualify for early retirement benefits. You should also make sure you're collecting any benefits for which you might qualify based on the earnings of another person -- such as a previous spouse. To learn more, see: Social Security Retirement Income.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): If your income and assets are low enough and you are disabled, you might qualify for SSI. SSI doesn't pay much, but it can help --and it generally comes with health insurance coverage through Medicaid. To learn more, see: Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Unemployment Insurance: If your employer has fired you for any reason other than gross misconduct (stealing, fighting, etc.), you might qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. You can also use unemployment insurance after being on short-term disability. However, if you're waiting for approval of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), applying for unemployment benefits may throw a monkey wrench into the process. With SSDI you basically state you are disabled and unable to work. To get unemployment you have to state that you are ready, able, and willing to work. To learn more, see: Unemployment Insurance.
- General Relief: Most counties, parishes, or other local government entities have programs to provide money for people in need. Although the amount is usually severely limited and the duration of benefits is also limited, one of these programs may provide some desperately needed temporary income. Contact your local Welfare or Department of Public Social Services for information on your local programs.