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Relief Programs Often Necessary to Supplement Benefits

Published on December 5th, 2011

Those Illinois residents receiving Social Security disability benefits know from experience what a struggle it is just to survive. During the holiday season, you hear of many relief agencies seeking donations to help families in need. While SSDI benefits can be extremely helpful, they may not cover much more than basic necessities, leaving recipients to find other ways to get by. Some turn to homeless shelters and food banks, while others stand on a street corner requesting donations.

In Washington, the Neighbors in Need fund has been helping struggling families since 1987 and this year will mark the 25th anniversary of the fundraising drive. Total donations have reached $932,000 and the goal this year is to push the amount over the $1 million mark. The funds donated are turned over to local relief agencies. In turn, the agencies provide benefits to those in need through programs like Meals on Wheels and food vouchers.

One formerly homeless couple relocated from California to cut their rent in half. They survive on SSDI payments of $900 per month, plus donations received from well meaning people outside a local Walmart. The benefits they receive from Social Security, as well as the services the relief agencies provide mean a great deal to this family and similar people in the community.

Many deserving people do not know or understand SSDI and other benefits that may be available to them. Those who are unable to work because of an injury may be able to receive disability benefits. An experienced attorney may be able to help those in need begin receiving benefits.
Source: The Daily News, “Neighbors in Need drive nearing $1 million since inception,” Brenda Blevins McCorkle, Nov. 23, 2011

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