How to Manage Financially with Government Disability Payments in the U.S.

Three Parts:Shelter, work and foodStaying connectedKeeping your spirits up

If you have a disability and you can prove you can't work, you can receive about 700 dollars a month. That's not much, so many of the articles on how to save money on wikiHow will be helpful. However, there are some things that apply only to your situation and may be helpful for you.

Part 1
Shelter, work and food

  1. Image titled Help Save the Environment Step 44
    Find a home. If you can't live with your family, apply for section 8 housing. Most section 8 housing is well maintained and safe (to the point of the people who run the place being a little paranoid). The only problem you may have is that the other residents bring in bed bugs from their cheap hotel travels and that people who don't have jobs tend to try to involve themselves endlessly in the lives of others, which can sometimes mean dealing with gossip and lies. Be careful who you form friendships with.
    • The establishment will pay for extermination fees but it's a big hassle to get your apartment ready for treatment.
    • Get your rent put in by direct deposit so that if at some time you become psychically or mentally incapacitated you will still have a home.
    • Obey the regulations of your building and be polite to the management.
  2. Image titled Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer Step 18
    Find out how much money you are allowed to have. Work somehow to get just a little less than that in the bank. Perhaps you can tutor, fold envelopes, create websites, write stories, care for a neighbor's pets, etc. Choose work that fits with your abilities.
    • Keep some emergency money stashed away in the bank. You may need this money for things like emergency medical care, maintaining your bike, clothing repairs, etc.
    • Have a small pool of money set aside for any kind of entertainment.
  3. Image titled Love Your Girlfriend Step 14
    Transport groceries. If you don't own a car, this means you will have to either pay someone who has a car or rely on family to get to the supermarket. Try to live near a supermarket, if possible.
    • Buy a bicycle if you can use one. They cost money to maintain and are not safe to use during winter months but they save you on car repairs and gas.
    • Get to know your local buses and other transportation in your area.
    • Read the related wikiHow articles on saving money on groceries.

Part 2
Staying connected

  1. Image titled Help the Homeless Step 7
    Keep involved and engaged in activities to make life interesting. Some ways to do this include:
    • Use your library. Always renew or turn in your books on time because fines are a big waste of money. Some libraries use Library Elf, a reminder system that can alert you by email when books are due. You can also use electronic or paper calendar reminders.
    • Join as many clubs that have to do with things you're interested in as you possibly can.
    • Stay active with religious groups that appeal to you.
    • Volunteer your time.
  2. Image titled Start a New Life when You're at Rock Bottom Step 16
    Maintain close bonds with your family as you will probably always need each other. Avoid toxic people who constantly complain; these people just bring you down.
    • Shop at thrift stores to buy gifts for people you care about.

Part 3
Keeping your spirits up

  1. Image titled Be Adventurous Step 1
    Feel grateful rather than sorry for yourself. In some countries people who cannot work die. In America, you can have a good life and be disabled.
  2. Image titled Cleanse Your Kidneys Step 28
    Avoid using drugs and alcohol. These may seem like a way to reduce pain but they are easily a way to lose a sense of self and waste plenty of money.


  • Learn to cook. Things cooked at home almost always cost less than things bought already made for "convenience". Even an already assembled brownie mix costs less for what you get than one brownie bought at a restaurant.
  • If you live in a winter climate, you will need a good quality coat and boots you can walk in during snowy times.
  • If your town has a dental school, they may give you a cleaning and x-rays for a reduced cost.


  • Don't even think about owning a credit card. The only reason you would need one is to rent a car. Use a debit card instead. Check your balance before making any large purchases (like food at the supermarket).
  • Try to avoid eating anything not bought at the supermarket. (Usually it's the cheapest place to get sufficient health food.)

Article Info

Categories: Disability Forms Permits and Benefits | Managing Your Money