New Study Shows National Average Rent is More Than Amount Received by People with Disabilities on Supplemental Security Income
New Study Shows National Average Rent is More Than Amount Received by People with Disabilities on Supplemental Security Income

Categories: Housing

This report, Priced Out in 2010 – The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities, shows that in 2010, the basic cost of shelter, represented by the average rent for a modest one bedroom apartment, was more than the entire income of an individual receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Federal housing affordability guidelines state that low-income households should pay no more than 30% of monthly income towards housing costs, or about $211 per month for someone who receives SSI. Priced Out also reports that there was not one state or community in the nation where a person with a disability on SSI could afford to rent housing without a permanent rental subsidy.

56 Responses to New Study Shows National Average Rent is More Than Amount Received by People with Disabilities on Supplemental Security Income

  1. Barbara J. says:

    I have been attending Church since I was a child and am sad to see Churches donate money to send to missions every time the doors open. I am also in a bad way at 52 years of age. I suffered several deaths in my family, then I caught my husband in bed with another woman, whom I worked with. It was all more than my mind and body could take. I am on disability and cry too much for a job to accept me. However, I am grateful for a grant to attend online college. I have thousands of dollars in debt to pay back for education still. I have a 16 yr old son and no food in the refridgerater.My disabilty is $675. My yearly income is $7,000 and my yearly rent is $4,800. Where is the money for garbage pick up, water, sewer, auto insurance, gas for car (I drive very little), electric, phone and heat gas, renters insurance and FOOD?

  2. Joella S. says:

    I will be homeless soon. My mother is terminal with multiple myloma. I am disabled with no family. I am terrified to live on the street. I am myself a senior citizen alone. Can anyone tell me how I can get housing soon before I am homeless. I do receive money from my disability, but I do not know how to go about getting housing. Please Help. Terrified!! Jody

  3. Carol says:

    Welcome to the club! I have run into this over and over for myself with senior housing in San Diego.
    Seems the managers in these building are looking for the stupid, senile and mentally challenged as they are not likely to blow the whistle on the mismanagement of these buildings.
    Getting to the top of the list is a joke. Seems also like they prefer foreign born for residents and for managers. The average person has no chance, no one to complain to as the people at the top in the senior organizations are too busy spending their high salaries to care about seniors.

    • Sally says:

      San Diego is a hell hole to get any senior housing that is subsudized…and the ones that get in are NOT born here in the USA. Time we take care of our own!.

  4. ALICE says:


  5. Vonetta G. says:

    It’s very unfortunate. We provide independent living housing for 600-1000 per month. We house men and women with mental illness. We provide room and board, meals, laundry, med refills, dr. visits and day program or job program services. I wish the government would create something like the Lanterman Act, which provides funding for the developmental disabled. We are in Los Angeles, CA.

    • Victoire says:

      Hey! I am attempting to starting my own business providing people with disabilities a place to live, and independence. I am having a hard time finding information on rules and licensing, could you point me in the right direction? I am in Ohio, which I know may be different than Cali but anything will help, its very hard to find information.

  6. Curtis says:

    I live on an indian reservation, the govt. is supposed to take care of us for payment for taking our lands and means of housing. The house we live in is in a low rent housing area. We pay very little rent, but the houses are very sub standard – built with the cheapest of materials and labor. We have constant mold problems. If we complain, we suffer the govt’s rath. We can leave and find decent housing off of the rez, but then we run into your problems.

    • Sally says:

      I am so sorry for what has happened to the Native Americans.
      In Ca many have prospered with the casinos.
      Good luck!

  7. Rich G. says:

    Looks like we are all in the same boat and its name is “TITANIC.”

  8. John S. says:

    Unfortunately the plight of people with disabilities and the new crop of homeless that are the causulties of the shifting economic debacle, We as Americans citizens have been robbed of affordable housing. The drug trade in this country have made us a narco state. The energy crisis has been on going for over 30 years, as well as the crush on hospitals, food programs, the mental health system, the tax payer who can’t even get help with their own crises because of the blind eye the politico have turned to illegal immigration in the name of NAFTA essentially have cause the infrastucture of capitalism to crash.
    We will see a new change in the way our lives are affected that will demand dramatic personal sacrifice. The SUV and soccer mom era has died. It will be left to altruism on everyone’s part to save this country from a depression.

  9. Rhonda W. says:

    I am a 52 year old woman on ssi. My home was foreclosed on in September 2010, but I am able to rent. I need help. I’m raising my handicapped grandson and my niece since she was born 7-2-09 – she was born addicted to drugs. Can you send me an application at my home address to get help with my rent? I’m on dial up and not very good on the computer.

  10. Admin says:

    Another resource worth looking into is your state’s 211 health and human services information line. Stephanie – the website for the one in CO is A list of local call center throughout CO can be found by visiting
    Debra P – Texas 211 website is If you enter “Abilene” on the right-hand side in the “Location” box, and then click the “Rent Payment Assistance” link located below the “Location” box, you will get a list of resources that may be able to help you. There is also an option for housing payment assistance. Ken in AZ – try

  11. Disability.Blog Team says:

    Theresa – have you tried reaching out to your local Independent Living Center (ILC)? ILCs provide people with disabilities advocacy and support services, including assistance with employment, transportation, housing, health care and living skills. A list of ILCs in the United States can be found by visiting and selecting your state from the map on the page. ILCs do vary in terms of the types of services they provide, and they are not in every city/town, but many are very helpful and can let you know about programs that might be able to help.

  12. Theresa says:

    Well.. at least I’m not alone after reading all your posts. I have nothing left to cut back on, and i have sold anything of value to feed my kid and try to keep a roof over our heads. I’m on disability and my life is hell. Section 8 has been closed for years in my County, there is no waiting list. I can’t get any help with anything. All I want is a better life for my son. If I wasn’t catholic, I would consider suicide… no joke! I’m tired and can’t even see a doctor because I can’t afford the co-pay. I see our government officials and wonder why they don’t hear us… I just want a voice and to be heard. Pray for me.

  13. GerrieLijam says:

    Who ever writes these “Federal housing affordability guidelines”? Do these people live anywhere in America?
    “Federal housing affordability guidelines state that low-income households should pay no more than 30% of monthly income towards housing costs, or about $211 per month for someone who receives SSI”.
    OK,,, Where can I find an apartment, room or a cage for $211 per month? Please include the address & phone number of the Apartment Manager in the “Federal housing affordability guidelines”.
    Thank you!!

  14. Disability.Blog Team says:

    Martha – have you reached out to your local OneStop Career Center regarding employment training and opportunities? You can find contact information by visiting

  15. Disability.Blog Team says:

    Priscilla – we suggest contacting your local Independent Living Center (ILC). ILCs provide people with disabilities advocacy and support services, including assistance with employment, transportation, housing, health care and living skills. A list of ILCs in the United States can be found by visiting and selecting your state from the map on the page. ILCs do vary in terms of the types of services they provide, and they are not in every city/town, but many are very helpful and can let you know about programs that might be able to help.

  16. Disability.Blog Team says:

    Donald M. – under the Obama Administration, the Dept. of Justice has placed a high priority on enforcing the ADA and other disability-related laws. More information on enforcement actions can be found on @
    Many thanks!

  17. Disability.Blog Team says:

    Thanks to everyone for your comments! We appreciate you telling your stories so other Disability.Blog readers know they are not alone. We will continue to work hard to provide and Disability.Blog visitors with information on programs and services that might be able to help. We know times are tough and many states are cutting back. The ideas on ways to cut expenses that you have provided are very good and will be helpful to other Disability.Blog readers! If you know of programs in your city or state that assist people with disabilities, please post info. about them in the comment section. Also, information on local and state services/programs can be found under the “Information By State” drop-down menu located on the lower left-hand side of any page on Choose your state from the list, then select the topic you are interested in from the “Subject List”.

  18. Sherran H. says:

    Becoming disabled is a curse. I feel for each and every one of the individuals who have shared their situation. I am disabled, but I still have an active brain and feel the pain associated with being disabled. I am going blind. I have had nine surgeries on my eyes to release the pressure from building up behind my eyes. I didn’t even know I was in this condition until I went to my doctor for an eye infection. He was astute enough to read my medical records and noticed the pressure in my eyes had always been high. A visual field concluded I was losing my vision due to Glaucoma.I believe we all need to slam our elected officials with how we are struggling to try to survive in this economy. WE NEED HELP! One thing I do recognize is that the Republicans will do NOTHING TO HELP US. I am an Independent, so I carefully watch what is happening in Washington to decide who to vote for in the upcoming elections. All I know is it will not be a Republican. What a bunch of self-absorbed petty tyrants running rampant. We send billions of dollars everywhere, but American leaders do not take care of their own. It is disgusting. [Ask] elected officials what we are supposed to do. It’s worth a try. By the way, I worked for an economist for years, so I understand the way “global economy” is suppose to work. It has become a joke!! Also, being disabled requires doctor visits, huge medical bills, etc. Being retired is one thing; being disabled is another thing.

  19. Donald M. says:

    In the disabled community there is an attorney who provides valuable information to people with disabilities on issues of advocacy. You may locate him by doing a Google of Steve Gold, Disability Rights Attorney. Steve, is well versed in several issues that were brought up here today. He might be able to provide you information that would help you with self advocacy on issues that affect you in your home state, or community. I have worked for a Center for Independent Living in Illinois for over 11 years, and during that time I have been involved in such things as reintegrating disabled people from nursing homes to the community, representing clients at their disability hearings (and no, I am not an attorney), however, I have assisted thirteen consumers (just since October 2010) this year in obtaining back pay and I have been able to advocate for expedited hearings in all but one of those cases. I am not bragging, I am trying to show you what you can do if you try to advocate for yourself and then multiply that by thousands…think of the impact disabled people would have on this country.

  20. Donald M. says:

    On a daily basis I work with people with disabilities who are in need of accessible housing, and even with obtaining disability benefits. I am amazed that so many people with disabilities are so unaware of the various programs and other resources that are available to help them. I am equally amazed that the government, who passed the ADA in 1990, has failed miserably in its obligation to enforce the ADA and its provisions. I just returned from a trip where my wife and I had stays in 6 different hotels/motels, yet in 5 out of 6 of them, there were serious accessibility issues. I think the key here is [the perception] that people with disabilities don’t participate in society and vote, so their issues are not important to the legislators and the government who enforces the laws that are made on our behalf. It is imperative if we want to get our issues to the forefront that we work diligently to: 1. Get people with disabilities to register and vote. 2. Advocate for change. The saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” is true. Only when people join together to create a new consensus will we overcome the cuts in funding and the unavailability of affordable housing and programs that assist people with disabilities. You need to come together and fight as if your life depends on it because it does.

  21. Sharon Z. says:

    I live on disability and my family charges me half of what I receive and I have to pay the cable, internet and phone from what is left and then there is food I have to get myself. This is very hard being a new widow with medical costs of over $7,000.00. I don’t know how much longer I can do this.

  22. D.C. says:

    I waited 3 years for disability. I thought that things would be better once I received it, but how wrong I was. Before I paid no medical and got $200.00 in food stamps. Now I pay rent and medical and they lowered my food stamps to $42.00 a month and my medicare only covers 80%, so that means I have still to pay out of pocket. I HAVE(!) to live with my daughter and my grandaughter and where we live it nowhere near meets our needs. We have been on a waiting list for the last 3 years and although we are in the hundreds on the list, it has not moved at all in the last 3 years. We just want to live and be comfortable in this the most wonderful America! PLEASE! MR. PRESIDENT don’t forget the people that this nation is based on. THANK YOU.

  23. JEANNIE L. says:


  24. Martin D. says:

    To All It Concerns,
    I cannot afford to live in my own country. Thank you.

  25. Priscilla says:

    My daughter is disabled and she lives with my husband and I in a one bedroom apt. I am disabled also, but can’t get approved for SSI. My daughter gets SSI income, but she need around the clock care and my husband and I can only afford a 1 bedroom apt. I’ve been trying to get housing help for my daughter, but with no luck. All the housing agencies say the waiting lists are closed. My daughter is 19 yrs old and needs her own room. Where can I get the help she needs??

  26. Charles D. says:

    I can save a few words, as they would only echo the ones so many have already displayed. The toughest thing is to not give up hope, and figure out alternatives.
    My SSDI is 2k. Not bad. But really, after $850 for rent, utilities, car, food, (no cable, Tammy!) insurance… I hope it’s o.k. with the republicans that I own a car. If I could work, I would do so all day and forever. I once had nice things; a beautiful home, security, nice cars, etc. Oh to be healthy, as opposed to realizing you’re never going to get better, nor is your situation as a disabled American.
    – Charles

  27. sarah234 says:

    I am on disability in Canada and where I live in sk rent is $800 per month plus and with no rent control you see increases which are ridiculous. This happens to the elderly and the disabled.

  28. Nancy S. says:

    This country is going through a very terrible time. I’m fortunate to still be working, but I haven’t had a raise in 5 years. So just like those of you that haven’t gotten a cost of living wage, I feel your pain. My husband became disabled 4 years ago due to a work related injury. Our income has decreased greatly, on top of all this I was injured 1 year after my husband. I’ve been able to continue to work for now. I continue to worsen due to arthritis in my knees and back problems. My husband’s income is 1/4 of what it use to be and I pray I can work 3 more years so I can retire. My husband has been denied 3 times for SSDI, even though his doctors say he is totally disabled.
    For those of you on SSI, you can get assistance from welfare for your children. Also all persons on SSI or SSDI should apply for LIHEAP every year for utility assistance.
    Keep the faith and keep applying for any services you may qualify for. In NYS, go to – I’ m sure all communities has the same thing.

  29. Army Guy says:

    I am a disabled vet, and am very lucky to have my home as cheap as it is. Move to the country. I swapped my apt. outside of Memphis for a 3 bedrm house in nowhereville to save $400 a month. I did learn though that I could apply for SSDI and still be able to get my VA check. It has been a huge help to have the extra grand a month, so to all vets out there, make sure you file for disability through the Social Security office if you are getting your VA compensation. I had to learn this on my own & it doesn’t seem that anyone is aware that we vets can recieve both.

  30. Emily says:

    Talking about disability income vs housing. I was disabled over 10 years ago and had to apply for section 8 in Torrance, CA, where I resided, but since I had to move because I can no longer afford rent, I was placed at the bottom of the list. To date, I have been on the waiting list for about 11 years. I had to work p/t to afford rent. Is it discrimation when I am not moving up on the list because I live outside of the area? It’s scary. I have been homeless twice. I have been disillusioned by the the rhetoric that housing assistance is within reach if one is disabled. I know I will be dead and still be on the waiting list. If I was suicidal then the current process of obtaining housing would drive me to act on it if I should be homeless again!

  31. KBD says:

    Shame is that everyone wanted a “bail-out” when things went south . . which prevented the housing market from crashing and rent/housing costs going down with it . . NOW, the cost of everything is the same or higher! Should have left it all alone, NO BAIL-OUTS to big companies! Worried about supplying long-term care for son . . where will he live on SSI alone?

  32. Roxana says:

    I have lived in the same apartment for six years and my rent has DOUBLED in the past two years. I receive $674.00 a month (the maximum in WA state) in SSI
    benefits, and my rent is $950.50 for a two bedroom, since I provide for my 8 yr. old son. I am currently on Section 8, but I still pay $450.50 for my portion of the rent. These are not brand new apartments either. On top of that, I do not receive any help from the state besides a whopping $16.00 dollars a month for food stamps! And make no mistake that is not in error! I just don’t understand this. They tell me I make too much money to qualify for any more help than they give since I am on Section 8. I cannot afford to move, and the one bedrooms are only $100 cheaper anyway. I am also responsible for my electric, and phone bills. What burns me the most about the whole thing is when someone from an agency says according to the states guidelines quote, “I make TOO MUCH MONEY!!”

  33. KATHY says:

    Yes, I am on SSDI as well. It’s about time somebody understood “what’s really going on”! The government doesn’t seem to know anything, and when you are disabled you qualify for affordable living housing. Then when you apply, the housing apartment representative informs you that your total income should be three times the rent amount. Ok, let’s see, would that mean a $500 rent and total income $1500.00? Then, if you make too much, you do not qualify for affordable living. I got a headache. Yes, Senior housing is available. But not all of us want to spend the rest of our hard working or special needs lifestyle the way we choose to. And this is AMERICA. As a previous caregiver, I always told myself I would not end up like this, was I wrong. Get in line.

  34. Pamela says:

    I am 60 years old. In Dec. of 2005, I had a stroke mainly from medication while waiting for a liver transplant. Eight months after I had the stroke, I received a new liver. I spent 22 months in the hospitals from the night I had the stroke. My son was 15 yrs old and was 17 when I got out. I lost everything. It took me 6 months to get someone who would rent to me and my son. He is 21 now and is entering his senior year in college, so he has two years left to get his masters which is required for his chosen profession. I pay $875 a month rent and about $225-250 in utilities. And my SS is $795 per month, so I am already in the hole by $80 before I even start. Up until my son graduated high school, he received child support and SS, which added about $403 to our household income. When I got out of the hospital, I did another round of chemo for a year. I found out about the Senior Aid program, which allows those over 55 to earn $8 dollars for 20 hours a week and keep your SS and food stamps. Which for us is $200 per month. Now our total household income is $1,365 and I pay $1,125 for rent and utilities (including car insurance). I live in Massachusetts and if my son was not in college, he would be eligible for Mass Health, but seeing an education is the only true way to survive in this world, $1,500 is added to his school invoice for mandatory health insurance. Many have said to me that he should not be going to college – that he should be working and what, hopefully making 10 and hour?? During the time I was in the hospital, he kept straight A’s and has made the Dean’s List every semester. He truly wants an education and I will never deny him of this because I got sick. I have been on every possible housing waiting list going on 5 yrs and still nothing. My job through the Senior Aid program has me working at a non profit neighborhood center and what I see is truly incredible. I never knew that if you are on welfare and do volunteer work for 20 hrs a week, you can stay on welfare, get food stamps and housing until your youngest child is 18, regardless of how healthy you are! I see immigrants who don’t even have green cards get food stamps, housing and health insurance. Something like Obama’s aunt got for 20 yrs as an illegal in Boston. I am not an Obama hater, it is just a well publicized case in point that this has become the norm. It is extremely difficult to watch just who is getting what in this country and who is not – the disabled and the elderly!! And no one in this self serving government cares, not seems to care – they just don’t.
    My next round of chemo is due to start in August, so my decision has come down to this, should I not do the chemo and see how long I last and perhaps not be able to work or take a shot on what my doctor’s seem very hopeful for good results and lose my eight dollar an hour job and my apartment. Is this what it comes down to – having to choose a chance to live or a roof over your head?
    The real sad part is that no one in government will read any of these posts, so maybe it just comes down to knowing we are not alone.

  35. Jeff R. says:

    I am constantly explaining to my wife that I only want to pay 30% of my income towards rent. I was aware of this suggestion to only direct 30% percent of my income towards rent. She has constantly gotten apartments over the level I am able to afford and she is often unemployed or under employed. At $1,250.00 a month, it is impossible to keep up with her and she usually has a huge bill to pay that she hasn’t paid every other month to the tune of anywhere between $300-600 and I only get $716.00 monthly, plus I pay child support on SSDI. I can’t get SSI because they say we have too much income and we have never made over $25,000.00 a year in the last five years together. I almost divorce her regularly over finances and I often yell at her because she is bad with money and a couple of times I had to do this over cable, phone and utility bills…etc. I have to go with practicality so I argued for Netflix, the lowest costing Internet provider possible, we have a ten dollar landline phone and our cell phone bill is out of control, but there is nothing we can do about that, we need cell phone service.
    I was never offered a housing voucher when I applied for Social Security benefits, and I think that needs to be done from now on. It’s amazing that the housing authority in Maine denied me because I was low income instead of very low income. I was homeless and made $5,000.00 that year. We have waited for 5 years in Massachusetts, and have been told we were lucky we didn’t have to wait 7 or more. I can’t afford college, children and a spouse. I can barely afford public transportation, let alone a car or taxi services. My medication only costs a little more – about 11 dollars, thank God – but there are little things I can do to take care of my child. They give me 46 dollars a month for every child and I have to use the money to pay the electricity bill or some other expense like her clothes, toys, or books. At 716 dollars a month, I can’t afford to live. I have no ability to compensate legal fees and now my first child lives with a mother who [I feel is unfit]. I’m not 100% sure her child is mine. This is all vulgar, but this is the reality of my life and I have had to call child services (thank God it’s free) on her a couple of times when I have proof of these occurrences, but they never offer me custody. I know others out there have similar stories and wish it weren’t true, people just like me out there and I’m sympathic to you all.
    I can’t donate to church and they are often advising me to get charity, even though I am a member, and I do. I am embarrassed by my life. I have no dignity anymore. I am proud, but not to be an American. Not anymore. This country let me down when they awarded me disability and left me and my pregnant wife homeless. We struggled, like the Republicans say, to “pull ourselves up by the bootstraps”. Just because we are no longer homeless doesn’t mean this life is worth living. The harder we work, the more it seems we’ll never get ahead and I always feel like I am holding my wife and children back. It is more expensive to be poor. I keep reviewing the cost of living and I found that there is a disparity between the rich and the poor. It costs less to live when you have good credit, a home, your own appliances, an education, etc. Services cost less because you can work out arrangements and contracts which reduce the cost, a lawyer to represent you can pay off, new and more durable clothing, the ability to shop at a grocery store instead of a convenience store and avoiding laundromats, etc…The more money you have the less it costs to live!! I am afraid to say that I have no hope that I will be able to provide better for my children’s children and every time I walk into a welfare office, I am reminded of all the people who said something like, “Oh, you’re not sick”, or the DHS and city workers and certain people who make you feel like you’re scamming the system by getting welfare, plus the added stigma for men, which is obsolete because women have the right to work too, like my spouse.
    All in all, something has to be done. The government or the private sector have got to keep the cost of rent low. It costs more to rent these days and I don’t expect landlords and other property owners to rob the taxpayer by way of stealing voucher money from us impoverished folks to get rich. However, something needs to be done about the highway robbery going on right now by property owners and banks getting people out of their money and making families homeless.

  36. Rainy says:

    I live with family and I have to pay rent and help with the utilities and food. I have been trying to find an apartment, but the rents are too high. I cannot afford a place on my own. I would need a roommate, which means I would have to get a 2 bedroom, instead of a 1 bedroom. This is America, home of the free and we are always helping other countries. What about taking care of America first, and then the other countries? There is no hope out there for anyone on a fixed income. I am a Cancer patient and I cannot find my own place to live in. This really gets me depressed on top of everything else. When will America be a priority? Where’s the help? Everything is being cut. There is no hope. No wonder there are so many suicides in America. Come on people! We elect people to help us, but then they don’t help. Being on disability really sucks, but when you have no choice, what are we supposed to do? I am a very depressed person as it is, and my Dr. tells me not to watch the news. I need to know what is going on so I can plan for what ever future there might be. But it looks very grim. I pray a lot and my Faith is what keeps me going. God Bless America is so the truth.

  37. Laura D. says:

    I have been fortunate to be included in the recent round of Section 8 (11) Housing Choice Vouchers in our community. Without this help, my SSDI benefits were not enough to meet monthly expenses, causing me to live for a period of time in a community living shelter.
    I am grateful that I now have a place of my own, and am striving to use these same program monies to become a homeowner again, paying property taxes, working part-time or on a flex-schedule to accomodate for my unique needs, while contributing in my local community.

  38. Martha says:

    Well as of Sunday, I have nowhere to live. I have been unemployed for 1 1/2 years at the age of 53. Nobody wants you at this age, and could care less about experience. Been in the workforce 25 years. I get $326/week which will end in about 15 weeks. Was in the construction industry, worked at field sites as an inspector, then moved on up in management. I have a daughter who is married to an army guy who is getting out and she is disabled with seizures. He served her divorce papers and he is moving to Missouri and out of the rental the army paid for by the end of the month. When they got married, her SSI stopped because of his pay and medicaid. She will have Tricare a little longer, but she has no income. My bills I have consolidated, finally got it to where I could pay for all my bills. I’m leaving a friend’s home where I only paid electric and water. He lives in Atlanta, and has been trying to sell for a year. So he has been paying an apt. rental and a mortgage payment, but was kind enough to let me stay until he sold, but is now taking it off the market and doing a lease/option to buy with the former renter, and his business went belly up. But I knew the day would come. I have spoken with everyone and the ones in between from Salvation Army, United Way, HUD – and the waiting list for the disabled is 6 months to 1 year… So I have been on the computer for days…Checking housing, still looking for a job, and in the area around where I live because of gas prices. Also, trying to get a storage unit in case we have to store our belongings due to not having a place to call home. I have never been here in my life….I am praying I can get out of this nightmare. Dropped from $60,000 plus bonuses to $15,000. No other help because Foodstamps cap on my income of $15,000 is too high. I still have my car, so I am just lost as I can be. My Mom is 81, and she and my brother’s family live around each other, but they are on hard times also…it is very scary out there right now. But I have become homeless, and now can understand what homeless is…sad our world is so wrong. We are all doomed with how life is going…

  39. Debra P. says:

    I live here in Abilene,Texas. I receive $674.00 a month and my husband receives VA compensation of $123.00. My husband has a lot of health problem. He has applied for SSI and it is taking forever to accept him. We pay lot rent of $100.00, light bill is $300, gas bill is $80.00 and water is $69.00. I don’t pay co pays, I pay the full price of meds. I was denied food stamps. I also pay for my food and sometimes I have to ask for help. We need help with our meds since I am married to a Veteran and they won’t include it in my husband’s VA compensation or health benefits. We are Native American Indian. So it is hard. We have to prove our heritage. We are Native American Indian – we have proof. All the prices are up and it is killing us. One thing I can’t understand – we can’t file income tax because we can’t claim not to have income because the food stamp office and other area claim that income. What is going on here in Texas?

  40. Tammy says:

    1st some people should try cutting bills like cable! I have 2 kids (5 and 16) they are fine w/Netflix and movies they already have, plus they need to be outside more anyway! And for $10, Netflix is a lot better than $60 for cable! Also coupons – I get just barely over $300 monthly in foodstamps for the 3 of us and the last week I go to the food pantry! I’m only 35 and on disability for many reasons, mostly because of a rare brain disease and I have cut back a lot! Between my ssi and disability and my kids income, it’s just under $1,000 and lot rent alone is $320! I wish I could get help w/ my rent. I own my home. It’s a mobile home, but I own it and I can’t get help from anyone because of it not being a house! That’s bs. I cut back as much as possible and I barely make it and I wish my utility bill was only $18, like one person said their’s is. Geesh, how can that be? Mine is always at least $100! They wouldn’t increase my foodstamps because my medical co-pay is $30 and it has to be at least $35 to increase!

  41. Ken in Arizona says:

    I am single, disabled (on the books) for more than 3 years. My income is $580/month disability, + $114/month SSI, +$200/month food stamps to take me to the poverty level…supposedly. This totals $894/month. My rent is $411, no cable, no phone. Electrical bills here in AZ are high if you want to stay at least cool, $70/month. Gas, insurance, all takes it’s toll. $283 cash and $200 food per month with no cost of living raises for the last ?? years?? How many humans out there could live on this and survive? Really??
    It’s a small wonder there are so many suicides associated with this system. I am there on a weekly basis…it’s beyond me how to make it, but somehow I do, and many others do as well.

  42. Annie says:

    We are in our mid 60s. Although still working, we are preparing ourselves for the fixed income lifestyle of the retirees. Our cable/internet bill is under $40 a month. We take basic cable only. Audio books, free from the library, are entertaining and better for old minds than the 100+ cable stations. That’s our way of cutting back on home entertainment.

  43. Stephanie says:

    I’m on Disability because of a stroke I had that hit the left side of my brain. I live here in CO and prices are already pretty high, so housing is no different. And I have been on the wait list for housing for over a year now and while you guys say contact ILCs, there really are none that help all that much, they just tell you to call someone else. So, that really doesn’t work well here. I am not making much on SSDI. I cannot hold a job or I would do that instead of living on SSDI. I think that there are a good number of us who really do need help with housing and are not taking advantage of the “system”. And trying to find help, even with the suggestions we get here, doesn’t really seem to help, at least not here. I don’t spend money on things that are not necessities, only what I really need to live on and I am trying to raise my teenage daughter. But people like me really need the help. Thanks.

  44. Sheila says:

    I became disabled in 2007, that was the 1st year ever that there was not a cost of living increase. Nor has there been one since then. However, all the goverment offcials that make way too much money in the first place, still get there big fat raises every year. I think it’s time we have somebody in Washington to clean house and stop this nonsence!! My mortage is $910.32 a month and my disability check has been $852.43 since day one. And since I’m single, I only get $125.55 in food stamps a month. And I’m not even going into the utility expenses…and people wonder why so many Americans are fed up with the goverment!! Makes me SICK!!

  45. Syu J. says:

    Currently, I am getting a PdD in Development Strategy after suffering from a stroke. I am learning how to receive government help from a PhD in poverty.

  46. Maria says:

    This is old news to those of us who have tried to find decent, safe, affordable and accessible housing. Even with a Section 8 rental voucher, I am still priced out of anything that would meet my needs as a disabled individual. My three children and I have to survive on my $674.00 per month SSI. The system is insane. The landlords are taking advantage of the collapsed housing market by raising rent.
    If you are trying to raise a family, you are doomed. Because there is no rental housing that meets my needs, we are stuck in a place that is dangerous to my health. Most landlords won’t rent to Section 8 people. As soon as you tell/ask them about the Section 8, their demeanor changes and suddenly the place isn’t available or they will just come out and say they don’t accept Section 8. The discrimination regarding Section 8 is rampant and it only serves to keep people in unsuitable housing.
    Don’t think that increasing Section 8 will help. The wait lists are years long and most landlords won’t rent to you anyway. People who receive welfare have a much easier time than the disabled.
    Another discouraging aspect is that for what Section 8 pays in rent, it would go toward a mortgage. There are programs avilable for this, but if you have a family to raise, your SSI income simply isn’t enough and you will never be approved for a mortgage because you have too many dependents and not enough income.
    It’s a viscious cycle of poverty that is being created. Having to live with a debilitating health condition is bad enough, but then to be forced to live in inadequate housing and abject poverty only shortens the life span of the individual, creates a new generation of poverty and worsens the stress already felt by a family.
    Changes to the system must be made so that even the disabled and their children can attempt to live a life that is not based on poverty.

  47. Hank says:

    This is a shame that we must treat people like this. This is supposed to be the greatest country in the world. Someone please help this couple. I would attempt to contact them, but I am also on disability and receive limited income each month.
    If this is what we worked all of our lives for, then I feel sorry for this country and our system.
    Mr. Obama, if you really care about our people, please get something in place to help people like this.

  48. Mona says:

    I do agree with the statement. People’s rent is just ridiculious. There SHOULD BE A CAP on rent for low income people. When you pay rent, you can’t pay nothing else!!

  49. Sonia P. says:


  50. Disability.Blog Team says:

    You may wish to contact your local Independent Living Center (ILC), for assistance at the local level. ILCs provide people with disabilities advocacy and support services, including assistance with employment, transportation, housing, health care and living skills. A list of ILCs in the United States can be found by visiting and selecting your state from the map on the page.

  51. KIMBERLY says:

    I am on Disability and my husband is trying to get on Disability. He cannot work because he has a lot of medical problems, and I only get $737 a month. I have to pay rent and that is $400 a month and we only get $220 a month in Food Stamps – that only feeds us for two weeks and we do not have the money for anything else. I have other bills to pay. I have medical bills of $196.20 and a utility of $17.99 AND a cable bill of $97.10 that I cannot pay because I AM HAVING A HARD TIME PAYING THE UTILTY BILLS I HAVE NOW. SO I NEED HELP REAL BAD RIGHT NOW. PLEASE HELP.