You can receive money from the government each month to help buy things that you need and to help you see a doctor when you need to. These are called government benefits. If you do not receive government benefits already, we will show you where and how to apply for them. If you receive government benefits, there are some important things to know.
Anyone can help you fill out your application for government benefits: It can be a family member, friend or a support professional.
Do you need government benefits?
You can receive benefits from the federal government through the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration has three programs that can help you:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
These benefits are for people who are blind, elderly and people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. To receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you need to prove that you have a disability and that you have limited income. To receive Supplemental Security Income, the things you own cannot be worth more than $2,000. If Supplemental Security Income is right for you, you will receive money each month.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
These benefits are for people who cannot work because of a disability. To receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you need to prove you have a disability and that you have a history of working or that you cannot work anymore because of your disability. Social Security Disability Insurance does not have a resource limit, but does have a set maximum amount of money that you can make per month. You may be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance if you or a family member have worked long enough and paid taxes.
Medicaid: This program allows you to see a doctor and get the medicine you need if you have limited income.
Florida residents, who receive Supplemental Security Income, are able to receive Medicaid coverage from the Social Security Administration.
If you do not receive Supplemental Security Income, the Florida Department of Children and Families can help you decide if Medicaid is right for you. Click here to learn more about Medicaid in Florida and the Department of Children and Families. You can also call 1-850-300-4323 or TTY 1-800-955-8771 to speak with someone.
Medicare: This program usually helps people who are 65 years old and older, but you can also receive Medicare if you are younger than 65 years old and have a disability. Click here to learn more about Medicare.
Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778 Monday through Friday to receive help.
Other programs for people who live in Florida
Do you already receive government benefits?
If you are receiving government benefits and you are ready to work, there are rules you must follow so that you do not lose your government benefits. It is important to meet with a benefits planner at the Social Security Administration so that they can help answer any questions about your benefits and the different programs that are available to you.
The rules for going to work while receiving your government benefits are called Work Incentives. Click here to learn more about work incentives for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. Work incentives also have programs that may help you start working, like Ticket to Work. You can read more about these programs in the next lesson.