In Ohio, federal benefits programs are often a person’s last option. They make a claim for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) after they have become incapacitated because of a injury or an illness. It may be worker who suffers from lung cancer or heart disease and can no longer work because of effects of the disease. Or a healthcare aid that has injured her back after years of lifting patients in and out of bed, and now can no longer meet the lifting requirements of the job.
Because becoming classified as “disabled” for SSDI is based on a combination of factors, including your physical or mental impairment, your level of education and training, and the availability of jobs in an area. Because SSDI benefits only average $1,100 a month, you may also qualify for other government benefits, like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
These benefit programs are often attacked because of their costs. Yet, if one looks at the economic facts, the benefits of the program extend far beyond the person who directly receives the check.
The important thing to remember is that because those who receive SSDI cannot work, and SSDI benefits may represent the majority of their income. They must cover all of their necessary expenses during the month, which typically means every dollar they receive must be allocated very carefully.
Because their benefits are all spent, they return immediately to the economy, to pay housing, to the grocery store for food, and the gas station for gas. The Department of Agriculture calculated that $5 of SNAP benefits generates $9 of economic activity.
So, Congresses cutting of $39 billion in SNAP benefits will mean that much less spending for the stores and businesses of Columbus and throughout Ohio.
Source: MotherJones.com, “CHARTS: The Hidden Benefits of Food Stamps,” Christopher D. Cook, October 25, 2013