Around 61 million Americans live with disabilities in 2023, which is 1 to 4 adults. Statistics show that people with disabilities more often face a financial need than those without health problems.
As most disabled persons have little or no income, both various private organizations and the federal government provide financial assistance for disabled adults. It has multiple forms, such as education assistance, retirement benefits, food stamps, health care benefits, and other ways to pay for basic needs. Keep reading the article to learn more about financial help for disabled people in the U.S.
What Does Unemployment Disability Application Look Like?
“I am disabled and need money.” You should not worry if such a situation occurs. Application for unemployed disability benefits is simple and is available online, by phone, and in person. Whichever option you choose, the process consists of the following steps:
Step 1. You send an application. Gather the required documentation, fill out, and submit your application for disability compensation in the most convenient way.
Step 2. The Social Security Administration reviews your application. The Social Security Administration checks whether you meet the eligibility criteria for disability benefits and forwards your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state. They will make the final decision and will contact you by email within three to six months.
Step 3. You check the status of your application. You can check the status of your application by phone or online using your personal social security account.
Step 4. You appeal a decision. If you don’t agree with the decision the state agency made, you can request an appeal within 60 days after receiving the decision.
How to Get Help for Disabled People?
People with disabilities can apply for various disability benefits depending on their needs. It can be employment assistance, educational assistance, medical assistance, and others. Below, you can find information about different programs offering subsidies and direct payments.
Covering medical costs is often problematic and unaffordable for low-income families with disabled family members. Therefore, government and private companies offer different types of financial assistance.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is emergency health insurance for people who can’t work due to an injury or a serious medical condition, such as a disability. To obtain disability stimulus payments from SSDI, you need to be insured, have worked long enough, and have paid Social Security taxes. To increase their approval chance, applicants often ask a doctor for a written statement.
If you receive SSDI, you can also apply for payday loans for people on a disability. These short-term loans are an excellent way to get same-day funding to cover emergency expenses without hard credit checks and unnecessary paperwork. Remember to apply for SSDI as soon as you develop a disability. Processing your application can take three to six months.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost health coverage to children from needy families who don’t qualify for Medicaid. In several states, the program covers pregnant women. Before applying, you need to see your state’s rules and requirements for CHIP, as they may vary. The application for the program is available through phone or online.
With CHIP, you can cover prescriptions, doctor visits, routine check-ups, dental care, etc. All the medical costs are financed by states and the federal government.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another great option disabled people can use to obtain financial support. With this federal program, individuals with disabilities and limited income and resources can get monthly cash payments. The most important thing for the applicants is that their age does not matter.
SSI is financed by U.S. Treasury general funds and administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). However, it is not paid for by Social Security taxes. Remember that the payment amounts vary from state to state. Therefore, you need to check the regulations for the program in your region.
Medicaid is a primary health insurance program for individuals with limited income in the U.S. It is available for different categories of people, such as individuals with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and elderly adults. Medicaid gets financing from states and the federal government. It means that although there are some general rules, every state runs its own program. Therefore, eligibility requirements and disability benefits can vary from state to state.
Medicare is a health insurance program for which you can qualify if you are:
- A person of at least 65 years of age;
- An adult child with a disability under age 65;
- A person with End-Stage Renal Disease (of all ages).
You can apply for the program at the Medicare website. There, you can choose your Medicare plan: an Original Medicare (Part A – hospital insurance and Part B – medical insurance) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C – Medicare Advantage and Part D – prescription drug coverage).
If you can’t pay for school due to your disability, you can get financial aid from various programs.
Federal Student Loans
A student loan is an installment loan that can be used to pay for college and its related costs, such as books, living expenses, tuition, etc. Federal student loans are provided by the U.S. Department of Education. To get the money, you need to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). These loans don’t require a hard credit check and offer reasonable interest rates. Depending on your situation, you can choose between:
- Direct subsidized loans;
- Direct unsubsidized loans;
- Direct PLUS loans;
- Direct consolidation loans;
- TEACH Grant service.
Student Loan Forgiveness
Another way to deal with financial difficulties for people with disabilities is to qualify for a discharge of their student loans. A total and permanent disability allows people to get forgiveness for William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, and Federal Perkins Loans.
Federal Student Grants
Unlike loans, student grants don’t require repayment. This makes this option an excellent choice for low-income people. The federal government does not offer any specific loans for disabled individuals. However, people with disabilities can consider the following grants to cover their education expenses:
- National SMART Grants;
- Pell Grants;
- Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants;
- Academic Competitiveness Grants.
Disability Grants & Scholarships
Despite the lack of federal grants for the education needs of people with disabilities, you can still get financial assistance from private financial institutions and foundations. To get this type of aid, you need to submit an application form. The requirements differ depending on the organization, so you need to compare various options.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The IDEA is the nation’s special education law that makes free public education available for children with disabilities. The act allows children to get special education for their needs. It authorizes formula grants to states to support special education and related services and discretionary grants to state educational companies, high schools, etc. It allows them to finance research, technology development, and parent training and information centers.
Assistance to Disabled Veterans
Disabled veterans who served in the active military in the U.S. and received an honorable discharge can apply for various financial assistance programs from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If your disability occurred during your military service, you can consider the following programs:
Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)
The Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program can help people with disabilities with job training, resume development, employment accommodation, and provide special employer incentives. In some cases, veterans’ family members may also qualify for specific benefits.
If you served in the active military, naval, or air service, you and your eligible surviving spouse can apply for VA home loans. The loans are provided by private lenders, but VA guarantees a part of the loan. Therefore, a lender can provide you with more favorable loan terms. VA loans usually come with lower interest rates, don’t require a downpayment, and are available for poor credit.
If you have a disability related to your military service, you may be eligible for health care benefits through the VA. It can be financial assistance for dental care, regular check-ups with your primary care provider, and appointments with specialists (gynecologists, cardiologists, etc.).
Assistance with Daily Expenses
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
Family caregivers play a crucial role in supporting the wellness and health of veterans. Thus, more and more people participate in this program. To get approved, both a veteran and a family member need to meet specific requirements. The family caregiver has to be at least 18 years of age and be a veteran’s relative who lives or can live full-time with them. The veteran needs a VA disability rating of at least 70%, was discharged from the U.S. military, or has a date of medical discharge. Veterans need at least six months of care services, such as safety, feeding, bathing, dressing, and well-being.
Housing Choice Voucher
Housing choice vouchers help families with low incomes, seniors, and people with disabilities to cover their housing expenses. The vouchers can be used for apartments, townhouses, and privately owned single-family homes. You can get rental assistance and follow the status of your application through your public housing agency. More information about housing choice vouchers you can get from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The SNAP, also known as food stamps, is the largest government nutrition assistance program. It actively works to fight hunger in the U.S. and provides monthly payments to help low-income families afford nutritious food. You can’t purchase alcohol or tobacco products and non-food items with benefits cards, but they can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, bread, snacks, dairy products, etc.
The amount you can get from SNAP depends on your income and family size. The application for the program is available by phone, by email, and online. However, every state has its own application forms and processes, so you may need to learn more about the application process before applying.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
TANF was designed to help low-income families achieve self-sufficiency. It provides job preparation, childcare, and work assistance and helps cover medical expenses. To qualify for the program, you need to be unemployed or underemployed and have a low income. TANF is available for U.S. citizens and legal or qualified aliens.