An Overview Of Government Benefits For The Disabled

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Are you disabled and need financial support for your everyday needs? This article gives an overview of Government benefits for the disabled.

Disability is a physical or mental illness that prevents you from doing your regular work. It can happen at any point in your lifetime. However, it is more commonly found in older adults. 

An Overview Of Government Benefits For The Disabled

Disability is something that we see but choose to unsee every day. We tend to forget about the disabled in every walk of life, whether it be designing buildings, public transportation, access to lavatories, and many other areas. But in reality, the statistics will shock you.

According to the CDC:

  • 61mn people in the United States live with a disability
  • 26 percent of adults are disabled.
  • 40% of older adults (above 65) are disabled

You might like to read: An Overview Of Government Benefits For Seniors

What Is The Impact Of Disability?

Disability comes in many forms and is replete with many other problems. The most common form of disability is mobility, and cognition is the second most common type of disability.

Loss of Independence

If you have a disability, you may find it challenging to carry out your daily tasks like feeding, bathing, dressing, getting in and out of bed, and various others. You cannot drive or go independently for shopping or any social gathering. 

Health Problems

Disability comes with many health problems in your body like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and others. So, your medical bills also get increased, which becomes difficult for you to pay. Also, like to read – Guide to CHAMPVA for Caregivers.

Financial Impact

You have to start depending on your family members for carrying out your essential daily activities. Sometimes family members may have a full-time job or other work. They cannot look after you all day. 

So you need to take the help of a professional caregiver. But hiring a professional caregiver is expensive. According to the CDC, one in three adults with disabilities from age 18-44 years do not have a usual health care provider.

Fortunately, various Government programs will help disabled individuals to overcome financially. This article lists some Government programs for disabled people. So you can continue reading the whole article for more information.

An Overview Of Government Benefits For The Disabled

#1. Social Security Benefits For The Disabled

Remember, the definition of Disability in Social security is a bit different than other disabled Government programs. The program doesn’t pay any benefits if you are partially disabled or have short term disability.

The Social Security rules define disability as follows

  • You cannot continue the work you were doing previously because of your medical condition.
  • You cannot do your work further or engage in any substantial activity for medical reasons.
  • Your medical condition will last for one year or is expected to result in death.

The supplemental security disability insurance(SSDI) and supplemental security income are two common programs from the Social security Administration that help people with disabilities.

Supplemental Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

The SSDI pays monthly benefits to you and certain family members if you have worked long enough and paid social security taxes from your earnings.

Disabled people of any age can apply for SSDI. You can even apply by calling the social security number 1-800-772-1213 or going to the local office.

Supplemental Security Income(SSI)

The SSI helps pay benefits to disabled adults and children who have low income and resources. You can apply for SSI online if you are an adult with a disability.SSI applications are not available online for children under the age of 18.

The criteria of these two programs differ, but the medical requirements are almost identical.

Whenever you apply for the above two programs, then social security will collect medical information along with other vital information and check whether you meet Disability guidelines of Social security.

They may request any additional documents if needed. You can check the status of your application form by creating your personal my Social Security account. If you cannot access the internet, you can call on the social security number, i.e., 1-800-772-1213, or visit the nearest office.

An Overview Of Government Benefits For The Disabled

#2. Health Insurance For The Disabled


Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is helpful for disabled individuals under the age of 65 years. However, the individuals should have received social security benefits for 24 months or have ALS or ESRD. You have to wait for at least five months to get the benefits of Medicare.

If you have ESRD or ALS, you don’t have to collect social security benefits for 24 months to be eligible for Medicare.

If you meet all the criteria listed by Social security Disability benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare(i.e., Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B). 

Medicare A covers all the costs related to your hospital, skilled nursing facilities, or hospice care. In contrast, Medicare part B covers all the medical services like outpatient care, services related to doctors, and various others.

You will get a blue, red, and white color Medicare card after your application is approved. The card has a unique Medicare number and your name and type of insurance coverage. 

You have to show the Medicare card to your healthcare provider to reduce medical bills.

Remember, Medicare is not free for people with disabilities. You have to pay premiums, deductibles, and copays for most parts of Medicare.


Long-term care and services are generally covered by neither health insurance companies nor Medicare.

Medicaid provides free or low-cost long-term care and medical services to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. It’s estimated that more than one in three adults enrolled in Medicare have a Disability.

Medicaid covers nursing home care as well as personal and attendant care services. It covers wheelchairs, lifts, and other services. Private insurance companies rarely offer these services, and the premiums are so high that you may not afford them.

Medicaid spends more money for an enroller with a Disability than without a disability because of greater health demand.

The States generally provide Medicaid to those who receive SSI (Supplemental security income )benefits. You should have limited income and financial resources and have impaired ability to work somewhere because of disability. 

The SSI federal benefit rate is $794 for an individual and $1191 for a couple. However, some states in the US supplement the federal benefits with some additional payments.

You can contact your State Medicaid agency to avail of the benefits. Again you must be a resident of the state you are applying for Medicaid.

Affordable Care Act Marketplace

The Affordable Care Act offers individuals with disabilities but doesn’t qualify for disability needs but needs health coverage.

An Overview Of Government Benefits For The Disabled

#3. Veteran Benefits

VA Disability Compensation Benefits

VA disability compensation can offer you tax-free payment monthly if you are sick or injured while serving in the military. The monthly benefits range from $133 to more than $3400 every month. You can even pay more if

1. you have a severe disability like loss of limb

2. You have a spouse, children, or dependent parents

3. You cannot continue your job because of Disability

4. Your spouse is seriously disabled

Disabled Veteran Housing Assistance

If you are a disabled veteran, you may qualify for special housing grants from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

You can apply for Special Adapted Housing(SAH) or Special Housing Adaptation(SHA) Grant so that you can buy a home or make modifications to your home. The home modification includes installing ramps or widening the doorways or other necessary modifications to help you live independently.

If you qualify both for SAH or SHA but stay in your family member’s house, you will get a Temporary Residence Adaption (TRA)Grant. This grant will help you pay for necessary modifications in your family member’s home.

Caregivers Program And Services

Family caregivers can provide crucial support in caring for a disabled veteran. The caregiver programs and services monthly stipend, travel expenses including lodging, respite care for 30 days in a year, caregiver training in Easter seals.

You should enroll in VA health services to avail yourself of this program’s benefits.

You are eligible for this program if you have a severe injury like psychological trauma, mental disorders, or traumatic brain injury. Again you should have a need for care services because you are unable to do your daily activities on your own.

An Overview Of Government Benefits For The Disabled

#4. State Disability Insurance Program

The California State Disability Insurance is insurance for disabled individuals in the state of California. It replaces the wages partially when you cannot perform work because of illness or injury. There are other similar state disability insurance programs as well.

#5. Jobs

There are certain jobs and job skills related aid programs for the disabled in every state:

  • Every state has a vocational rehabilitation agency that is designed mainly for people with disabilities so that they can meet their employment goals. You can contact the vocational rehabilitation agencies in your state for help related to getting jobs.
  • If you are disabled and looking for a job, you may consider working for the government. The Federal Government recruits many people with disabilities. You can get an appointment to Federal jobs without much competition by a process called Schedule A. Secondly, the Federal Government will provide you with reasonable accommodation.

Wrap Up

People with severe disabilities find it difficult to do various essential activities or interact with the world around them, which is relatively easy for ordinary people. I have listed above a few government programs which will make it easy for you to become financially independent and reduce your bills.

An Overview Of Government Benefits For The Disabled

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