Friday, April 8, 2016

14 Aid Programs for the Disabled

Please note that I am writing this as an American, so this will vary depending on where you live. 

It is an unfortunate fact of life that disability can severely affect your financial position. Below is  a variety of financial aid programs I found available and may vary depending on your state, county, and/or town.

If you have not worked enough you cannot get Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) unless were born disabled.

This clipping from the Social Security Disability Benefits brochure shows the general number of work years required to receive SSDI.

Source: Social Security Administration
If you do not qualify for SSDI, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Below are two clippings from the SSI Benefits brochure:


Source: Social Security Administration
As you can see, you must be pretty broke to get SSI. Note that it says among the things not counted "Your car (usually)" [emphasis mine]. I suppose it depends on the value of your car. The car I am driving is 10+ years old. It is a Toyota, so it will probably run for years to come, but what happens when it does not. (I am getting a new wheel bearing as of this writing.)

You may qualify for benefits from your state's program. It is through the Department of Health and Human Services where I currently reside. These benefits include money, Medicaid, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly "food stamps").

Housing assistance for the disabled or senior citizens. Many of these places are income based; some charge 30% of your income, which changes as your income changes.

Fuel assistance depends on income and housing expense. All programs are not available in all states. Some programs I found are:
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
  • Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program
  • Joe-4 Oil Heat Program - One free delivery of 100 gallons of oil in a heating season.
  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) 
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
In addition to the above, weather-proofing assistance is available to add weather stripping and insulation. Check with the  U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). 

Other aid I found available is Community Assistance Programs, local utility companies, and your town. 

I realize that many disabled people are house-bound. Sometimes, isolation occurs, so ways to connect with the outside world are key. Below are some ways to save money to do so.

  • SafeLink Wireless - free cell phones with free talk and text. The minutes vary by state. You may purchase additional airtime is desired/ needed - mine offers triple minutes with purchase of additional minutes.
  • Century Link helps low-income individuals/ families with their phone and internet bills.
  • Contact cable/internet providers. Do not be ashamed to explain your situation. Most will work with you to find a package you can afford. If you get a pushy representative who tries to "up-sell" you, either ask to speak to another representative (supervisor works well) or hanging up and calling back usually gets you another representative.
After writing all this, I discovered Disability.gov. This is "an "information and referral" website." 

I hope this blog post helps you find programs that will aid your quality of life while being disabled.

-Amelia