It’s estimated that one in five Americans experiences at least some form of disability, or even more of them, by the time they’ve reached retirement age, and this can have a great impact on your financial well-being if you’re not prepared.
A burden that a disability can create will range between mild to extreme, depending on your current financial state, and while assistance is definitely out there, finding the right option can be particularly exhausting.
We’ve put together a list of the most helpful programs that offer assistance to disabled persons in the US, ranging from food assistance to financial and housing assistance, so you won’t have a hard time finding one that’s somewhat applicable to your circumstances.
Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to make retirement easier for yourself if you’ve already got a disability and what you should expect if you’ve just been diagnosed with one.
Much like you’d assume for the disabled population of the US, the most common form of assistance they require is of the medical kind, and the federal government has made sure that all their needs are met.
Expensive medical bills are a common thing these days, and covering them is practically impossible for the average low-income American family, that is unless they’ve got access to one of many government programs designed specifically to help them deal with this expense.
Social Security Disability Insurance is a good example, as it’s available to any qualifying American so long as they’re insured.
The catch is that to qualify, you need to have worked a set amount of years prior to being diagnosed with your disability while also having paid enough on your social security taxes over the duration of your career.
Medicaid, on the other hand, focuses on providing affordable healthcare to those who couldn’t handle their hospital bills on their own.
Funded at state and federal levels, the program provides different kinds of healthcare coverage to those who need it, and it’s the main option for low-income families in need of medical assistance.
Similar to you or anyone else, disabled Americans can go through a lot of trouble finding affordable housing for their family, and in the current housing market, options are scarce if your funding is limited.
Thankfully, the government offers a number of different programs for disabled individuals and their families, including help for disabled veterans and their spouses.
The Specially-Adapted Housing program serves this exact purpose, and with it, qualifying families can get a VA grant in order to modify their homes to fit all of their needs.
Even if your home doesn’t require any additional improvements in order for you to utilize its full functionality due to being disabled, you may still want to upgrade it, allowing it to withstand the test of time.
Disabled Americans can gain access to one-time grants and loans designed to improve a home’s safety or energy efficiency, and you’ll find these programs at the local, state, and federal levels.
Even though Americans are usually diagnosed with a disability when nearing their retirement age, this isn’t exactly a rule, and many find out they’re going to be dealing with a disability for the rest of their life way earlier into their career.
Oftentimes, this impedes their work, preventing them from being part of the workforce, or at least working in the same industry, which can be extremely damaging to one’s emotional and psychological health, especially if it was a career that was important to them.
That being said, there are numerous government-funded programs that aim to make the employment of disabled Americans a perfectly normal thing.
Hiring a disabled person definitely has a certain amount of social stigma around it, but if you’re good at what you do and your disability doesn’t fully prevent you from doing it, there’s no reason to let all that talent go to waste.
The Social Security Administration manages the Ticket To Work program, which can help you get anything from job referrals to employment training for the position you applied for.
You should note that this program is only available to those Americans using benefits from SSI or SSDI, and without being part of either, you won’t be able to qualify.
Finally, we’ve got one final assistance option to tie them all together, that being the many different education assistance programs offered by the federal government.
Even though disabilities aren’t commonly found in younger people, they’re definitely present, which doesn’t mean they can have a long-lasting impact on your academic success.
It’s never too late for education, and if there’s a will, there’s a way.
A number of different educational institutions offer disability grants and scholarships to their students, which has helped battle the social stigma these people face every day, while also giving them affordable access to top-of-the-line education at some of our country’s most prestigious institutions.