Last Updated on August 24, 2023 by Hannah Stevens
The scarcity of resources is a disabling experience itself, especially for people who need more assistance than the rest of the population. People with disabilities have been brave enough to face their everyday lives with their respective impaired physical conditions. Nonetheless, such courage is not enough to compensate for the real challenges they encounter.
People with disabilities are not deprived of job opportunities. However, they have a noticeably lower employment rate compared to those who do not have disabilities. By the end of 2021, they only comprised 3.6% of the total U.S workforce, which accumulated to 144,505,000 workers with a disability. Fortunately, the federal government is looking after them through the grants they provide to different programs and agencies dedicated to providing them with financial assistance and support services. In this article, I will explore these resources that can help you afford your living expenses, such as medical bills, taxes, emotional support animals, and many more.
What are Housing Resources for People with Disabilities?
Housing-related bills can be expensive. Fortunately, you may approach federal, state, and local housing programs to help you afford a home that is designed for your own convenience and to provide you with an opportunity to learn how to become more independent. These are the following programs:
- Rental Housing – As a renter, you may approach the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reduce your monthly housing bills. For starters, HUD funds states and building owners to provide low-income housing opportunities. HUD offers three programs which you can apply according to your need: subsidized housing, public housing, and housing choice vouchers. With the housing choice voucher program, you may enjoy free rent or partially-paid bills. On the other hand, public housing gives you access to state-owned affordable rental houses or apartments.
- Homeownership – As a homeowner, you may apply for loans and grants from the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program to modify your home to make it accommodating for a household member with a physical disability. Homeownership vouchers are also available to aid your payment for your mortgage and housing expenses.
- Independent Living Skills – Living with a physical disability can be difficult and may demand assistance from another person. In line with this, state, and local centers offer trainings that can help you better cope with your physical state and become more independent. You may inquire for assistance to your state’s disability office or department of human services.
What are the Medical Assistance grant given to people with disabilities?
People with disabilities who are struggling to pay their medical bills may approach the following programs for medical assistance:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – People with Physical Disability who managed to secure this insurance may use this to pay for medical bills through cash assistance. Your fund will come from the Social Security taxes on your earnings.
- Medicaid – Each state receives funding from both state and federal government to administer this program and provide accessible healthcare services to eligible low-income families.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – Financially struggling families who can’t afford health insurance and healthcare for their children may approach this program for financial assistance. This opportunity is provided through Medicaid.
- Medicare/Social Security Benefits – These are offered to elders with physical disability who are 65 and above.
- Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare – Veterans or any active military personnel who suffered from disabilities that they acquired from service-related activities may be highly prioritized in the provision of healthcare benefits.
- Prescriptions – Prescription drugs may be purchased at a discounted price, even for free, through the vouchers offers by the pharmaceutical assistance programs of major pharmaceutical companies. To save more money for your medication, you may approach the following programs and non profit organizations: Medicare Extra Help; State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAP); National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD); and National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF).
- Nonprofit & Community Assistance – Community clinics, charity care programs, and local or state social service agency work together to make medical services affordable and accessible for uninsured and financially struggling individuals.
What are the Employment Assistance available for people with disabilities?
People with disabilities may worry less now about their employment status with the existence of these employment assistance programs that can help them find job opportunities that will make them more productive:
- AbilityOne Program – This independent federal agency provides trainings and employment opportunities wherein people can optimize their acquired skills.
- Ticket to Work Program – Just like the name of the program itself, grantees may become skilled workers through the offerings of the Social Security Administration which includes job referrals, vocational rehab, employment training, and legal aid. To become eligible, you must have Supplementary Security Income (SSI) or SSDI.
- Work Incentive Program – Whether you are a part-time or full-time worker who receives SSI, you may qualify for work incentives which allows you to work and receive monthly Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
What are the Educational Assistance grants for people with disabilities?
The following are the educational grants that you may want to check out if you are still studying:
- Federal Student Grants – These are generally applicable to low-income individuals, thus, you are encouraged to apply for them. Some examples of these grants are the following: Pell grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, National SMART Grants, and Competitiveness Grants.
- Disability Grants and Scholarships – This financial assistance provided by private organizations and foundations are allocated to and designed for the educational needs of people with disabilities.
- Federal Student Loans – This inclusive offer provides financial assistance for educational expenses. It comes in three types: (1) Direct subsidized loans; (2) Direct unsubsidized loans; and (3) Direct PLUS loans (Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS). If you want to learn more about these loans, you may visit the website of Federal Student Aid.
- Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – It provides free public education and special education-related services for children with disabilities.
What are the General Financial Assistance for people with disabilities?
Aside from Medical Assistance, Rental Assistance, Employment Assistance, and Educational Grants, there are other grants and support services that are made available for you.
- Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Savings Accounts – These tax-advantaged savings account contain funds that can be used for qualified disability expenses such as but not limited to assistive technology, personal support services, healthcare services, and transportation. It is a non-taxable income that is accumulated through the contributions of any donors that are given for the benefit of the account owner.
- Social Security Emergency Loans – These loans are available for workers with disabilities who receive Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is equivalent to a one month-worth of benefits entitlement and is allocated for emergency expenses such as medical bills.
- Tax Assistance – people with disabilities can access free tax preparation services with the help of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Like TANF, this program intends to help financially struggling elderly and people with disabilities to afford their necessities such as food, shelter, clothings, and many more. The Social Security Administration provides monthly SSI checks to grantees, which amount varies depending on the location of their state.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – This intends to help low-income household achieve decent food security.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – This program provides limited monthly financial assistance to low-income, unemployed, or underemployed grantees who are struggling to meet their daily needs. These funds can be used for daily living expenses, including food, housing-related bills, and medical bills.
- Vehicle Modifications Assistance – The state vocational rehabilitation agency provides assistance to interested applicants who want to modify their vehicles to accommodate their disability.
Why is ABLE Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities?
The fund that this saving account contains is mainly allocated for disability-related expenses and for the living expenses of their family. Its requirements for eligibility includes any of this conditions: acquiring a disability prior the age of 26, receiving benefits under SSI or SSDI, having a disability certification from a licensed doctor of any field of expertise, and fitting the Social Security’s definition of having functional limitations. ABLE act sympathizes to the financial difficulties that a people with disability might struggle from as they raise their family; hence, it is tailored to meet the needs that are unique to them.
Why do disabled people need ABLE Savings?
As indicated in its name, ABLE savings aims to make better living experience accessible for disabled people with its provision of financial assistance that can be allocated for their unique needs. The establishment of such an account does not have any consequences to your application for other grants and program; hence, it allows them to gain more resources and slowly achieve security in the process. Unlike non-ABLE savings accounts, they are not required to qualify to have external sources of funds such as retirement funds and cash savings, making it more convenient and accessible for them.
What is RETAIN–Retaining Employment and Talent after Injury/Illness Network–Initiative
The goal of RETAIN programs is to provide intervention strategies for workers who have work-related or non-work-related injuries so they can become productive again. It observes the coordination between the health care and employment services and ensures that such workers receive ample medical assistance before they decide to work again and become actively productive in a working environment that is considerate to their physical condition and to their acquired skills and competence. Network of partners who belong to the healthcare sector and labor sector and who engage in disability advocacies work together to provide these services.
List of Adaptive Sports Equipment Grants
For people with disabilities who actively engage in sports, these are the programs and foundations that they can approach to receive grants intended for sports-related expenses:
- Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Access for Athletes Grants – These helps people afford adaptive sports equipment such as but not limited to handcycles, mono skis, sports prosthetics, and sports wheelchair when rehabilitation and health insurance failed to cover the expenses intended for them. Through this grant, grantees can participate in trainings and competitions.
- Cindy Donald Dreams of Recovery Foundation – They provide financial assistance intended for therapy and the purchase of therapeutic equipments.
- GoHawkeye Enabling Grant Program – This grant makes outdoor sports experience possible with its funds allocated for outdoor sports equipment and activities. It is for adaptive individuals and organizations in the United States.
- IM ABLE Foundation – This foundation believes in the ability of people with disabilities to transcend from their physical limitations and reach greater heights in sports activities. It provides grants that can be used to purchase adaptive athletic gears and to fund instructional training programs that are intended to improve their physical fitness and to provide them with more opportunities to explore great outdoors.
- Kelly Brush Foundation – Individuals suffering from Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) may participate to adaptive sports and recreational activities through the sponsorship of this grant. This fund is allocated for adaptive sporting equipments such as mono ski or hand cycles.
- The Michael-Ryan Pattison Foundation – This foundation offers a wide array of specialized therapies for paralyzed and individuals as they intend to educate their audience about such a condition and increase support from there on.
List of Assistive Technology Grants
People with disabilities may use assistive technology devices to compensate the limitations of their physical functions. These devices can be expensive; fortunately, there are available grants that are allocated for them.
- Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) – Adults and children with disabilities can benefit from FODAC’s reconditioned equipment and services. Throughout the years, they have consistently provided durable assistive equipments and accommodating vehicle and home innovations to improve the living experience of such individuals.
- Travis Roy Foundation – This company’s mission is to provide adapted sports equipment and assistive technologies to people with spinal cord injuries and their families in order to improve their quality of life and to help them become self-sufficient and as independent as possible. They intend to achieve such goals by providing research with generous funds.
- I Got Legs Foundation – People who are struggling with mobility-related disabilities may apply for the NEED legs campaign under this condition to receive mobility equipment such as but not limited to prosthetics and robotic exoskeletons and to be granted with home modification services including lift installations, ramp, bath, and many more.
- Tyler Schrenk Foundation – This nonprofit organization distributes and donates assistive technologies, and hosts individual consultations to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
- The Jose Blakely Memorial Grant – It aims to motivate growth in the independence of a grantee by providing them every device they need to cope enough with their limited physical functions
- The Demonstrating Independence Program Grant – Recipients of this grant are provided with an opportunity to gradually become independent with the quarterly supply of technologies that can help them achieve such a goal.
- Wheels of Happiness – Wheels of Happiness also attend to promote independence among its grantees by providing the with medical equipment and supplies, psychological help, and scholarship to increase their productivity. They aim to paint them as an inspiring figure in the community that are as valuable as everyone else who belongs to it.
List of General or Multipurpose Grants
Interested applicants may also approach these programs or foundations to apply for grants allocated for their other needs.
- Be Perfect SCI Foundation – This program aids with the recovery process of qualified recipients through offering scholarships for exercised-based therapy activities and disability-related supplemental funds such as wheelchairs, medical bills, vehicle modification, and more.
- Byron Riesch Paralysis Foundation – Byron Riesch Paralysis Foundation sponsors medical researches that are dedicated to finding the cure for paralysis and provides assistance for patients struggling from neurological disorders and mobility disabilities, preferably those who acquired a spinal cord injury. It also offers scholarship for interested student applicants.
- Welcome to Friends of Man – This provides support for everyone’s variety of needs including mobility equipment, medical equipment and procedures, assistive technology devices, basic needs, and many more.
- Gridiron Heroes – this seeks to help individuals who are suffering from catastrophic spinal cord injury by providing them with ample support and generous resources while encouraging them to support in activities.
- High Five Non-Profit Foundation – Athletes who acquired life-altering injuries are eligible for financial assistance provided by the Empowerment fund. These funds are allocated for nine categories: High Five Healing Network. Adaptive equipment, winter equipment, health, travel, insurance, living expenses, and stoke.
- Horizon Hope Grant – This grant seeks to help students and people with physical disability who are committed to Horizon and lives by its mission.
- Ian Burkhart Foundation – This programs seeks to sponsor individuals with spinal cord injury who can’t afford the medication and assistive technology devices that they need to live independently and help them access these items so they can improve their quality of life.
- Modest Needs – Low-income workers who can barely afford their living expenses may apply for this emergency grant.
- Providing A WAY To Help assistance fund – This program provides grants worth $200 to $1000 to individuals who failed to pursue their dreams because financial and disability barriers. This fund is allocated for expenses related to the activities they are passionate about.
- SCORE (Spinal Cord Opportunities for Rehabilitation Endowment) – This program aims to facilitate rehabilitation and living independence for people who are struggling from sport-induced injury, specially spinal cord injury, by helping them access the best medical care, home amenities, and transportation.
- Triumph Foundation – In addition to assisting individuals in locating sponsors who can give financial support, the Equipment and Supply Exchange Program and the Keep Moving Forward Grant Program also provide houses with free access to surplus equipment and supplies and financial assistance.
- Victoria’s Victory Foundation – This program provides recovery training sessions, in-home nursing services, home and mobility equipment, and vehicle assistance to people suffering from life-altering injuries or diagnosis.
What are the Rehabilitation and Therapy Grants?
People with disabilities may approach the following programs for grants and financial assistance intended for their rehabilitation and therapy expenses.
- Chanda Plan Foundation – People with physical disability can benefit from integrative treatments with the help of the Chanda Plan Foundation’s direct services and systemic reform. In addition to acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care and specialized exercise, they also provide adapted yoga and yoga for special needs. Services are offered both on-site at the foundation and throughout the country at provider sites.
- Dream2Walk – Spinal Cord Injury Patients may receive scholarships, financial assistance, and access to recovery-based therapy facilities through this program.
- Falling Forward Foundation – This seeks to encourage patients suffering from catastrophic medical issues to live independently by providing access to rehabilitation.
- Getting Back Up – This program aims to improve the physical and emotional well-being of injured people by providing them with enough funds to participate in exercise-based recovery programs and to access adaptable products.
- MW Fund – This fund is allocated for rehabilitation expenses for patients with Spinal Cord Injury and for the sponsorship of SCI recovery-related researches.
- Project Thirty Four – Patients who can barely afford medical services and equipment may be eligible for this grant which is allocated for medical equipment, assistive devices, and physical therapy.
- Tighten the Drag Foundation – This provides grantees with financial support allocated for ongoing therapy expenses, for specialized equipments, and for the organization of recreational activities to promote independent living among them. It also helps people find professionals in their area who can help them improve their physical condition.
- Walking with Anthony – Walking with Anthony covers the expense of rehabilitation treatment so that persons with SCI may confront the great task of physical recovery with independence from the persistent financial burden of rehabilitation fees.
What are the Adaptive Vehicle and Modification Grants?
These programs provides grants intended for vehicle modification to make the travel experience accommodating to qualified applicants’ needs.
- Blood Brothers Foundation – By modifying vehicles, the Blood Brothers Foundation helps people with physical limitations reclaim their lives, their freedom, and their independence.
- National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility – To preserve everyone’s right to accessible transportation, this organization provide education, information, and product acquisition for persons with mobility challenges.
- State Funding / BraunAbility – A wheelchair van, scooter, wheelchair lift, adapted driving equipment, and other mobility products may be covered by these grants and other programs. To discover which funds are available in your state, select your area on the map.
What are Low Interest Loans for the Disabled?
Low Interest Loans for disabled are meant to aid such people from their financial difficulties by approving their loan applications with better interest rates, repayment terms, and customer services. For example, the U.S Department of Agriculture housing repair loans can grant up to $20,000 over a 20-year payoff at 1% interest.
Federal Agencies that help the disabled
There are several federal agencies that cater to the needs of people with disabilities through the grants they provide and the programs they implement:
- Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (800-872-2253) – It provides technical support on communications, transportation and architectural accessibility issues.
- Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (1-866-633-7265) – Develops and influences policies on employment for people with disabilities.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (800-669-4000) – Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in the workplace; hence, they enforce regulations to ensure it is being properly implemented.
- Internal Revenue Service (800-829-1040)- provides disability-related tax information.
- National Institute on Disability Independent Living, Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) – To optimize the inclusion and assistance of individuals with disabilities in the community, they administer disability research programs and ADA technical assistant centers.
- The National Council on Disability (202-272-2004) – Considers policy and other issues that impact individuals with disabilities and makes recommendations to the federal government on such issues.
- Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (800-514-0301) – Issues anti-discrimination laws and enforces them in public services and accommodations, as well as hearing complaints from parents who claim their child’s school has denied them entrance or violated their civil rights.
- Disability.gov (1-877-889-5627) – An online resource that provides disabled people with information and resources.
- State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program-Rehabilitation Services Administration (202-245-7488) – Provides information on state and local agencies that can aid companies in recruiting, training, placing and accommodating persons with disabilities.
Disabled people suffer more than they let on. They experience discrimination in society, and their medical bills are too expensive. Grants for disabled people are a fortunate cause to help disabled people get back on their feet and continue moving forward without thinking their disability hinders living normally. These grants will help pay their medical bills and their other needs such as food, water, and electricity bills, etc., and give them a sense of reprieve from being financially constrained.
Are you looking for grants for specific states? You can start by checking out the Disability Grants in Alabama.