Help For People With Disabilities

“Not all disabilities are visible so don’t assume they are faking a disability if they look healthy.”

Millions of Americans have disabilities. These may be diseases or disorders they were born with or that have developed over time. They may have even been caused by injuries or accidents. If you have a disability and you can’t work, you should consider applying for Social Security Disability Insurance.

How do I apply for Social Security Disability Insurance?

There are two different types of financial assistance available to people with disabilities. One is Social Security Disability Insurance. To receive assistance through SSDI you must:

  • Have a medical condition that prevents you from working for at least a year or that is expected to result in death
  • Have worked 5 out of the last 10 years in jobs where you paid Social Security 
  • Be of working age: between 21 and retirement

Another program is Supplemental Security Income or SSI. Both programs give financial assistance to people who cannot work due to an illness or injury. While the funds for Social Security Disability Insurance come from the Social Security funds, the Supplemental Security funds come from taxes.

To receive SSDI you must have worked and paid into the Social Security system. To receive SSI benefits, you must meet income requirements. The process of getting on these programs includes going to a medical doctor and getting tested and diagnosed to prove the extent of your impairments.

You can apply for these programs online, over the phone, or in person at any Social Security office. The hardest part is proving you meet the legal definition of being disabled. Some people even hire a lawyer to help them through this process.

What is a Qualifying Disability?

A qualifying disability is a disability that makes you eligible to receive benefits. Some examples of qualifying disabilities are:

  • Back injuries
  • Heart failure or heart disease
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Respiratory illnesses like CPOD or asthma
  • Neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or Parkinson’s disease
  • Mental disorders like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism or retardation
  • HIV/AIDS, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Dermatitis, liver disease or kidney disease

A diagnosis alone is not enough to qualify for assistance. More important is how severe the disease or disorder is and how it affects your ability to function and perform activities necessary to work. In each of these diseases or disorders, there is a range from mild to severe. The more severe your symptoms, the more likely you will qualify for help.

What are the benefits of SSDI?

The main benefit of Social Security Disability Insurance is income for you to live on while you can’t work. In some cases, any children you have that are under the age of 18 may also receive some assistance. Once on Social Security Disability Insurance, you also qualify for Medicare health coverage.

Medicare will cover the cost of your doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and hospitalizations. Other benefits include possibly not having to pay income tax on part of your Social Security income, and having a freeze put on your Social Security retirement income records, which could mean higher retirement income later.

Are there other programs available to help me?

There are other programs out there to help you get back on your feet. You may qualify for assistance in learning a new job or skill to help you provide for yourself again. One of these programs is called Ticket to Work. There are many places that carry out this and other programs for adults with disabilities. Look for facilities near you, such as, for more information about what kind of help is available to you. You may receive:

  • Training to learn new employable skills 
  • Career counseling
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Job placement help 
  • Ongoing support

Don’t let your disability or injury keep you from living your life. Get the help and support you need to provide for your family, learn new skills, and re-enter the workforce.

Are you prepared financially for a disability or serious illness? Even if you are not financially ready, there is help for people with disabilities.


Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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  1. This was very interesting and informative. It is important to know that there are many types of disabilities and many people are recieving these benefits.

  2. I will have to look into some of these for my son. He has autism and I want to be sure he’s taken care of.

  3. this is so important to know and so great to keep everyone aware of – thanks for this friend!

  4. This is such important information. When you have a disability it can be so overwhelming and the last thing you want to be dealing with is money.

  5. I was approved for my disability back in 2013, but it was definitely a hard thing to do. It’s so confusing for the everyday person.

  6. Bonnie G says:

    I agree there are programs like SSI and SSDI to help but it seems like these days you really have to fight to get it and then you still may not get it. Thanks for sharing about Ticket to work, I had never heard of it before.

  7. Eileen M Loya says:

    My husband has a pending application for disability benefits. He hasn’t heard back though. Maybe we need to do a personal appearance so that he can get immediate answers.

  8. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    This is good information. My daughter has an invisible illness-Ehler’s Danlos disease- and people always think she is fine because they can’t see any illnesses.

  9. It is so important to know what resources are out there and take advantage of all the help you can get.

  10. This is a very informative post. It’s so important that people with disabilities of all kinds feel cared for.

  11. Great tips for anyone who needs this help. I know a few people who collect benefits and while it’s not a lot, I’ve seen how it can help.

  12. This is such a great blog and a really great way to spread awareness for people with disabilities. Thanks for sharing this information.

  13. This is such a very informative post. I didn’t know much of these things until now. Thank you for this. It sure pays to read.

  14. It’s true that many disabilities are not visible. It’s good to know what social security disability insurance will cover.

  15. This is a really good post. There is a lot of great information here. I’m going to share this with a family member of mine. I’m glad you shared this.

  16. To say this is a nightmare times a billion is putting it nicely. 5 years later, $1000s spent and a lawyer, my sister finally got her disability.

  17. Mama Maggie's Kitchen says:

    This is such a great blog to spread awareness for our friends with disabilities. I will definitely recommend this to them.

  18. I’ve known people that have had such a hard time applying for and actually receiving disability benefits. This is a great read

  19. I think this is very important information to share. I have friends who would like to learn more about it. Definitely sharing this post!

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