If you’re sick, injured, or permanently disabled, you may be wondering what financial relief is available to you. Many people with disabilities are unable to work, but there are several programs in place to provide benefits and insurance for anyone in this situation.
Social Security Benefits
Social security benefits for people with disabilities include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have a disability that:
- Prevents you from working
- Is expected to last for at least one year
- Is on SSA’s list of disabling medical conditions
Then you may qualify for SSDI or SSI. You can apply for these benefits online, by phone, or in person through the Social Security Administration.
VA Disability Compensation Benefits
Veterans or survivors of veterans who have suffered from a service-related disability may be eligible to receive VA disability compensation benefits. To qualify, you must meet both of the following requirements:
- You have a current injury that affects your brain or body
- You served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training
And at least one of the following statements must be true:
- Received your disability while serving in the military
- Had a disability before joining the military and serving made it worse
- You have a disability related to your service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service
Learn more about the claims process and file a VA disability claim by visiting the Veterans Affairs website.
In addition to federal disability programs, employers may offer short-term or long-term disability policies if you become sick or injured. A short-term policy may pay for up to two years, while a long-term policy may pay for a few years or up until the disability ends.
Check with your employer to learn how they define disability and whether you qualify, or shop around to buy a policy for added security. If you plan to buy your own policy, make sure to check:
- How the policy defines disability
- When disability benefits begin
- How long the disability benefits will last
- How much money the policy will pay
Apply for private disability insurance online or in person at an insurance company.
There are several health insurance options for people with disabilities, including Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.
- Medicaid provides free or low-cost health insurance to qualifying people with disabilities.
- Medicare provides health insurance to people under 65 with certain disabilities or any age with end-stage renal disease.
- Affordable Care Act Marketplace offers low-cost health insurance to people who have a disability and don’t qualify for disability benefits.
Visit the program websites for information on who qualifies for each. Additionally, several government agencies provide resources for people with disabilities, like the USA.gov Government Benefits page and the CDC.gov Disability and Heath section.
If you have a disability, you aren’t alone. There are many programs in place to help alleviate your financial burdens and stay healthy.