For those with disabilities financial security can be difficult.
Fortunately, there are a number of programs and resources in place to help those suffering from disabilities.
As many as 20% of Americans have some sort of disability and about 10% of Americans have a severe disability.
This is according to a report by the U.S Census Bureau which defined disability as either communicative, mental or physical with specific criteria such as:
- Difficulty seeing, hearing, or speaking
- Learning, intellectual, or developmental impairment
- Alzheimer’s, senility or dementia
- A mental or emotional condition that seriously interferes with everyday activities
- Use of a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker
- Difficulty walking a quarter mile, climbing stairs, lifting 10 pounds, or getting in and out of bed
This is a fairly broad definition of disability and notably wider that the Social Security Administration’s definition of total disability.
However, it shows how common disability is and the importance of having a system in place to help people with disabilities. Most people will incur some sort of disability as they age. Over half of Americans over 65 have a disability. Because disability is so common, the economic consequences of disability are particularly discouraging.
For those with serious disabilities, it can be impossible to earn an income.
Simply getting to and from work can be an insurmountable challenge for individuals who can’t see or hear or have limited mobility; particularly if they live in an area without public transit. Further, disabled individuals face discrimination in the workplace. Employers are often hesitant to hire someone who may require special accommodations.
Only slightly over a quarter of those with severe disabilities are employed.
For the few disabled individuals who are working, median monthly wages are about three quarters of what non-disabled individuals make. It is easy to see how a lack of opportunities and low pay lead to high poverty rate among the disabled. Those with disabilities are twice as likely to live below the poverty line.
There are many programs and resources available to the disabled.
While these programs are often not enough to keep the disabled from slipping into poverty, they can offer some support.
The Texas Department Health and Human Services (HHS) has several resource centers throughout Texas.
You can find your local center here. These centers offer help with long-term care such as health monitoring, medication reminders, meal preparation, rides to doctors’ appointments etc… HHS has a complete listing of services available on their website.
Disability Rights Texas specializes in upholding the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against the disabled.
They may be able to help you if you feel you have been discriminated against while seeking employment, housing, health care, education or transportation.
The Arc offers services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
They focus on helping disabled individuals get and hold a job. They offer training, transportation and assisted living. In addition, they also advocate politically for disability rights.
There are various government assistance programs for getting help with specific needs.
The biggest program to help disabled individuals, however, is Social Security.
There are two programs that Social Security offers for the disabled- Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The main difference between the programs is that SSI is needs-based, meaning it is only available to individuals with assets below a certain level.
If you have an injury or illness that prevents you from working, you may be entitled to benefits. SSI and SSDI benefits are often the primary source of income for disabled individuals. The attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed can help you win the benefits you need. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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