How to Get Financial Assistance if You Have a Disability (2023)

In this article:

  • Financial Resources for People With Disabilities
  • Assistance for Specific Financial Situations
  • National Charities and Organizations Providing Services
  • Other Financial Options for People With Disabilities
  • The Bottom Line

About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. has a disability that impacts their mobility, cognition, hearing, vision or their ability to live independently, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are living with a disability and having trouble making ends meet, government and nonprofit programs may be able to provide financial assistance for housing, medical bills or other living expenses. Below, you'll find resources you may be able to turn to when financial help is needed.

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Financial Resources for People With Disabilities

Financial assistance for those with disabilities may include direct payments or subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket costs for monthly expenses. Here are a few key resources to consider if you need help paying for housing, food and medical care:

Social Security Administration: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two programs that offer monthly payments to help cover living expenses.

Medicare: Medicare is a health insurance program that can help cover medical costs for people 65 or older and people younger than 65 who have disabilities.

Medicaid: Medicaid is a health care assistance program that can help adults with low income cover medical bills.

Housing Voucher Program (HVP): This Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program—also known as Section 8—provides housing vouchers that pay part of your rent in an approved rental.

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Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership Program: People who receive a housing voucher and want to buy a home may qualify for the homeownership voucher program. This program offers homebuyer counseling and assistance in covering housing expenses.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): The SNAP program helps low-income families put food on the table. People with disabilities may qualify for an increased SNAP allotment.

Assistance for Specific Financial Situations

If you need money in an emergency or cash to pay for school or a home modification, the programs below may be able to help you fill a specific financial gap.

Emergency Relief

If you're waiting for SSI benefit payments to start or you're facing a financial emergency that affects your health or safety, you may be able to get an advanced payment from Social Security to help make ends meet. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is another program run by states that may offer temporary assistance to families in need.

Home Modification Assistance

If you need to make a change to your home—such as installing a wheelchair ramp—the state you live in might offer grants and loans to help you make the modification. For example, residents of Illinois may qualify for home modification loans of up to $5,000 through the Illinois Assistive Technology Program.

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National housing modification programs also offer assistance to those who are eligible. For veterans, the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant and Home Improvements and Structural Alteration (HISA) Grant can be used to pay for home accessibility modifications. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Section 504 Home Repair program provides loans to low-income homeowners that can help cover the cost of home repairs and advancements, including changes to make your home more accessible.

Education Assistance

If you need help paying for school, you may be eligible for financial aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study programs. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is required for many aid programs.

Schools and independent organizations may also provide their own financial aid and scholarship programs. State education agencies could give you a better idea of what's available locally.

If you have federal student loans and are unable to work, a Total and Permanent Disability loan discharge could relieve you from the responsibility of repaying loans. The Federal Student Aid website outlines the eligibility conditions to apply for this discharge.

National Charities and Organizations Providing Services

Many charities and organizations offer independent services to people with disabilities. For example, if someone infringes on your rights guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you may be able to find charities and organizations that offer pro bono legal counsel. While this isn't an exhaustive list, here are a few organizations that provide different services:

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  • National Disability Rights Network: This is a nonprofit that operates in every state and U.S. territory advocating for the rights of people with disabilities by helping them get adequate health care, education, employment, housing, transportation and more.
  • Disability Rights Legal Center and Cancer Legal Resource Center: These organizations work to protect the rights of people with disabilities and those affected by cancer by providing legal assistance.
  • National Disability Institute: This charitable organization partners with financial institutions, governments and community organizations to provide financial resources to those with disabilities.
  • Friends of Disabled Adults and Children: This organization refurbishes equipment—such as wheelchairs, medical beds and more—for people with disabilities.
  • Wheelchair Foundation: The Wheelchair Foundation aims to give a wheelchair to everyone in the world who needs one, even if they can't afford it.
  • Patient Advocate Foundation: The Patient Advocate Foundation offers cash management, copayment relief and financial aid funds for people dealing with chronic, life-threatening and debilitating diseases.
  • HealthWell Foundation: The HealthWell Foundation helps cover out-of-pocket costs for those who are underinsured.

Other Financial Options for People With Disabilities

Aside from the assistance programs above, there are other financial tools that could help you save money and manage debt that you're trying to pay off.

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts are a type of tax-advantaged savings method for people with disabilities. You don't have to pay tax on account earnings as long as the money is used for qualified expenses. Qualified expenses include money spent on education, housing, transportation, employment training, legal fees, health care, basic living expenses and other expenses related to a disability.

If you're having trouble tackling credit card debt, contact your creditors because they may be able to offer payment arrangements. Another option to consider is working with a credit counseling agency to establish a debt repayment plan.

Under a debt repayment plan, a counselor reviews your budget and negotiates a reduction of fees or interest with your creditors. Then, you make one payment to the credit counseling agency and it pays off your debt for you. This could save you money and take away the stress of juggling multiple payments.

If mortgage payments are becoming hard to manage, you may be able to request loan forbearance, which pauses payments temporarily. In some cases, a lender may even be willing to modify your loan to make it easier for you to repay. If you can no longer afford the home, a last resort could be a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

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The Bottom Line

Many governments and nonprofit agencies offer assistance to persons with disabilities. If you need help paying for daily expenses or medical care, Social Security benefit payments, housing vouchers, food stamps and Medicare or Medicaid could offer temporary or long-term relief.

One thing to keep in mind is there may be a waiting period to get approved for certain benefits, such as a housing voucher, so apply as early as possible if you think you'll need help.

Assistance applications may ask for information like your income, medical history and job history, so getting that documentation together ahead of time could help you get through the paperwork faster so you can get the support you need more rapidly.

FAQs

What grants can I get if I'm on PIP? ›

You may get a top-up (called a premium) on the following benefits if you get PIP:
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Jobseeker's Allowance.
  • Income Support.
  • Working Tax Credit.
  • Employment and Support Allowance - but only if you get the PIP daily living component.
  • Pension Credit - but only if you get the PIP daily living component.

What is adult disability payment? ›

Adult Disability Payment is extra money to help you if you have a disability or long-term health condition that affects your everyday life. We refer to these things as your condition.

What conditions are classed as disabled? ›

What counts as disability
  • you have a physical or mental impairment.
  • that impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

What qualifies as totally disabled? ›

Your physician must certify that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that: Can be expected to result in death, Has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60 months, or.

Can disabled get help with fuel bills? ›

Extra help from your supplier

Some suppliers offer extra support through a Priority Services Register. It means you can get help with things like reading your energy meter, moving your meter free of charge, and getting your bills sent to someone else, for example a carer.

Who will get the 150 disability payment? ›

You will need to have been entitled to (or later become entitled to) one of these qualifying benefits on 25 May 2022 to get the payment. The £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment was paid automatically from 20 September 2022. Most people received their payment by the beginning of October 2022.

What conditions automatically qualify you for PIP UK? ›

Eligibility
  • you're 16 or over.
  • you have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability.
  • you have difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around.
  • you expect the difficulties to last for at least 12 months from when they started.

Who can help me with money urgently UK? ›

Ask your local council if they run a welfare assistance or Household Support Fund scheme. You can find out how to contact your local council on GOV.UK. You don't have to be getting benefits to get help from your local council.

How much is PIP a week? ›

PIP rates
ComponentWeekly rate
Daily living - standard rate£61.85
Daily living - enhanced rate£92.40
Mobility - standard rate£24.45
Mobility - enhanced rate£64.50

How much do you get for PIP 2022? ›

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit which has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people between 16 and State Pension age.
...
PIP amounts.
2022/23 ratesStandard weekly rateEnhanced weekly rate
Daily living part£61.85£92.40
Mobility part£24.45£64.50

How much money do you get on disability UK? ›

If you need help looking after yourself
Care componentWeekly rate
Lowest£24.45
Middle£61.85
Highest£92.40

What is the highest disability payment? ›

The monthly maximum Federal amounts for 2023 are $914 for an eligible individual, $1,371 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $458 for an essential person.

Can adults get disability living allowance? ›

If you're over 16

You cannot apply for DLA . You can apply for: Personal Independence Payment ( PIP ) if you live in England or Wales and have not reached State Pension age.

Can you get disability for anxiety and depression? ›

If symptoms of anxiety or depression prevent you from working a full-time job, you may be eligible for social security disability benefits.

How do I register as disabled UK? ›

Is there a national register of disabled people? ​No, there's currently no national register of people with disabilities. Some local authorities may operate voluntary registers in their areas. These voluntary registers are used by local authorities to ​plan future services.

Is anxiety a disability? ›

Anxiety disorders like OCD, panic disorders, phobias, or PTSD are considered a disability. Therefore, they can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Individuals must prove that it is so debilitating that it prevents them from working.

What are some examples of permanent disability? ›

Some examples of the most common injuries which are considered permanent disability include:
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Amputation.
  • Cardiovascular or respiratory disease.
  • Hearing or vision loss.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.

What should you not say in a disability interview? ›

5 Things Not to Say in a Disability Interview
  • No one will hire me; I can't find work. ...
  • I am not under medical treatment for my disability. ...
  • I have a history of drug abuse or criminal activity. ...
  • I do household chores and go for walks. ...
  • My pain is severe and unbearable. ...
  • Legal Guidance When SSDI Benefits Are Denied.

What are the 21 types of disabilities? ›

Types of Disabilities
  • Blindness.
  • Person with low vision.
  • Cerebral Palsy.
  • Hearing impairment.
  • Leprosy cured person.
  • Locomotor disability.
  • Mental illness.
  • Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia)

Do disabled get Cold Weather Payments? ›

You'll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance and have any of the following: a disability or pensioner premium.

Who gets the 400 energy payment? ›

Who is eligible for the energy grant? Every household in England, Scotland and Wales that is connected to the electricity grid will be eligible for the grant, which is expected to cover around 28 million homes. Equivalent support will also be provided to households in Northern Ireland, where energy policy is devolved.

Do you get Winter Fuel Payment if you are disabled? ›

This payment is particularly helpful for low income disabled people. or older people and pensioners. The government pay it and it is tax free for those who fit the eligibility criteria given below. The deadline for you to make a claim for winter 2021 to 2022 is 31 March 2022.

Will I get cost of living payment on PIP? ›

Anyone on PIP, or another health/disability payment, who also gets one of five qualifying means-tested benefits will be eligible for this £650. You should get two lump sums of £326 and £324 from the DWP if you're getting any of the following: Universal Credit.

What is the Dwp 150 payment? ›

This £150 disability payment is on top of the £1,200 most low income benefit claimants will also receive and alongside wider support targeted at disabled people, including help with transport and prescription costs. Most of these payments have now been made.

What is a low income UK 2022? ›

A single person needs to earn £25,500 a year to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living in April 2022. A couple with two children needs to earn £43,400 between them.

Do I need a diagnosis to claim PIP? ›

Claiming without a diagnosis

The position with PIP is different; the law says that you don't even have to have a medical diagnosis.

How do I pass the PIP test? ›

Prepare for your PIP assessment
  1. Read your PIP form thoroughly. Make any notes of changes to your condition. Remind yourself of your answers. ...
  2. Read the PIP descriptors for each question.
  3. Understand what the PIP assessment is.
  4. Make a list of points you would like to make during your assessment – and take this with you.
18 Jun 2020

Do PIP contact doctors? ›

Advice: The DWP will usually contact your GP or healthcare professional to obtain medical evidence when you submit a PIP or ESA claim, the information is then sent to the DWP as part of your claim process.

How can I get emergency fund fast? ›

Steps to Build an Emergency Fund
  1. Set several smaller savings goals, rather than one large one. Set yourself up for success from the start. ...
  2. Start with small, regular contributions. ...
  3. Automate your savings. ...
  4. Don't increase monthly spending or open new credit cards. ...
  5. Don't over-save.

How much is a hardship payment? ›

Universal Credit hardship payments are paid at 60% of your usual UC payment.

What is a social fund payment? ›

The Social Fund is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) scheme to help you with expenses that are difficult to meet from a low income. It includes: ● Winter Fuel Payments ● Cold Weather Payments ● Funeral Expenses Payments.

How many points is anxiety for PIP? ›

Four points

You have an anxiety or panic attack.

How much is full PIP a month? ›

The amount a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimant receives depends on how difficult they find every activities and mobility. For those who find everyday activities difficult, the lower weekly rate is £61.85 and the higher rate is £92.40.

Is PIP changing 2022? ›

From March 2022, Scottish Government began to replace PIP with Adult Disability Payment ( ADP ).

How far can you walk to get PIP? ›

No points. You can stand and then move more than 200 metres without any help. You can stand and then move more than 200 metres with a special aid.

Can I claim Carers Allowance for myself? ›

You don't have to be related to or live with the person you care for to claim Carer's Allowance. It's extra money each week for you to use as you want or need to. If you think you won't be eligible to claim Carer's Allowance because you have some savings, don't worry.

How long is PIP awarded for? ›

PIP is normally awarded for a fixed period - for example two or three years - although an indefinite award can be made if a fixed-term award would not be appropriate. Indefinite awards are ususally reviewed every 10 years.

What is the highest disability monthly payment? ›

The monthly maximum Federal amounts for 2023 are $914 for an eligible individual, $1,371 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $458 for an essential person.

How can I get free money from the government UK? ›

The government will automatically give you a £150 cost of living payment from 20 September 2022. You'll get this one-off payment if you get any of the following benefits: Disability Living Allowance. Personal Independence Payment.

What are the 3 most common disabilities? ›

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three of the most common physical disabilities that affect people include arthritis, heart disease, and respiratory disorders.

Which of the following is not a disability? ›

This is an Expert-Verified Answer

b) ASD is not a disability.

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