Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Financial Aid for Families on Disability and Social Security

Families on disability or Social Security often qualify for other sources of financial aid. The Plan for Achieving Self Support, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and your state's vocational rehabilitation program all offer financial aid for families on disability and Social Security. Some programs assist with day-to-day expenses, while others focus on assisting you in finding and keeping a good job.

PASS Assistance

The PASS program provides financial aid to American students presently on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Specifically, it helps students on SSI reach their vocational goals. With PASS assistance the student sets aside assets for a specific vocational goal, such as paying college tuition, and can still be eligible for SSI payments. PASS covers college expenses such as books, child care if needed, computer and related supplies, food while at school, Internet, tuition, tutoring and even transportation costs. Repayment of PASS fudning is not required. Applicants must be at least 16 years old, have a certified disability and have a gross family income of less than $57,000 per year.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat For Humanity volunteers constructing a...Image via WikipediaHabitat for Humanity (HFH) builds and rehabs homes by utilizing volunteer labor along with donations of materials and funding. HFH helps families, many times disabled families, get into a wheelchair-accessible home of their own. Applicants, once approved, apply sweat equity, helping build or remodel the home. Check with the HFH website and learn whether your family qualifies for a HFH home in your local community (see references).

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

Families qualify for Temporary Assistance to Needy Family before receiving or while receiving SSI or SSDI if their income falls within acceptable ranges. The funds for TANF assistance come from the federal government through the Department of Health and Human Services. However, the individual states administer the TANF program. The rules vary from state to state, and you apply with your state's local welfare office for a determination of whether your family qualifies for TANF assistance.

State Services for Vocational Rehabilitation

An individual with a disability can get assistance from his state's vocational rehabilitation, or VR, office. VR helps people get and keep a job. Each individual gets a custom-designed program suited to her particular needs. You can contact your nearest state VR office and a counselor will determine if you qualify for this program. Services typically include access to rehabilitation technology, counseling, an opportunity to attend school for career training, independent living opportunities and other services to support your vocational efforts.


"Financial Aid for the Disabled & Their Families, 2006-2008"; Gail Ann Schlachter, et al; April 2006

Social Security Administration: Disability Programs: Benefits for People With Disabilities

Habitat for Humanity; Access to the Dream; Patrick Dunn

Mortgage Loan; Housing and Mortgages for People With Disabilities

University of Washington: College Funding for Students with Disabilities: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS)

PASS Plan Help: Scholarships for the disABLEd

Virginia College Quest: Paving the Way: Financial Aid for Students With Disabilities

Social Security Disability: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

Habitat for Humanity: Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions

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