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Disability Assistance, Social Security, & the Able Act

Benefits and Services for the Full and Partially Disabled

Disability Resources

is a page on the US Dept. of Labor website which has links to over 40 other federal pages and sites that may prove useful.

Benefits.gov

is the official U.S. government benefits website. Find benefits for people with disabilities, older Americans, Veterans and military members, disaster victims and low-income families. Learn about benefits for education, health, employment, food assistance and more. Answer a few questions to find out which government benefits you may be eligible to receive. You can also browse by state.  Visit Benefits.gov

Social Security Disability Benefits Planner

Social Security pays disability benefits to people who can’t work because they have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death. Find out if you qualify and how Social Security can help you. https://www.ssa.gov/disability

California Disability Benefits 101

gives you tools and information on health coverage, benefits, and employment including specifics about programs in California. You can plan ahead and learn how work and benefits go together for you. https://ca.db101.org/

In Home Health Services (IHHS)

If you are a California resident, live in your own home, and get Medi-Cal benefits, you may be eligible for IHSS if you need the services it provides to stay safely in your own home as an alternative to out-of-home placement.  (Unlike most assistance programs IHSS does not have a personal resource limit.)  Go to the official website for IHHS http://www.cdss.ca.gov/In-Home-Supportive-Services to apply.  To learn more and to get help and tips about getting and using IHHS benefits go to the California Disability 101 website’s page on IHHS.

COLLEGE AND GRADUATE SCHOOL GUIDE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES 

A site suggested by one of our visitors, compiles lots of potentially useful information.

ABLE Act Savings Accounts

These accounts let eligible individuals and their families, for the first time, save funds that will not affect their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits. ABLE account savings, “secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, Medicaid, SSI, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources.” Eligible expenses include education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services, health care expenses, financial management and administrative services and other expenses which help improve health, independence, and/or quality of life of the disabled beneficiary. Visit the ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) to learn more about ABLE accounts and how to become an ABLE account owner

Shop the States to Choose the Best ABLE Program for You!

Many states with ABLE Act programs allow non-residents to enroll.  This online tool allows you to compare and contrast key features that vary from state to state. It is recommended that you carefully read the plan documents among your top choices to compare and contrast what they offer and what they cost.  Consult your financial planner if you have any doubts or questions.  Using a qualified, trustworthy financial planner may save you time and money in the long run.

CalABLE: California’s ABLE Account Program

CalABLE is one of 41 plans that California residents can choose from; you do not have to use the California plan.  Be sure to check all your options in other states to make sure  you choose the best plan for you.  CalAble launched on 12/18/2018. Some options that may be available through CalABLE in the future may not be currently available. (A debit card linked to your CalABLE account is not available as of 12/28/18 but a linked debit card may be offered some time in 2019.Visit the CalABLE website(use link above) for currently available details.

 Important Caveat:

All state programs are not equal.  These are investment accounts which may have a state fee, an account management fee, and underlying investment fees.  Because these fees vary from program to program (and from investment to investment within many programs) you may incur significant costs depending on the program you choose, the investment options you select, and the account balances you maintain.  Read plan disclosure documents carefully before choosing to invest.  Like all banking accounts there may be additional fees for checks, debit cards, and so forth.  Checking with a reputable and reliable financial planner may be advisable. *

*For information on fiduciaries, read  “Special Needs Trusts and Fiduciaries”

Additional Articles

“Social Security for Disabled Children: Benefits You May Not Know About”

This article from NAMI covers the Disabled Adult Child (DAC) program, Childhood SSI (for disabled children of low income families), Social Security Auxiliary Benefits (for children of a disabled individual).

“10 Things You Must Know About The ABLE Act”

This NAMI blog post is from 2015 and gives the basics about the act and ABLE accounts.  Comments, however, show much confusion among the posters.  When reading about finances please read slowly and carefully before making assumptions or undertaking investments.  It’s always good to consult a professional.

 

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