News From Our Blog

Government Benefits for People With Disabilities

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five people are affected by disabilities. Some of those disabilities happen at birth, while others are the result of injury, illness, or aging.

Despite the limitations these conditions may cause, there are government programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities.

Social Security benefits
The Social Security Administration offers two programs to help people with disabilities and, often, the benefits can last for over a year. The programs are:

To apply for these benefits, contact the Social Security offices at 1-800-772-1213 or at 1-800-325-0778 (TTY for the hearing impaired).

Help for military personnel
There is also help for veterans who become disabled or injured while performing military service. Some of these benefits include:

  • Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay. This benefit is for retired veterans who are 50 to 90 percent disabled. The amount of payment is determined by the person’s degree of disability. Veterans who are completely disabled receive the full benefit.
  • Combat-Related Special Compensation. Retired veterans who were injured during military combat receive tax-free monthly payments.

Disabled military personnel and veterans can also receive financial help to buy a car that accommodates their needs, get dental care, a clothing allowance, and more. You can read more about benefits for disabled veterans (PDF).

You can apply for these programs by calling 1-800-827-1000 or by visiting the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

It’s worth noting that some veterans may also receive disability benefits from Social Security.

Help for special education
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides free education services to children with special needs, to help them develop, learn, and succeed in school.

Those who meet the requirements receive an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a plan that contains individualized learning goals as well as the services the child needs.

If your child has a disability, talk to the school staff to find out how to receive these special education benefits.

Read this note in Spanish.

What are all of the questions asked when you apply for SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT ?

Asked by an anonymous Tumblr user.

The Social Security Administration lists all of the information and documents you need to apply for retirement benefits on their website.

You can apply for retirement benefits or Medicare online or by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can also visit your local Social Security office. Call ahead to make an appointment.

If you do not live in the U.S. or one of its territories, you can also contact your nearest U.S. Social Security office, U.S. Embassy or consulate.

The Government Won’t Call to Ask for Money

We recently received a comment on Facebook from a woman who said the U.S. Federal Government Grants Department called and claimed she needed to pay more than $600 in order to receive federal benefits totaling $8,000. She paid the money, never got the $8,000 and asked us how to get a refund of her money.

The phone call was a scam. The Federal Government Grants Department doesn’t exist. More importantly, the government will never call or text you to ask for money.

Even though the woman wrote down the phone number of the caller, it can be hard to trace it back to a real person because of tricks like caller ID spoofing. This means that she probably won’t be able to get her money back.

Be suspicious of any call, text, or e-mail that claims to be from the government. Scammers often use names that sound like real government agencies but aren’t. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has more tips on spotting fake callers who pretend to be the government.

You can find the official names and contact information for federal government agencies in our A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies. Don’t hesitate to contact the agency that claims you owe them money. Be sure to use the contact information listed in the A-Z Index and not the contact information the caller or e-mail provides.

If you do get scammed, then you should file a complaint with the FTC and your state’s consumer agency.

Get Help in Difficult Financial Times

If times are tough for you and your family, we can help connect you with the tools and information you need to get back on your feet.

We’re launching “Help for Difficult Financial Times" today, and for the next five weeks, we will highlight government resources with a focus on jobs, housing, credit, family, and health that you can use to make your life easier.

Examples of highlighted information include

  • how to apply for unemployment benefits and food stamps
  • where to get credit counseling
  • how to avoid foreclosure
  • where to find free or low-cost care.

You can sign up to receive these helpful resources directly in your inbox a few times each week. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get daily tips or to ask a question.

See what free government resources are available to help you get back on your feet.

You can also find this information in Spanish at GobiernoUSA.gov.