Where do I start with a Disability?

There are many agencies that work with Disabilities and it is important to become familiar with all of them.

Most people are familiar with working with the schools but what happens when you leave school.

The first agency outside of school is

Vocational Rehabilitation:

They have two purposes;

1) The can assist you in getting a job with the assistance of a job coach or

2) They can assist you with further training or schooling so that you can later on be prepared for the world of work.

What do I have to do?

First you contact them and schedule an appointment.

Second you determine if you have a disability.

If you have a predetermined condition they will start with previous evaluations and then see if they require more. They can request evaluations by their own personnel to determine qualifications.

Most common qualifications are: Developmentally Delayed, Physical Disability, Learning Disabilities, Mutli-Handicapped, and Medically challenged.

However, it is possible to be qualified for Job displacement. If you have lost work and cannot find work do to the fact that there is no work in your skilled area there may be some help for you although this is an area of cutbacks and the rules are always changing.

If you have a disability due to past drug usage but have become employable you may qualify.

Vocational Rehabilitation is an important agency to work with because if you apply for social security disability the first thing they will ask you is have you worked with Vocational Rehabilitation? They may deny you until you have worked with them and are determined unemployable.

It is vital that once you qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation that you follow their plan that you write together exactly.

If you qualify for schooling Vocational Rehabilitation will then pay for schooling and books up to a set amount. It is very important to know exactly what they do pay for and what you can get help with.

If you require Technical Assistance there is also an Evaluation for that. Specialized equipment maybe provided by Vocational Rehabilitation. They also can help with certain living conditions , and transportation.

If you determine that you want a Job coach they will help you understand how to write an effective resume, interview and assist in finding and setting up appointments but will expect you to do as much as you are capable of on your own.

These agencies are all funded by the government so how much they do determines on the state, the number of people qualifying and availability of funds.

States with high population may have a waiting list.

Advocacy Groups:

If you have a disability you should be familiar with all area advocates that can assist you. Health and Welfare can provide you with a list . Advocates see that you are provided with help from all agencies that you qualify for. They attend meetings with you , see that your rights aren’t violated and keep you informed of need laws constantly being passed.

Service Providers:

There are many types of service provers depending on the disability.

Psychosocial Rehabilitative counselors work with behavior issues.

Counselors Over see the Psychosocial rehabilitative counselors and do more intense counseling.

There are Providers who go into the home and see that you are being provided with the help you need.

There are Home Health Care Providers if you qualify in that area.

There are Providers who come in and assist with cooking , cleaning and shopping if you are not able to do it on your own.

All of these are listed with health and welfare.

If you are able to live alone but need some help you may qualify to have a family member paid for services. This involves filling out a form and having a Home Health Care person come into your home and evaluate your situation. Once qualified then you hire who you want to be your care giver. They must fill out paper work monthly to file with medicaid/medicare in order to be paid.

This can include taking you to doctors appointments also.

Social Security Disability

If your disability is sever and you are not able to work then you must apply with social security.

This becomes a waiting game but you can do several things to help yourself.

First get your appointment and do not miss that initial appointment no matter what.

Second make sure you have as much paper work to prove your disability.

Third make sure if your disability started before age of 16 you file immediately with social security and that you have school records.

Fourth Work with your doctor regularly.Help your doctor to understand what you need.

Fifth expect to be denied three times.

Sixth: Get a disability lawyer after the first denial it is worth it to speed up the qualify. They know many things that you won’t. They normally take 25% of the initial lump sump payment but it’s the only fee you will pay.

Remember that your back pay starts from initial interview as long as there is no gap in denial time.

If you are denied make sure those appeal papers are filed immediately so that the time doesn’t run out causing you to start from scratch.

Seventh If they require a Hearing don’t be afraid of that , but it is good to take your disability lawyer to it.

Eighth What happens in many cases is people start to loose everything they own because they have no income. If you want to speed up your process even with a lawyer contact your congressman. They have more power to review your file and to move it through.

I had to contact all of my representatives even with a lawyer or I would have lost everything. Even my lawyer said that was the best thing I did. The congressman were in contact with me frequently and they demanded a Congressional Hearing. That meant an attorney was appointed by them to review my file. After reviewing my file a letter was written by the attorney to the Hearing Officer stating everything was in my file that was needed and their wasn’t sufficient evidence to say I didn’t have a disability.

I was then granted my disability and didn’t have to attend a hearing. That was a blessing to me.

I didn’t loose my car, my home and my belongings like many people do.

There are different ares of Social Security that you may qualify for and you want to apply for everything that you can.

Social Security with go through these with you. There is a difference between SSI and SSDI. I don’t pretend to have all the information. Make sure you ask them at that initial information about them.

Then once you qualify for disability you may still qualify for additional assistance in prescription assistance which requires additional applications.

Make sure you find out about everything that you can apply for.

Also be aware you can work part time with a disability and still receive disability benefits. Make sure you find out how much money you can make. Realize that you cannot go over that amount by one dollar or they will discontinue your social security.

Know what you need to do for filing for Medicaid’/Medicare

If your income is too high you won’t get Medicaid. However, the application is all done together and they will tell you which one you will qualify for. File for it at the same time you file for Social Security so that it is in place when you qualify.


IF you are getting the run around from everyone make sure you get a good advocate who works with you and isn’t a government representative.

Do as much as you can to read about the laws and know what you can.

Make sure you start a file and keep all records for social security, medicaid/medicare and any other health records.

Best of luck to you if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask I may have forgotten somethings.

Until next time 🙂


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