Is financial assistance available to people with brain injury and their families?
Financial assistance may be available after a brain injury, although not everyone who sustains a brain injury is likely to be eligible to receive it. Financial assistance can come from a range of federal government programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), state and local government programs, not-for-profit organizations and foundations, community groups, religious organizations, and even fundraising events. Help with medical costs, low-cost housing, bills, transportation, education, nutrition, and job training may also be available. Services vary widely by state, city, and town, and opportunities often have special eligibility requirements.
Contacting a brain injury specialist at the National Brain Injury Information Center is a great place to find information. Dial 1-800-444-6443.
Federal Benefits & Programs
SSI or Supplemental Security Income helps people with disabilities who have little or no income. It provides cash to help pay for food, clothing and a place to live. It is a federal government program, and you can find out if you are eligible for SSI by completing an online screening tool in just a few minutes. To apply for SSI benefits, call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment for help applying for benefits, either on the phone or at a local Social Security office. Without an appointment, you may have a long wait to be helped.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to people who worked and paid into Social Security before a disabling injury, or to the person’s spouse or children. SSDI pays cash to those who meet the eligibility requirements and are unable to work for a year or longer because of a disability.
You can apply for SSDI benefits online or call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment for help applying for benefits, either on the phone or at a local Social Security office. Without an appointment, you may have a long wait to be helped. Be sure to get a list of the information you will need to complete the application so you can do it in one visit.
The Government Benefits website offers a totally free, easy-to-use and completely confidential way to find out government benefit programs.
State Cash Financial Aid
Many states and local governments offer cash assistance programs to persons with disabilities and to military veterans. Eligibility for and benefits from these programs vary widely and the programs have different names in each state. For example, in New Hampshire, cash assistance programs for the disabled, blind & seniors is called a SSP (State Supplemental Program), while Massachusetts offers an Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled and Children program. Contact your state Brain Injury Association for more information.
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