Obtain Guardianship and a Declaration of Incapacitation, if you have not already done so. (See Establishing Guardianship)
Apply for Supplemental Security Income
At age 18, a person with disabilities will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other assistance programs. You will need to contact your local Social Security Administration Office to obtain the necessary forms and to set up your initial appointment. Some case managers can do this process over the phone; others will require an office appointment depending on the situation. Case Managers doing an initial investigation for eligibility will generally have an e-mail address for ease of communication and will require ORIGINAL documents. This includes birth certificates, Social Security Cards, etc. They will copy the documents and send them back to you. DO NOT SEND NOTORIZED COPIES! These documents must be originals.
Contact the toll free number for the Social Security Administration, (800) 772-1213, and they will refer you directly to the office in your area.
The SSA also directs work incentive programs, which may also apply. Ask your contact person for information regarding these programs.
Apply for Medicaid OR a Medicaid Waiver
Medicaid is one of the primary medical supports for people with disabilities. Generally, Medicaid is available to low-income families and those receiving SSI. To apply for traditional Medicaid an application must be made through your state Medicaid office. Each State has it's own Medicaid office. See the Resource Links in your state for the contact information for the office near you. Contact them directly to apply.
OR.... An individual who does NOT qualify for traditional Medicaid MAY qualify for benefits and funding through several Waivers currently available but which may vary from state to state. You will need to contact YOUR state DSPD office for further program information. Many waivers have more liberal eligibility guidelines that are not based on family income. When you receive services through the Department of Services For People With Disabilities (DSPD), you may be eligible for a Medicaid Waiver. Ask if your child may qualify.
The three of the more common waiver programs currently in use are:
- Developmental Disability or Mental Retardation Waiver.
- Brain Injury Waiver.
- Physical Disabilities Waiver.
For more information and to apply contact your State DSPD office.