Grants for Disabled Individuals [Private & Government]

People with disabilities frequently seek grants to help make ends meet because they represent free money you do not have to repay.

However, asking what benefits are available to disabled individuals is a better question for two compelling reasons.

First, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients do not jeopardize their monthly checks by exceeding countable resource limitations.

Second, all beneficiaries will find benefit programs reducing expenses are more abundant and well-funded.

In other words, instead of searching for scarce ways to get money into your checking account, look for plentiful ways to reduce spending.

Government Grants for Disabled

People with disabilities should focus on government grants because resources are most abundant. However, federal agencies do not provide free money directly to individuals.

However, asking what government benefits are available for disabled individuals puts you on the right track. Apply for low-income assistance at numerous grant recipients.

Debt Relief Grants

Government debt relief grants for disabled individuals are not legitimate. No federal agency provides free money to help people pay off credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, and other obligations.

However, credit card debt forgiveness for people with disabilities is negotiable. Creditors cannot garnish Social Security benefits, making potential lawsuits less appealing. Plus, you could be judgment-proof if you rent and have few assets worth seizing.

Many creditors will agree to forgive a substantial portion of your debt in exchange for an immediate partial payment when they fear getting nothing instead.

Individual Grants

Government grants for individuals do not exist. However, disabled adults frequently qualify for benefit programs that reduce everyday living expenses. They often meet the low-income criteria because Social Security does not pay much.

Free grant money for bills and personal use is available through government benefit programs that reduce specific household expenses. You must apply at many different offices, but the savings add up quickly, covering many services.

  • Childcare
  • Groceries
  • Energy
  • Repairs
  • Internet

Repair Grants

Government home repair grants frequently help disabled individuals maintain a healthy living environment. In this arena, free money is abundant when improvements increase energy efficiency and protect the environment.

Free home repair for people with disabilities is available through several government programs promoting energy efficiency. SSI recipients automatically pre-qualify, and SSDI beneficiaries often meet the low-income criteria.

  • Weatherization Assistance Program
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • Inflation Reduction Act Rebates
  • Section 504 Home Improvement  

Housing Grants

Government housing grants can help disabled adults afford a clean, decent living place. The low-income programs might provide free money to cover the cost of rent, mortgage payments, and home modifications.

Business Grants

Government grants for disabled entrepreneurs to start a business do not exist. Therefore, you must reset expectations when trying to get an enterprise off the ground. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) does not provide grants for starting or expanding a new business. Instead, the funding goes to educational organizations that support entrepreneurship through counseling and training programs.

While you will not get free money to kick-start a business, you can find guidance with budgeting, marketing, human resource planning, etc.

Education Grants

Government education grants sometimes help low-income disabled individuals return to school to further their job prospects. Use the free money to cover the cost of tuition, books, and other related expenses.

The US Department of Education provides grants for students attending college or career school. Unlike loans, you do not have to repay the financial aid.

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants

Private Grants for Disabled

Individuals with disabilities can supplement their financial assistance efforts with grants from private organizations. However, free money is more challenging to find via donor-supported non-profits as demand outstrips the limited supply.

Charitable Grants

Non-profit charitable organizations that help disabled adults are a possible source of private grants or benefits. Of course, free money from donors will be in short supply compared to demand, so set expectations accordingly.

You may have to seek help from many organizations too numerous to list in one article. Plus, you may need to find a non-profit with offices near your home.

Find charities helping individuals with disabilities in your area using an online directory. Input your state and zip code and get an instant listing of organizations nearby.

Vehicle Grants

Private grants to help individuals with disabilities purchase a vehicle for transportation are a tricky subject for SSI recipients. You do not want to jeopardize benefits eligibility by unknowingly violating rules.

Social Security Disability rules on cars require another person to gift the SSI recipient a vehicle without directly stating so in words. You have to read between the lines.

  • You cannot hold more than $2,000 ($3,000 if married) in countable assets
  • One car used for transportation of any value is a non-countable asset

In other words, you cannot save money for a down payment or outright purchase, but you can own a vehicle if another person gives it to you. Establish a special needs trust if raising funds through crowdsourcing or other similar means.

Technology Grants

People with disabilities can sometimes use private grants to supplement funding for expensive assistive technologies. Costs add up quickly for screen readers and magnifiers, voice recognition software, hearing aids, etc.

Private and public health insurance often pays for assistive technologies when a therapist or doctor establishes the medical necessity upfront with a fact-supported letter. Also, charitable organizations will sometimes chip in.

An Assistive Technology Resource Funding Guide published by an industry association provides a comprehensive overview. Investigate and explore the various opportunities to find help buying this crucial equipment.

Mobility Grants

Doctors can support mobility grants enabling disabled people to purchase walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters. Your private insurance company has significant resources (including Medicare and Medicaid) and might pay for the equipment if a letter of medical necessity establishes the need.

A licensed medical professional (doctor, occupational therapist, physical therapist) must compose and sign the letter of medical necessity and submit the documentation to the insurance company.

The letter must clearly state why you cannot use less expensive mobility equipment. For instance, arm weakness might justify a scooter over a wheelchair.