DISABILITY ACCESS: Empowering Tribal Members with Disabilities & Their Families
Provided by Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
What is a disability?
Do I have one? Do you?
It may surprise you to know that not everyone or every agency agrees on what is a disability. So, you may find that you are able to receive services from some agencies and not others
Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) considers you disabled if you could not do the work you did before, you cannot do other work because of your medical condition and your condition is expected to last for at least a year or until you die (whichever comes first). Cheerful folks, these SSDI people. Even if you are disabled, you must have worked at jobs covered by social security to receive SSDI.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available only to children with severe disabilities. Severe disability is defined as one that results in "marked and severe functional limitations". Although it is not 100% of the time, almost anyone who has a developmental disability will qualify as disabled under SSI. This doesn't mean you automatically get benefits. There is an income limit for benefits and if you or your child make over that amount, you don't qualify.
There are lots of sites on the Internet and different "services" that claim to help you get benefits. Before you pay any money, we recommend you go to the Social Security disability website. It is easy to understand and free.
Special Education is available to a student who falls into one of thirteen categories. Previously, there were eight categories of disability but there have been changes in the law recently.These categories are discussed on the following pages in this Introduction to Disability section.
What is a developmental delay?
Young children may be diagnosed as having developmental delays. The term developmental delay means that the children are behind their peers. Special services are granted to these young children in an effort to help the children to develop at the same rate as their peers. Children may only need services for a short time, or they may be eventually diagnoosed with a specific disability. For more information on developmental delay, click here.
Developmental Disability Services are available to people with developmental disabilities. Not everyone who has a disability has a developmental disability. It is important to know the difference because some services are only available to people with developmental disabilities.
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