What Are Disability Supports?



You may think of disability support as someone who can tutor you or help you with your study questions. These accommodations are provided by colleges to students in accordance with federal civil rights laws.

But college disability services are different from what students get in high school. So how do you know what’s available to your child?

Social Security

Millions of disabled people can receive disability support from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The two major disability programs of the SSA, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), offer monetary and medical benefits to eligible workers and their families.

SSDI beneficiaries are typically older and have severe mental or physical impairments. These disabilities include brain damage, spinal cord injury and degenerative diseases.

SSI recipients have a special option called Plan for Achieving self Support. This allows them to set aside income or assets for a specific goal. This money is not counted as income to reduce their SSI benefits.

SSI applications tend to increase in economic downturns, especially for those who have lost their jobs or have experienced income loss. SSI applications were three times more likely for people who lost their jobs or were out-of-work for more than a decade during the COVID-19 epidemic.

State Disability Insurance

State Disability Insurance provides income replacement for those who are disabled or sick. It can be paid by employers or employees who opt to pay their own premiums.

Short-term disability (STD), coverage pays a portion of a person’s earnings for up two years if they are unable to work because of an injury or illness. Long-term disability (LTD) benefits may last for a lifetime.

Many states require employers offer STD/LTD policies to their employees. Some allow employees to buy private plans for an additional premium. Private plans must offer at least the same benefits, eligibility requirements, and length of payments as state plans.


Medicare is the health insurance program that covers people 65 years and older, as well as disabled individuals under 65, and those with end-Stage Renal Disease (permanent renal failure treated with dialysis and/or a transplant). You automatically get enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for 24 months.

In 2013, a much larger share of beneficiaries under age 65 with disabilities than older beneficiaries reported that they had trouble getting needed care. More than a third of the younger beneficiaries with disabilities reported it, while just over 25% of older beneficiaries claimed that they couldn’t afford the care or didn’t have enough money.


The Medicaid program offers health care coverage for low-income families and individuals. The program covers a variety of benefits, depending on your age, income, family situation or living arrangement.

Medicaid covers long-term services and supports in addition to primary and preventive health care. These include home and community based (HCB) support services.

People with disability service providers melbourne have more complex medical needs than the general population and spend longer in hospital. People with severe disabilities have access to Medicare and Medicaid.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a federal program, pays monthly benefits to persons with disabilities and those 65 years and older who have low incomes or limited resources. It is not part of Medicare or Medicaid and is based on your financial need rather than your employment history.

The State of New York is one of 46 states, along with the District of Columbia, that contributes a state supplement above the federal benefit rate through the State Supplement Program. This program is administered and operated by the NYS SSP Bureau, which is part of the Center for Employment and Economic Supports of Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

SSI is intended to be a safety net for disabled individuals, who may not have sufficient income or assets to live on their own and may have limited or no health insurance. Beneficiaries who are able work can be offered incentives under the program.

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