Television infomercials advertising government grants to individuals for personal purposes are misleading or outright fraud. There are no government grants to individuals for personal expenses other than education. However, the U.S. government does operate public benefits programs for people with disabilities.
Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability benefits are available to those who have a work history and have paid into the Social Security program. Eligibility requirements and benefit amounts vary and are based on your age at disability, the number of quarters in which you worked and your earnings.
Supplemental Security Income
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is available to children with disabilities and adults who do not qualify for Social Security Disability because they do not have a work history. Applicants must have very low income and few assets to qualify.
Veterans Disability Benefits
Veterans with service-related illnesses or injuries can receive compensation through the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department. Their discharge category must be one other than dishonourable. Benefit amounts vary, depending on the nature and extent of the medical disability.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers who sustain illnesses or injuries on the job may qualify for workers compensation insurance (WCI). All states require employers to maintain WCI policies and regulate the eligibility criteria and application process. You can receive benefits for temporary or permanent disability, from a few weeks to the remainder of your life, depending on your medical condition. The program calculates benefit amounts as a percentage of your wages.
Other Government Programs
Those who receive disability benefits may also qualify for other government assistance, such as public housing, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) or home heating aid. To determine eligibility, individuals can fill out a questionnaire at GovBenefits.gov.
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