Disability, General

Supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act

July 27, 2015 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Woman in wheelchair smiling using smartphoneSocial Security is committed to the principles and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to improve the lives of our beneficiaries and our employees who have one or more disabilities.

You may not like to think about the possibility of becoming disabled. However, if sometime in the future you find that you’re unable to work because you have a disabling condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death, then the thought will become a reality that you need to address.

When people become disabled under the strict statutory definition Social Security must follow, Social Security helps them meet their basic needs and sustain a higher quality of life. Our disability program provides financial and medical benefits for those who qualify, to pay for doctors’ visits, medicines, and treatments. It’s important to note that twenty-year-olds have a one in four chance of needing our disability programs before they reach retirement age.

We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The SSDI program provides benefits to people who are disabled or blind, and who worked and contributed to the Social Security trust fund as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The SSI program makes cash assistance payments to people who are aged, blind, and disabled, who have limited income and resources. The SSI program is financed by general tax revenues, not the Social Security trust funds.

Our disability programs continue to be a mainstay in the lives of many people – people just like you. What makes their otherwise similar stories unique is that they live with debilitating conditions that inhibit their ability to work. Social Security disability beneficiaries are among the most severely impaired people in the country.

Our Faces and Facts of Disability webpage highlights the real life stories of people who have disabilities. We invite you to learn the facts about the disability insurance program, and see and hear these stories of hardship and perseverance.


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Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. David G.

    Hi, I am BIG SUPPORTER of SSDI program because for one.

    I’ve been on SSDI (recipient) for many years as well as working part-time for almost two (2) year at a local hotel in case something goes bad. That way SSDI pension is my back-up source of income.

  2. tammy

    The Americans with disabilities act, the social security administration and Texas DARS programs have been absolutely no help to me, whatsoever! Worthless expenditure of taxpayer money, they are all too busy handing out the money to recovering drug addicts and fraudsters. I was born with cerebral palsy and social security has never given me a dime! I’ve applied and they keep denying me because of pathetic excuses. I’m so tired of hearing about how social security helps disabled people, THEY DO NOT help those truly disabled people that need help the most!

  3. Terry

    My Grandson is ADHD, lives with, and helps with the care of, his disabled mother (on Social Security). A high school dropout, and he actually gets violently ill at the thought of going to work (violently as in vomiting and body aches). What I’m asking is: What kind of monetary assistance would this kind of person qualify for? He’s had jobs like a stocker at Wal*Mart, had the job for a few months… got himself fired. This is how it goes, when someone does give him a job, he manages to make a few pay checks, and then he manages to get fired.

    • James L.

      Terry, we are very sorry to hear about your grandson’s condition. He may be able to qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program based on his own or his mother’s work. He may also be able to qualify for disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which is needs based. If your grandson thinks he is disabled, he should call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to have one of our representatives schedule an appointment for him with his local office.

    • c. S.

      It sounds like your grandson might have more going on than ADHD- possibly social anxiety disorder(?) I went through what you are describing with my son. He is bi-polar, alcoholic, has had depression and social anxiety issues. He went through the total process and several appeals with a lawyer ending in a final denial with a judge. He does get medical assistance, food assistance. He is right now in long term chem dependency treatment and we are hopeful his job history will improve when he gets out. Good luck. No easy answers but I can understand your frustration.

  4. CJ

    I was put out of work, 5 years ago due to a visual processing issue . It has now morphed into a hearing processing issue and exhaustion as well. I also provide supports for my kids who have issues as well, although my oldest is now on her own. My husband works two jobs as I can not work and still no social security, although I’ve been applying and appealing for five years..

  5. Anita S.

    I am considered disabled due to osteoarthritis and a neurological disorder. I have a handicap placard for permanent disability. I do not always park in a handicapped parking space if there is a non designated one that I can park in and make it to my destination using my cane. I figure the extra distance helps me keep up my endurance and leaves the handicapped spot for someone that is is worse shape than myself and may have to deal with a wheelchair for themselves or for a child in order to get to their destination. I have a grandchild that has spina bifida and her mother has to lift her into her wheelchair and assist in getting her ready to take in to the doctor or shopping. I am asking that those that have a handicapped placard to think if you are having a good day to leave the limited parking spots open for those wrestling with their impairment as well as their equipment to perform everyday activities. Please call the non emergency police number and report people without placards or tags for handicap parking if they are violating the laws and parking illegally. If you see someone who has parked in regular parking, but display handicap tag or placard, please give them ample room between your car and their doors so they can remove their canes, walkers or other devices from their car without bumping your car with their door. Be thoughtful and remember this could be you or one of your loved ones trying to maintain a normal life with the limitations they have. Don’t violate the law if you are able bodied but have a placard because you assist someone who needs it but they are not with you at the time. Be kind and considerate! What goes around comes around! Pay the respect and kindness forward.

    • Nancy Y.

      I totally agree with drivers leaving enough space between cars to be able to get wheelchairs, walkers, etc out of handicap vehicles. People need to know that parking on the stripes is illegal, as is parking in a handicap spot with no proof of being handicapped. Police will ticket someone parking illegally on the street, but not in parking lots because they consider them private property. If someone is going into a public store, how can it be that the parking lot is private?

  6. nikki

    Dont believe in article that ssa support disabilty act, I been going to mental health facility appt. For over 8 yrs was diagnosed with major depression disorder, and my mental health doctor even wrote statement saying am under medical care unable to work, case been denied all the way to federal court level, now I got to start over,so no ssa dont care am also diabetic and suffer high blood pressure and have bell palsy. And non of this cover me to receive what I work for.

  7. Ronald C.

    I am 75 and have been on Social Security when I was Disabled in 1989. I receive Medicare and I pay for part B, how ever I do not have enough income to purchase Life Insurance and have No back up Insurance, but the State Of Maryland keeps turning me down for Medicaid saying I have too much income. My wife gets $342.00 SOC. SEC. And I only receive $1261.00. Is there any program that will let me go to Doctor and Our Blood Pressure Medications?

    Thank you for your time in this matter.
    Rev. Ronald Conley, D.D.

    • Julie

      You should have Medicare A and B. This will give you 80% insurance coverage. Medicare Part D will give you drug coverage

    • star

      how would u like trying to live on 720.00 a mo and that’s ss and ssi yea that’s my income if I had the income u have I would be thanking god every day move to florida and that would maybe a diffrant amount but being marred u get less if u live togather I know that’s how it is here in florida if I was in ur state I would be on the streets and I work ever since I was 16 and this is a slap in the fase

    • James L.

      Hi Ronald, thanks for your question. Anyone who has Medicare hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance (Part B) or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) is eligible for prescription drug coverage (Part D). Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary, and you would pay an additional monthly premium for the coverage, but you may be able to get extra help paying for the annual deductibles, monthly premiums, and prescription co-payments related to the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) if you have limited income and resources. To get extra help with Medicare Prescription Drug plan Costs, you can apply online. Also, we offer Medicare Savings Plans to help people pay for Part B premiums.

      To request more information about Medicare, please call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048). We hope this helps.

  8. lester r.

    why dont you encourage whistleblowers and help me get to orlando fl or wherever i need to be so i can work. with no strings attached. i do not want to throw away my career because after i was denied at my last hearing. all of a sudden in the middle of a title vii ada lawsuit im litigating, im approved for ssi. i still haven’t touched it and the guy that burrell had set up as “my payee” kicked me out the day i agreed and have been living on the streets since then. how about a plane ticket and hotel room? ive done enough whistleblowing, i stink and have been sleeping outside for weeks. i was in a coma 2 years ago with 14 broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. and because of my disabilitiy and because i complained of discrimination my former employer decides to retaliate, rob all my clothes, i haven’t even had a toothbrush in two weeks. and larry wilson kicked me out the day i agreed to let him be my payee, that was burrell behavioral healths decision. and guess what he has an apartment next to my former employer. that keeps refusing me anything or money. how am i supposed to get where i am suppossed to be so i can work? This isnt what the government was supposed to do. take careers and not provide job security. if i had a family worth a damn id ask them oh but they could never give a damn. they need to be charged with fraud i was in a coma when my mother i hadnt seen in years signed me up for social security. and ive not taken any money from your program

    • Dk

      Lester, I’m not an expert here but much of what we experience is due to our state of residence. It sounds as though you have a payee, and in those cases they are certified through the State Human Services. As a person with a disability you are considered a vulnerable adult. Based on the information you have provided, and if I was in your situation, I would start with filing a complaint with your local law enforcement (police) office. From there, I would hope that they would connect you to two resources. The first, a temporary shelter for persons with mental health disabilities. Second, law enforcement are required abuse reporters, and would refer you to a county Adult Protection Services case manager. Third, if you have a YMCA they may be able to assist you in getting the basics, e.g. showers.

      This is all conjecture on my part. I am fortunate to live in a State/County that mandates the provision of temporary shelter/housing to all persons, especially those wit a mental health disability. If you reside in a small town, the cards may be stacked against you. However, you are your best advocate. Proceed with caution, staying in as rational of a mind as possible. This will be a tremendous and effective approach in asking for what you need.

      Best of Luck to you

  9. WBoone

    I am legally blind – I am on Medicare and Medicaid – my physician states I need in-home care. Why am I not receiving this benefit ?

    • Julie

      You will want to contact your Health and Human Services Dept. in your county

    • Lorenzo D.

      Thanks for your question. For your security, we do not have access to personal records in this venue and can only give you general information. To request more information about Medicaid or Medicare, or to ask about services such as free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems, please call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048).

  10. yasir a.

    soclal securlty u.s.a gov officer

    • Tony S.

      RE: Health and Welfare. 9th Ed. Book 3. Hospitals & Asylums. HA-26-7-15 226 pp http://www.title24uscode.org/haw.htm

      To amend Chapter 3 National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers:

      Free Disability Insurance Reallocation Tax (DIRT) Act:

      To immediately amend the DI tax rate from 1.80% to 2.30%, from 0.90% to 1.15% for employees and from 0.90% to 1.15% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.60% to 10.10%, from 5.30% to 5.05% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.30% to 5.05% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) to avoid depletion of the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund in 2016 without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 beginning October 1, 2015.

      To amend the DI tax rate again in 2018 to 2.20% from 2.30%, from 1.15% to 1.10% for employees and from 1.15% to 1.10% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.10% to 10.20%, from 5.05% to 5.10% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.05% to 5.10% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 to maximize efficiency until a deficit appears in the OASI Trust Fund in 2019.

      Without Income Limit Law (WILL) Act:

      To abolish the maximum taxable limit on DI contributions on January 1, 2016 and OASI contributions January 1, 2017 and repeal Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)§430.

      To require the Social Security Administration to pay for SSI Costs beginning January 1, 2017. To share profits in excess of social security program costs to the general fund of the U.S Treasury on a sliding scale beginning year end 2016 DI 50/50 with the USPS, and OASI 10/90 to eliminate the federal budget deficit. In 2020 OASI would share at negotiated rates an estimated 25/75, by 2025 OASDI would share 50/50 and by 2030 OASDI would save to pay for the peak in costs of Baby Boomer generation in 2035 that might raise the overall OASDI tax rate from 12.4%.

      To limit Health and Human Services spending to less than $1 trillion. To require the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to hire an actuary to sustain Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) growth in an annual report to Congress. To require the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to hire an actuary to account for service member contributions and matching funds in an annual report to Congress. To replace welfare Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) with licensed social workers and non-social worker representatives.

      To provide Medicaid for free to everyone earning less than 150% of the poverty line and open Medicaid to reasonably priced premiums for everyone else. To prohibit medical billing to nationalize health insurance assets. To ratify ILO Conventions 132, 156 and 183. To levy a 1% UN FICA and corporate income tax for world-wide welfare in 2020.

      Be the Democratic and Republican (DR) two party system Abolished, referred to the Actuary, Commissioner and Trustees (ACT).

      • bettyg

        tony sanders,
        i hope you understood everything you just posted, the average person reading this can NOT!

        paragraphs are way too long hindering comprehension too.

        bullets would be helpful to emphasize things, and shorter paragraphs! grrr.

        bettyg, iowa

      • Dorothy C.

        I trying to get my daughter help with my 8yr granddaughter she has Congenital heart failure just recently had a stint put in her airway she was born with congenital heart failure why is this child not getting disability? She cannot do the things a normal kid can do.

        • Ray F.

          We are sorry to hear about your granddaughter’s medical troubles. Children who are disabled may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). At this time, only the Child Disability Report can be completed online. Your daughter will still need to complete a Supplemental Security Information (SSI) application at the local office . Once you or your daughter complete the online disability report, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to have one of our representatives schedule an appointment for you with your local office to complete your SSI application. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. We hope this information helps.

    • William A.

      HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY, Keep up the GOOD WORK, Enjoy some Milk & Birthday Cake

      • Ray F.

        Yum — thanks William! You can participate in our celebration by sharing your story about how Social Security has made a difference in your life. We look forward to many more years of serving you in the future.

    • Deb

      I can’t possibly describe how painful it is for me to read about all of these politicians putting in their two cents about mental illness and people aren’t getting help till it’s too late. After the living hell I experienced when I moved to a different state and went through almost half a year beginning to be treated appropriately. To have my mental health recorders obtained from my past Dr. which detailed over 6 years plus of my severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks in which I was brushed off and sent off with scripts that each time changed because my family instructed me to try a different doctor after seeing the severe side effects and severe change in what was already a broken being. Not one spent more then 10 minutes with me and only by the grace of God did I not end my life. These doctors are ripping off medicare and indangering their patients. I lost my brother a few years prior to suicide because he didn’t want to wear the sign on his back that labels us as crazy. How can these doctors not get questioned when they muat be seeing a substantially larger amount of patients then a ethical psychiatrist that treats their patients not their pocket books and sadly I’m pretty confident there’s blood shed from patients that where not treated correctly as I and they couldn’t hold on. If it wasn’t for my son I wouldn’t be here and that wouldn’t be because I didn’t try and get treatment.

      • Deb

        I can’t possibly describe how painful it is for me to read about all of these politicians putting in their two cents about mental illness and people aren’t getting help till it’s too late. After the living hell I experienced when I moved to a different state and went through almost half a year begging to be treated appropriately. To have my mental health recorders obtained from my past Dr. which detailed over 6 years plus of my severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks in which I was brushed off and sent off with scripts that each time changed because my family instructed me to try a different doctor after seeing the severe side effects and severe change in what was already a broken being. Not one spent more then 10 minutes with me and only by the grace of God did I not end my life. These doctors are ripping off medicare and indangering their patients. I lost my brother a few years prior to suicide because he didn’t want to wear the sign on his back that labels us as crazy. How can these doctors not get questioned when they muat be seeing a substantially larger amount of patients then a ethical psychiatrist that treats their patients not their pocket books and sadly I’m pretty confident there’s blood shed from patients that where not treated correctly as I and they couldn’t hold on. If it wasn’t for my son I wouldn’t be here and that wouldn’t be because I didn’t try and get treatment.

    • kedir a.

      i am disable and i ask 550 girls but they refuse me what shall i do ?from ETHIOPIA

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