There are so many different types of disabilities, all with different severities. Some people experience chronic pain. Others are bound to a wheelchair, or can’t see or hear. If you have some kind of disability, you probably already know that life isn’t always easy. You might have to be creative in the way you do things or find alternative solutions to everyday situations.
Some disabilities can cause even bigger problems. Whether it’s dealing with pain or just the added stress of not being able to do everything everyone else does, some people with disabilities experience a lot of mental and emotional distress. When stuck in those thoughts and feelings for too long, it could lead to things like anxiety and depression.
Having a strong support system and someone to help you on a daily basis can ease the weight of having a disability. But, you can also take advantage of some of the resources specifically designed for people with disabilities, including living arrangements, insurance, and career assistance. Utilizing these resources and some of the free things you’re entitled to because of your disability can make life a little easier. As the strain of constant stress lessens, you can actually re-train your brain to find some mental and emotional relief.
1. OTC Medication, Equipment, and More
Many people with disabilities have some kind of medical issue. Some disabilities can be incredibly painful, but the symptoms can be managed with certain types of treatment. Thankfully, if you’re covered by Medicare or Medicaid, there are some over-the-counter medications and different types of equipment that you can get at a reduced price or even for free.
Things like heating pads and shower benches can be delivered right to your home for free in some states. So can vitamins, pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin, digestive aids, and even first-aid products like bandages and antibiotic cream.
These services are different on a state-by-state basis, so you’ll have to do a bit of research to see how your state lines up when it comes to offering healthcare equipment and medication. But, if you have either Medicaid or Medicare, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get most of your preventative health solutions for next to nothing.
One increasingly-popular treatment solution that isn’t yet free for those with disabilities is CBD. CBD products are being sold in different places throughout the country to help with chronic pain, inflammation, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, and so much more. Unfortunately, even though CBD oil is currently on track to become a $22 billion industry, it typically can’t be found at your local pharmacy, and insurance companies won’t cover it.
This is mostly due to the fact that most insurance companies want more scientific research done on CBD before they back it up. Things like medical marijuana haven’t yet been approved by the FDA, so insurance companies are hesitant to cover them. As a result, even someone with chronic pain or another type of disability who could benefit from the use of CBD still has to pay for it out of pocket for now.
2. Park Passes
Most people with disabilities don’t want that setback to define who they are — and rightfully so! One of the best ways to make sure your disability doesn’t hold you back is by doing a bit of traveling.
Thankfully, you can take advantage of the beautiful national parks the United States has to offer if you are an SSI or SSDI recipient. If you are, you’re entitled to an Access Pass that lasts a lifetime. Typically, a yearly Access Pass can cost up to $80. But, a disabled individual can get a permanent pass for nothing. When you use your pass, you can get into some of the country’s most famous parks, including:
- Yosemite National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Colorado National Monument
Many of these sites are wheelchair friendly if you have a physical handicap. Don’t let your disability keep you from seeing the country, even if you’re on a budget.
3. Books and Learning Tools
It can sometimes be difficult for people with certain disabilities to have access to the educational resources they need. TheNational Library Service offers a free program to those who are blind or physically handicapped.
This program sends books written in braille and audio materials to qualified individuals within the U.S. at no cost. Whether you want to advance your education or you just want access to reading materials, this is a great program to take advantage of.
4. Home Appliances
If you’re currently receiving SSI, you may be entitled to take advantage of the Home Weatherization Program through the U.S. Department of Energy. This program is designed for low-income families or individuals, but if you do receive SSI, you’ll be given a priority.
If you have a broken furnace, water heater, refrigerator, etc., the Home Weatherization Program will replace it with an energy-efficient appliance at no cost to you. If your disability keeps you from making a regular income and you’ve had to deal with inefficient or broken appliances for too long, don’t hesitate to look into this program to see how you can benefit.
The internet is an incredible tool that can keep you connected in more ways than one and has become necessary for many aspects of life, such as job searching. But due to limited or lack of income, many people still live without reliable access to the internet. And for people with mobility issues who lack internet access because of income, they are also missing out on helpful services like grocery delivery, online shopping, and online bill payment that can make everyday errands that much easier.
That’s why a government program called ConnectHomeUSA was launched in 2015 designed to help individuals on SSI receive free broadband internet service. This program has helped many low-income citizens get internet access at home, whether for their children’s schooling, or their own online needs. This can also be a real career game changer for those who have trouble working traditional jobs due to their disabilities, as more opportunities for remote and freelance work over the internet are available every day.
Receiving the Assistance You Need
It can be humbling to ask for help or do the research necessary to find free or discounted items. But, accepting that kind of help and aid can make life easier for anyone dealing with a disability. There are additional financial resources you can take advantage of, including food assistance programs, and other government initiatives that can provide you with financial relief.
By softening your financial burden and receiving assistance where it’s needed most, you can focus on living your life to the fullest, and not letting your disability hold you back from what you really want to do. Don’t be afraid to do your research on a local, state, and national level. You may just be surprised at the types of assistance you can receive.
Magnolia Potter is a muggle from the Pacific Northwest who writes from time to time and covers a variety of topics. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book.