People who are limited in one or more major life activities – hearing, seeing, thinking or memory, walking or moving, taking care of personal needs (bathing, feeding, dressing) or living independently – are said to have a disability. Some disabilities begin at a young age, while others are the result of accidents, injuries or simply growing older.
The American Community Survey, also knowns as the Census, estimates 3.4 million Texans -- or 12.9 percent of the population -- had a disability in 2014. These men, women and children are eligible for a range of state and federal services including rehabilitation, medical equipment, help finding a job, medical care and personal attendants.
Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) is ready to meet the challenge of providing these services. HHS provides a range of services to Texans with disabilities that help ensure their well-being, dignity and choice. Programs also are in place to support family members who care for them.
Our experienced staff and paid contractors can help eligible Texans with disabilities access services so they can:
- Live independently in their own homes or communities
- Prepare for and find jobs
- Provide medical equipment and assistive devices
- Determine eligibility for Supplemental Security Income
- Provide health care services to people who have disabilities who work
- Give family caregivers the tools to do their job
Federal Programs for People with Disabilities
Eligible people with disabilities may qualify for federal and state programs that pay benefits, pay health care costs or provide food. If you are not already signed up for one of these programs, visit the sites below to find out if you might be eligible or to apply for benefits.
- Medicaid provides health coverage to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, and people who are older or who have disabilities. Each state has its own rules about who’s eligible, and what Medicaid covers. Some people qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. To find out if you might be eligible for Medicaid in Texas, visit the Your Texas Benefits website.
- Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. People younger than age 65 with certain disabilities or permanent kidney failure can also qualify for Medicare. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it doesn’t cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as food stamps) allows millions of Americans to buy nutritious food at their local grocery stores. It is available for both single people and families who have low-income. To find out if you might be eligible for SNAP, visit the Your Texas Benefits website.
- Social Security pays a monthly benefit to older Americans, workers who become disabled, and families in which a spouse or parent dies. When you retire, your Social Security payment is based on your average earnings over your working career. If you are determined to be disabled, your benefit is based on the amount of income on which you’ve paid Social Security taxes.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Some of your income and your resources are not counted when deciding whether you’re eligible for SSI. Your house and your car, for example, usually don’t count as resources.