Illness & disability
Getting help with money
Paying for health care, dealing with insurance, and getting government help all can be confusing and stressful. Definitely try to work with a trusted adult. You can start by reading the information below together. And remember to keep all bills, insurance information, and other important papers in case you need them again.
When you are under 18 and disabled top
- There are Social Security benefits for disabled children whose families need some extra financial help. These are called Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). You or your family may also be able to receive benefits that are not based on how much money you have. Your local Social Security office can tell you what to apply for and how. You and your parents or guardians can find more information and an office near you on the Social Security Administration's website for kids .
- In most states, children who get Social Security benefits can also apply for Medicaid, which is a program for people who need help paying for health care. Some children can get Medicaid help even if they are not able to get Social Security. You and your family can learn more through Medicaid’s website .
- If your family earns too much money to get Medicaid, they may be able to get CHIP. CHIP, or Children’s Health Insurance Program, is low-cost health insurance for kids. Click to learn more about CHIP.
- If you have certain disabilities, you may be able to get Medicare. This is another kind of insurance from the government. You and your family can get more information online .
The U.S. government recently passed a law to make it possible for all people to have health insurance. You can learn about your options, find out if you qualify for Medicaid, and more at HealthCare.gov . Even if you don’t qualify for programs like Medicaid, you may be able to get free or lower-cost health care in your community. You can search online for health centers .
When you are over 18 and disabled top
- If your family did not need Social Security benefits before, you may be able to get them on your own after turning 18, even if you live with your parents. depending on your income. You may also qualify for a program for people with disabilities that is not only for people with low incomes, called Social Security Disability Insurance. Learn more from your local Social Security office.
- You may also be able to apply for Medicaid, a program for people who need help paying for health care.
- If you have certain disabilities, you may be able to get Medicare. This is another kind of insurance from the government. Get more information online .
Content last updated February 16, 2011