Help and Resources for People With Disabilities
This section has lists many resources for many needs that can help families find the help they need.
Multi-resource Service Directories
The United Way Service Directory
Find the agencies and programs who provide the service your family needs with this free hotline courtesy of The United Way.
If calling from a land line:
If calling from a cellular phone:
Social Security help
Family Resource Guide
Services: Online database of community resources
Financial Benefits from the Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration is a major resource for financial assistance for disabled people. There are certain medical requirements that must be met to qualify:
Social Security Administration
Phone: 800.772.1213 (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
To Qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
• Must be medically disabled.
• Not based on financial need.
• Must have a parent who worked under a job covered by Social Security and is retired, disabled or deceased. Benefits can be paid to a child under age 18, ages 18 or 19 if the child is a full-time student, or over age 18 for a child who was disabled before age 22.
• Social Security recipients will receive Medicare insurance 24 months after entitlement to benefits based on disability is established.
• Definition of disability for adults: inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairments, which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
• Definition of disability for children: a physical and/or mental condition that prevents children from doing things that children their same age normally do. Condition expected to last at least 12 months or end in death.
To Qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
• Must be medically disabled.
• Child of any age can qualify and benefits can continue into adulthood.
• Benefit amount based on financial need. Income and resources of parents are considered until the child turns 18 years old.
• Medicaid coverage begins immediately. (This is not a spend-down.)
• The month the child turns 18, the Social Security Administration must conduct a medical review to ensure the individual meets adult disability criteria.
• Special provision called Student Earned Income Exclusion that exempts substantial earnings
More Area Disability Resources
In addition to Social Security funding, there are many area financial assistance and service programs available for mentally or physically disabled people.
Hope Network Rehabilitation Services
Grand Rapids Phone: 616.940.0040
Services: Inpatient transitional rehab, vocational services, medical care, supervised residential services, home and community based services, supported living services, driver evaluation, adult enrichment program, mild brain injury services and neuro-behavioral services, including neuropsychiatry and psychology.
The Arc of the United States
Services: Represents people with mental retardation intellectual disabilities and their families.
Special Needs Alliance
Services: A network of lawyers who specialize in disability law.
Financial Planning Association
Services: Resource to provide names of certified financial planners in your area that specialize in special needs issues.
MetLife-Special Needs Division
Services: Consultation and a calculator that will help you estimate your child's future expenses.
Michigan Legal Aid
Services: Private, nonprofit organization providing information and advocacy to people with disabilities in Michigan.
Services: Fee-based service that assists in independence planning for an individual with a disability. Plan may include governmental, financial, social and legal aspects. They serve areas in Michigan and Illinois.
Disability Advocates of Kent County
Services: Assistance identifying independent living options and transitioning to community- based adult services
Services: Assessment services for developmentally disabled. Case management, family support, foster care, home support, respite care, and support coordination for both children and adults.
Spectrum Community Services
Services: Provides a variety of services including adult foster care, residential group homes, supportive independent living, and self-determination initiatives.
West Michigan Long Term Care Connection
Services: Options Counseling Program to assist those with disabilities in living more meaningful, fulfilling lives by increasing choice and control.
Network 180 Access Center
Assessment, referral and support services for the developmentally disabled.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids
Services: Career development, employment and occupational skills training, and job placement services.
Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
Services: Evaluation and treatment planning for children, adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities.
Transportation Services for People with Disabilities
Hope Network West Michigan
Services: Door-to-door transportation for the disabled.
The Rapid-GO! Bus
Services: Specialized transportation for riders whose disabilities prevent them from riding regular fixed-route buses. Application required.
Housing Assistance for People with Disabilities
Genesis Non-profit Housing Corporation
Services: Develops and operates affordable apartment living for special needs resident.
Home Repair Services
Services: Professionally constructed wheelchair ramps and bathroom modifications.