This year marks our 33rd anniversary providing information services to the disability and rehabilitation community. In three decades, we’ve seen a handful of questions come up again and again. As a new occasional feature of the Spotlight, we’ll highlight these questions and connect you to the answers.
Q: I’m looking for a government grant to (buy a computer, build a ramp, go to school, get on my feet). Where can find these grants?
A: Federal, state, and local governments rarely provide grants to individuals. Grants are generally made to organizations, agencies, and institutions to conduct research or provide services to the community. What the caller is looking for are benefit, loan, and financial aid programs. These are provided to qualified individuals to meet specific needs.
The best place to start your search for these programs is the Gov Benefits website at http://www.benefits.gov. Their anonymous questionnaire will point you to programs you may qualify for and the agencies to contact. In fact, check out their FAQ: http://www.benefits.gov/help/faqs
If you happen to live in California, check out http://www.disabilitybenefits101.org. This comprehensive website will tell you all you need to know about disability programs in that state. We really wish every state would put up one of these! (Found one? Post a link in the comments section! Thank you!)
For many more resources for benefits, loans, and other financial aid, please visit our Ready Reference page at http://www.naric.com/public/readyref/finaid.cfm.
Q: But, wait, I am calling for an organization or institution. Would we qualify for a grant?
A: Good question! All Federal grant programs are published in the Federal Register and made available through http://www.grants.gov. Start your search there and you should find announcements, application packages, and more. For grant opportunities from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, sign up for our NIDRR-Announcements listserv. Good luck!
Do you have a question? Email, chat, or call us. Contact info is a click away!