Answered Questions for January 2023: What Benefits and Supports are Available for People with Disabilities?

Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is I am new to the field of social work and would like to learn more about the benefits and supports available to people with disabilities. What information, resources, and research are available? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that discuss accessing and managing benefits while working; TBI and access to State-level supports; financial engagement and ABLE accounts as gateways to community participation; and more. More about Answered Questions.

NIDILRR-Funded Projects:

The ABLE Act of 2014 allows an estimated 7 million people with significant disabilities to establish tax advantaged savings accounts exempt from means-tested requirements for federal public benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid, and prohibits the reduction of public resources when an account is established. The NIDILRR-funded Financial Engagements as a Gateway to Community Participation: A Multi-Level Intervention Study (in English) at the National Disability Institute (NDI) examines the promise of ABLE accounts in increasing community participation for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and cognitive disabilities. The study enhances understanding of the benefits of financial health training to improve outcomes.

From the NARIC Collection:

Health Disparities:
The article, Health disparities among Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries who participate in federal rental housing assistance programs (in English), discusses a study that found that working-age adults who received assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and who are also SSDI and/or SSI participants face many health disparities despite having consistent access to health insurance and higher rates of engagement with the healthcare system.

Employment and Education:

The article, Personal characteristics associated with working after disability onset for people with visual impairments (in English), discusses a study from researchers at the NIDILRR-funded project Employment for Individuals with Blindness or Other Visual Impairments (in English) that examined personal characteristics that influenced employment after the onset of a visual disability. The results of the study indicated that people who were female, received government benefits, and had multiple disabilities were less likely to work after the onset of their disability. Interventions that provide information about services to support continued employment may be useful, particularly for these groups.

The article, Pursuing graduation: Differences in work experience supports for young SSI recipients pursuing diplomas or certificates (in English), discusses a study that examined the differences in career- and work-based learning services and work experiences of students who earned a high school diploma or certificate of completion upon exiting high school. The results of the study suggested groups differed in the number and type of career- and work-based services, work experiences, post-high school expectations, and work-related concerns expressed by parents, who expressed concerns about their youth losing SSI benefits, among others.

Case Management:
The article, SSI youth and family case management: A taxonomy of critical factors, competencies, and translation to practice (in English), discusses a study that documented the taxonomy of case management strategies considered most effective in supporting youth with disabilities who receive SSI benefits during their transition process. The article also discusses the implications for policy, practice, and further research when supporting successful post-school outcomes of youth SSI recipients with and without disabilities.

Research In Focus:

The article, For People with TBI, Access to State-Level Supports May Contribute to Better Participation, Life Satisfaction, and Cognitive Function, discusses a NIDILRR-funded study where researchers looked at the relationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) related state-level supports and outcomes following TBI. Specifically, they wanted to know how variations of TBI-related supports among states may be related to outcomes on community participation, level of function, and life satisfaction, above and beyond the role that individual differences such as survivors’ socio-demographic background or injury characteristics played in achieving those outcomes. The authors noted that there appeared to be a connection between comprehensive and person-centered state-level TBI-related supports and more community participation and higher life satisfaction among those participants. This article is available in English.


  • Are you new to the disability community and would like to learn more about your benefits? NARIC’s Ask A Librarian series has an article that shares how you can learn more about your benefits, including websites that provide information and resources. This article is available in English.
  • People with and without disabilities that are looking for immediate or emergency help may contact their state’s human service or social service agency (in English). The US Federal Government provides several benefits and financial assistance programs, which may be of assistance in a time of need. These programs include unemployment benefits, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), welfare or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), among other programs.
  • Centers for Independent Living (CILs) (in English) are organizations run by and for people with disabilities. CILs offer a range of services and supports. Services may differ between centers, but many offer benefits counseling services to guide clients through the process of applying for and managing SSI, SSDI, state-level assistance, and other benefits.

Tools and Courses:

  • The National Disability Institute (NDI) offers a free financial wellness toolkit (in English) that may be used to help improve the financial future of people with disabilities. NDI’s toolkit includes financial education handouts, quick reference guides, and a 10-minute training series.
  • NDI provides a series of courses related to financial wellness (in English) for people with disabilities, service providers, families, and financial counselors that expand knowledge of financial wellness strategies that help people with disabilities build better financial futures. Course topics include effective financial counseling for people who receive SSDI benefits, financial inclusion essentials, and the changing face of benefits in Florida, among others.

Further Research:




About Answered Questions Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned above is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects, From the NARIC Collection, and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
This entry was posted in Answer Queue, Respuestas a las Preguntas, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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