Applying for Social Services
There are numerous government agencies that support people with disabilities. There are federally sponsored programs, state based programs, county based services, and even city and town based services. Some programs, such as Medicaid are hybrid programs with federal requirements and partial funding but administered by the states through various state agencies. People are often unaware that Medicaid is not one program, but a variety of programs that are administered by various government agencies.
Eligibility requirements differ significantly depending on the government organization serving a particular population. Some programs, such as SSI and Medicaid have financial requirements (maximum assets that can be owned and income that can be earned to insure eligibility). Other programs, such as services from the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) may have disability requirements that may make it difficult to secure services at younger ages, but may result in approvals at older ages when other aspects of a disability may manifest themselves.
In addition to financial and eligibility rules, each government agency may provide one or a combination of services to a targeted group. Some agencies serve only people with developmental disabilities, while others will serve people with a whole range of disabilities, such as the NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), which provides employment based services to people with a variety of disabilities.
We at Disability Services & Advocacy use our knowledge of the social service system to assist clients in finding the organizations that provide the services our clients need and making referrals when appropriate.