Benefits and Finances
Future Planning: Planning is a process of developing a plan for your child or yourself to provide personal, financial and legal protections. A plan for the future should address finances, supports and independence, and legal planning for guardianship and contingencies.
Health Insurance: Health insurance pays for medical care needed as a result of illness or accident. Health insurance may also pay for some preventative care. Insurance can be provided as an employment benefit. Students in college or vocational school full time after high school can be covered as dependents on their parents' health insurance until completing school or until reaching an age limit, which is generally 25. Insurance can also be provided through government programs, such as Medicaid.
Tax benefits: As a person with a disability, or the parent of a child with a disability, you may qualify for certain tax deductions, income exclusions and credits.
Social Security Income: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) were designed to provide income and support to individuals who are not capable of self-sufficiency due to disability. There are many incentives available to preserve benefits while employed.
Medicaid Waivers: Individuals who are medically qualified to receive institutional care may qualify for a Medicaid Waiver for home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. The cost of community services provided under the waiver can be no more than the cost of institutional care. Varying levels of service are available, and may include, but are not limited to: case management, transportation, training in activities of daily living, respite care or 24-hour personal assistance.
Legal Adult: When a student reaches the age of 18, also called the age of majority, that student is an adult and is presumed under Virginia law to be capable of making his or her own decisions. If the adult student is not capable of providing informed consent when making decisions, someone else may be appointed to make education decisions for the student.
Information and Advocacy: The application process for benefits can be confusing and require some technical assistance. Help is available through public and private agencies and firms.