Government Programs

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Government assistance for individuals with spinal cord injuries is available through various local, state, and federal programs. Resources include information on applying for disability benefits through programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Additionally, individuals can learn about Spinal Cord Injury Waivers and eligibility criteria for receiving health care assistance at home or in the community.

Find support services that encompass a wide range of assistance, including locating and funding attendant care and personal assistance, providing assistive technology and consumable medical supplies, installing emergency alert response systems, adapting environments for accessibility, offering personal counseling, conducting rehabilitation engineering evaluations, providing transportation services, and offering transition case management.

Other government programs support continuing education and training, employment, family and caregiver support, housing needs, and transportation. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs supports VA specialty centers for veterans with spinal cord injuries, providing access to medical, mental health, and social services.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Summary of Key Points

This consumer education sheet summarizes key points of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This legislation made it a violation of federal law to discriminate against people with disabilities, just as civil rights laws protect people against discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national origin, and religion. The ADA is divided into four main sections, called “Titles”: 1. Employment, 2. State & Local Government, Transportation, and Public Service, 3. Public Accommodations, and 4. Telecommunications. Knowing your rights in each of these four areas can assist you in reentering the job market and pursing an active lifestyle. Additional information on the ADA can be located at:


Unlocking the Mysteries of the ADA

Discriminatory ADA Education and Reform Act Blocked by Senate Democrats

Created through a partnership of federal agencies, this website is an excellent tool for finding and accessing the government programs designed to help you. The website offers the option to search for benefits according to category, state, or federal agency. Select Benefits at the top and decide how you would like to search for available benefits from the options under the tab. A good way to start is by selecting Benefit Finder to help you decide which benefits to look for.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

This helpful U.S. government website explains the various aspects of Medicare and Medicaid or CHIP coverage. Here you’ll find questions and answers about health plans, providers etc. There are also research articles, statistics and tips on applying for various services and programs.

A variety of consumer education sheets were developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to help people better understand clinical studies. Descriptions are provided on clinical trials and observation studies, who and where clinical studies are conducted, how long studies last, reasons for conducting them and who and how one participates in a clinical study.

Department of Veteran Affairs – Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders

The VA’s Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders System of Care provides a coordinated life-long continuum of services for eligible veterans with spinal cord injury. The system is designed around 24 hub’s across the nation. Each hub runs specialty centers comprised of highly trained providers including doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, psychologists, and other professions. All professionals are uniquely equipped to support and treat people with spinal cord injury or disorder.

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GirlsHealth.Gov was created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office on Women’s Health  (OWH) to help girls (ages 10 to 16) learn about health, growing up, and issues they may face. promotes healthy and positive behaviors in girls, giving them reliable and useful health information in a fun, easy-to-understand way. The website also provides information on Illness & Disability to help teach girls with disabilities, family members, and friends about healthy living.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

Provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, JAN is a service intended to help employees, job seekers, entrepreneurs, and employers create a more accessible environment by providing information about job accommodations, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities. Assistance is available over the phone or online. JAN also provides consulting services to decide the best course of action in making a business accessible as well as ideas for accommodating disabilities in the work place.

Long-term care encompasses everything from long-term services and supports and finances, to where you will live and how you will navigate the myriad of legal, family, and social dynamics along the way. was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help individuals accurately plan for long-term care needs. 

It answers questions about the nature of long-term care, who needs it, how much it costs (with a state-by state breakdown), how it can be paid for, who provides care within long-term care facilities, and details on Medicare and Medicaid coverage of long-term care. Not only does the site explain why everyone needs to plan for long-term care, but also it takes one through the step-by-step process.

Make The Connection is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives. Search their extensive video library to hear stories of strength and recovery. Explore information about signs, symptoms, and conditions that are related to mental health and well-being.

This website describes the services provided by Medicare, which offers insurance for people over the age of 65 or individuals under 65 with certain disabilities. On the home page, you’ll find information on health & drug plans, links that offer comparisons of hospitals, nursing homes and home health care agencies, and access to tools that help you find suppliers of medical equipment & supplies, Medicare forms, and replacement or correction of your Medicare card.


My HealtheVet

My HealtheVet was designed to help Veterans manage their healthcare needs. Veterans can refill VA prescriptions, keep track of their VA medical appointments and access their personal health records. There are also useful tools and resources designed to enrich each Veteran’s treatment experience and help them make informed decisions.


MyHealthFinder is an online resource provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It offers personalized health recommendations and information based on age, gender, and other factors. Users can access a variety of tools and resources related to preventive health care, including recommendations for screenings, vaccinations, and healthy lifestyle behaviors. MyHealthFinder aims to empower individuals to take control of their health by providing easy-to-understand information and actionable steps to improve overall well-being.

National Council on Disability

Appointed by the President of the United States, this council exists to advocate for disability rights and legislation. This website keeps you informed of programs designed to foster a more accessible society. Here you’ll find reports and newsletters about ongoing research and new legislative initiatives, as well resources and toolkits on disability policy. 

National Resource Directory

The National Resource Directory (NRD) connects Wounded Warriors, Service Members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them. The NRD is hosted, managed, maintained, sustained and developed by the Defense Health Agency’s Recovery Coordination Program.

It provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. Visitors can find information on a variety of topics including benefits & compensation, education & training, employment, family & caregiver support, health, homeless assistance, housing, transportation & travel, volunteer opportunities and other services & resources. Start by selecting How to Use this Site.

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS)

OSERS is part of the U.S. Department of Education committed to improving opportunities in education and employment for people with disabilities by supporting programs that facilitate equal access to disabled individuals. Here you’ll find research, policies and programs dedicated to this initiative. The website offers detailed information on understanding and implementing important legislation as well as publications and tools for making education and employment more accessible. Within the index in the center of the home page, select Reports & Resources. This page offers publications and fact sheets about employment and educational opportunities, and disability rights.

Paralyzed Veterans of America

The PVA’s mission is to improve the quality of life of its members by advocating for improved health care, research, education and awareness of disability rights and programs for veterans. The website focuses primarily on injured veterans; however, the information on disability advocacy and sports and recreation applies to veterans and non-veterans alike.

Social Security Administration

This website covers Social Security issues specific to disabled individuals. Here you can get information on applying for benefits along with extensive lists of links to pages that answer questions about how Social security works and how it applies to your situation.

Social Security-Benefits for Children with Disabilities (Social Security Administration, 2016)

This booklet, from the Social Security Administration, is for the parents, caregivers, or representatives of children younger than age 18 who have disabilities that might make them eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. It is also for adults who became disabled in childhood (prior to 22), and who might be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. (We call this SSDI benefits a “child’s” benefit because it’s paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.) This booklet will help you decide if your child, or a child you know, might b eligible for SSI or Social Security.

Ticket to Work

Ticket to Work connects individuals with disabilities who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits with free employment services. The program provides information on preparing for work, and finding and managing a job. Participants receive services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement and training from authorized Ticket to Work service providers, such as employment networks or state vocational rehabilitation agencies.

United States Access Board

The Access Board is an independent federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is a leading source of information on accessible design. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for buildings, transit vehicles, and medical diagnostic equipment. It also provides technical assistance and training on those requirements and on accessible design and continues to enforce accessibility standards for federally-funded facilities.


VA Caregiver Support Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs has two benefit programs for caregivers: The Program of General Caregiver Support Services (eligible Veterans all eras) and the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (eligible post-9/11 Veterans).  Each VA Medical Center has a Caregiver Support Coordinator available to assist with enrolling in these programs. For help, contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator using the Caregiver Support Coordinator search tool, or call the VA Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 (toll free 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET).

Veterans Health Library

The Veterans Health Library offers Veterans, family members, and caregivers 24/7 access to comprehensive, Veteran-focused health information. The Library is a one-stop source for health information to help Veterans stay well and well-informed. There are over 1,500 health sheets, over 150 videos, Go-to-Guides, and Flipbooks that have been approved by VA experts, and including spinal cord injury. All health information is available to Veterans, their family and the public, no matter where the Veteran receives care.


Working and SSDI Benefits

This consumer education article details the requirements for how much you can work and still maintain SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) benefits. The article also provides additional consumer education sheets on working and eligibility for Social Security Disability.

Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) began when several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, took action to help others in need. What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover and transition back to civilian life. If you are a veteran injured after 9/11/01, select Programs.  Here you can learn about WWP’s programs, which are uniquely structured and designed to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement.