Free things for disabled People & Organizations Offering Freebies in 2020.
Free things for disabled People: If you are disabled and receive either SSI or SSDI, there could be a range of free goods and services available to you. If you are in need of assistance, the following services will provide you with various benefits. For each benefit, links are also given where necessary to assist you on your way to having your freebies. Let’s look at some of the no-cost benefits for which you might be eligible.
Organizations That Help People with Disabilities Get Discounts
Given that some disability discounts and freebies are only available through special organizations, we thought it would be beneficial to include them here. Many of these sites are updated regularly, so be sure to monitor them to learn about upcoming discounts and deals.
gov: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website features extensive guides and resources for Americans with disabilities and provides valuable information for those living with invisible disabilities as well.
Disabled World: Disabled World’s site offers news, disability information, a thriving online community and plenty of free online resources.
Easterseals: Easterseals provides children and adults with disabilities a number of services, from employment resources to recreational offerings.
Library of Congress: The Library of Congress offers access to books for those who are blind or whose physical limitations require them to use books in braille or audio format.
Lifeline: Lifeline is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that seeks to make communications services more affordable. Enter your city and state or ZIP code to see which phone carriers near you support Lifeline service.
The Arc: The Arc is a national community that advocates for disability rights. Their website provides free online resources for anyone who wants to get involved.
S. Department of Labor: This site offers a comprehensive list of programs and services available through the U.S. federal government to those with disabilities.
WellCare: WellCare works with families and individuals with complex medical needs by providing them with government-sponsored care services primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
Free Stuff for People with Social Security Disability
Free Over-The-Counter Medicine And Equipment
If you are an SSDI recipient, then you will automatically qualify to receive Medicare and may qualify for Medicaid depending on your income. There is a possibility that your health care plan gives you an over-the-counter benefit. Certain programs allow qualifying members to order a large variety of health products at no charge and get the items delivered to their homes.
The types of products you can receive for free are equipment like blood pressure monitors, heating pads and shower benches. Vitamins and supplements like fish oil, stress tablets and multivitamins are also available. States will usually have a print catalog or website listing the items you may order for free. It is also typical that recipients do not get charged any tax or shipping fees for these items.
Free Energy-Efficient Home Appliances
The United States Department of Energy has a Home Weatherization program available to certain low-income citizens in all US states and territories. Priority is given to homes that have a resident who receives SSI. The weatherization program provides government grants for free replacement of broken furnaces and energy-inefficient refrigerators and deep freezers in your home. This program can also provide roof repairs, window replacements, and HVAC fixes with the goal of making low-income Americans’ homes more energy-efficient. All of this may be free for you.
The Home Weatherization Program has many goals. It helps the government maintain existing housing, creates economic activity by providing employment to contractors across the country, and helps private citizens lower their energy and housing costs.
Free Career Training
For SSDI beneficiaries looking to get back into the workforce, the Social Security Administration runs a program that can support this endeavor. The Ticket to Work job training initiative works with State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other private partnerships to help recipients of SSDI.
Their purpose is to help recipients become independent again. The main benefit of this program is that it includes job opportunities with the government. There is a specific clause in the program stating that disabled applicants will not have to compete with non-disabled applicants.
The program will help the participant from beginning to end, helping him or her prepare for work and maintain the job. The Ticket to Work program lets its participants receive Medicare for eight years after they start working, as long as they still have a disability.
Free National Parks Passes
There are over 2,000 forest services, national park services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, and more for Americans to explore the nation’s landscape. If you receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), then you have the opportunity to enjoy the country’s natural parks for free. With an access pass, you can visit many of these sites to enjoy fishing, hiking, riding, sporting and so much more.
While you must typically pay $80 for an annual pass, the entrance fee is waived for SSDI recipients who receive a free access pass through SSDI. Beneficiaries can also waive the entrance fee for up to three guests so they can bring a friend or two along on their adventures. Several of these parks have ADA accessible handicap-friendly tours. Acquiring this access pass can be very beneficial for those who like to travel at a cheap price.
Free Home Appliances
The U.S. Department of Energy provides a Home Weatherization program to low-income citizens across the country. Individuals receiving SSI are given priority for this program and are automatically eligible. The purpose of this program is to provide federal grants to replace broken furnaces, energy-inefficient refrigerators, and freezers. The program can also assist with roof repairs, window replacements, and other fixes to help make American homes more energy-efficient.
Local weatherization agencies provide these services and can help you with the application process. When you contact your state, you can ask them to provide the address to the agency in your area. Once you apply and are approved for the program, the agency will perform an energy audit.
Free Smartphone and Phone Service
If you live within poverty guidelines on SSI or SSDI, you are likely eligible for a free phone with service. The old “Obamaphone” program has become more generous, with cell phone carriers now providing up to 1000 free minutes per month as well as unlimited texts.
In the past, many carriers had limited free talk time to 250 minutes. This is welcome news to low-income folks who need enough minutes to talk to doctors and service providers and to keep in contact with the family. Participants were previously limited to a candy bar or flip-style phones, but carriers are now starting to offer smartphones as well. To enjoy this low-income benefit, try Q Link Wireless. They offer a free smartphone, 1000 minutes, 1GB data, and unlimited texts each and every month.
Free Broadband Internet Service
If you are currently living on SSI or SSDI income in HUD-assisted housing (or are planning to live in one of these settings), a government initiative called ConnectHome Nation might be bringing free internet service to your location.
ConnectHome Nation currently provides free and low-cost internet service to communities in several cities. They are currently working on a national initiative to expand free and deeply reduced-cost broadband internet to 350,000 households in over 100 American communities.
Currently, they provide internet to HUD communities in cities including Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Boston, MA; Camden, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL; and Washington, DC.
Even if you don’t currently reside in one of these areas, it’s worth checking whether the program may be available in your community. To see if you can get free or reduced-cost internet in your zip code, visit ConnectHome nation’s website.