Eligibility & Entitlement. The more resources that can be used to support a person seeking a home, the more successful and sustainable the home is likely to be. These resources include Public benefits based on income, housing status or disability, and private resources including employment and support from family. Managing these resources can be demanding but there are professionals who provide help. The Housing Resource Guide contains detailed information on how you can connect to the resources listed.
Supplemental Security Income, (SSI), benefits paid to someone whose disability limits their ability to work. In New York State this also entitles the recipient to support from Medicaid. Once someone has been working, even in a limited way, for several years they may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI. If a person qualifies for SSDI they become eligible for Medicare after two years. View the brief video linked below to learn more!
The NY State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) provides some residential services directly and funds nonprofit agencies to provide day and residential services. OPWDD will provide a listing of agencies that provide Service Coordination/Care Coordination. The Service/Care Coordinator will help to ensure that the individual is receiving and managing the benefits for which they qualify, and will help with planning the person’s services including housing. If a person seeks Self Directed Services OPWDD will provide a list of Self Direction Brokers who will guide budgeting and planning.
Individual Resources. Too often it is assumed that people with I/DD have no economic power. Since the advent of “Money Follows the Person” people who choose Self Directed Services have a significant say in their own budget as approved by OPWDD. Their Personal Resource Account (“PRA”), as approved by OPWDD allows for flexibility in choosing services and support staff. With incentive plans such as Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) or Impairment Related Work Expenses (“IRWE”) they can increase income without reducing SSI, and with Special Needs Trusts and ABLE accounts they can protect earnings and receive family support. Understanding how to optimize and manage these resources is essential to a robust housing plan. The Housing Resource can provide contact information for benefit specialists and financial planners throughout the state.