What Are the Benefits for People With Disabilities?

People with disabilities are entitled to Social Security disability benefits, family assistance programs, home energy and utility assistance, prescription drugs benefits, and Supplemental Security Income based on financial need. Social Security Disability Insurance provides benefits to the person with the disability and certain family members if the person worked long enough and paid Social Security contributions.

A person with a disability is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as an individual with a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits a major life activity, a person with a record of such impairment, or a person perceived as having such an impairment. However, the ADA does not enumerate all impairments.The ADA protects the civil rights of persons with disabilities by ensuring equal opportunities in employment, government access, commercial facilities, public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications. Several acts reinforce the ADA, such as the Fair Housing Act, Telecommunications Act, Air Carrier Access Act, Architectural Barriers Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The ADA requires employers with at least 15 employees to give qualified persons with disabilities equal employment-related opportunities that are available to others. It makes it unlawful to discriminate persons with disabilities in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training and pay as well as in social activities and other employment-related activities. It limits the questions that an employer can ask about a job candidate's disability before he offers him the job. It also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to the known disability, unless doing so causes the employer undue hardship.