Honoring 27 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

This month marks 27 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. On this day, our nation committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities, working towards a future in which all the doors are open to equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, integration and economic self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace, school-systems, transportation, and all other areas that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as able-bodied citizens.

In honor of the 27th anniversary of the ADA, Benefits.gov would like to highlight some of the features of our site aimed to help citizens with disabilities find information about benefits, and how to apply.

Determine your Eligibility:

The first part of determining eligibility for disability benefits is to familiarize oneself with the “Listing of Impairments” put forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA). These listings are separate for adults and children (under 18), but both are further broken down into a classification by the type of disability. After selecting a type, you can find the criteria that SSA will use to determine if you are eligible to claim disability. If you feel that you or a family member has met the criteria but remain unsure of what SSA programs you may be eligible for, we recommend using the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST). This tool can help narrow your search by answering additional questions about your current situation. Our site also houses information for disabled veterans and disabled citizens looking to get back to work through the Ticket to Work program.

How to Apply:

There are two ways to submit your application for Social Security Benefits. First, you can apply online; make sure you read through all the suggested steps before starting an application as it will guide you through collecting all the information you will need to enter before you start the application. Second, you can call SSA toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to schedule a visit to your local SSA office. You can use the SSA Locator to find the nearest SSA office to you. If you choose to submit your application through an SSA office, it may still be helpful to review what information SSA requires from you in an online application as that will help ensure you bring all the necessary documents and information to your appointment.

More Resources:

Benefits.gov also offers a short video that helps walk users through quick tips and best practices when looking to apply for disability benefits for themselves or a loved one. Also, if you feel that your rights as a person with disabilities may have been violated, you can contact the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) National Network, which provides individual guidance on the ADA and other disability-related laws. You can reach the ADA National Network by calling Toll Free Voice or TTY at 1-800-949-4234 or by sending an email. For more information and materials on the ADA please visit ADATA.org.

We hope you found this information helpful to you or a loved one looking for information on Disability Benefits.

Social Security Disability Assistance
Disability Assistance