Having a child with special needs can be very expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are funds available to help families pay for the many services needed. It is also important to put certain pieces in place to ensure that if anything happens to you, your child with a disability will be cared for and have the means to survive.

Government disability benefits, assistive technology devices, special housing funds and other financial benefits are available for people with disabilities and their families.

“Who is rich? He/she who rejoices in his/her portion.”

Pirkei Avot - Ethics of the Fathers

Relevant Resources

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes), designed to help aged, blind and disabled people, who have little or no income. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE) states that its purpose is to (1) encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life; and (2) provide secure funding for disability-related expenses of beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) and title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. For more information, click here.

Agency for Persons with Disabilities
Serves Floridians with developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Phelan-McDermid syndrome. Assists individuals with their application to receive Medicaid Waiver funding. Provides home and community-based services waiver, family and supported living waiver, Consumer Directed Care Plus and living facilities for people with developmental disabilities.

The Florida Department of Children and Families
Determines eligibility and ongoing case management of food assistance (food stamps), temporary cash assistance and Medicaid for families with children or older adults who are blind or disabled.

The Social Security Administration
Manages applications for disabilities (SSI, SSDI). Provides information regarding benefits on a walk-in or appointment basis. Offices located in Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines and Margate.

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability