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HUD program provides rental assistance to the disabled

Countless people in the Los Angeles area and the rest of the country depend on Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits because they are unable to earn a living due to disabling injuries, illnesses and conditions. SSD benefits are intended to replace the income of individuals who cannot financially support themselves due to a serious and long-term medical condition.

There are two programs that offer aid to qualified disabled individuals in the United States, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSDI program is for former workers who paid a sufficient amount of income into Social Security over the 10 years prior to becoming disabled. SSI is a need-based program for disabled individuals who do not have sufficient earnings to qualify for SSDI benefits.

In addition to SSD benefits, the government is also offering housing aid to the disabled population. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced that $98 million is being set aside to help thousands of people with disabilities meet their rent payments.

The funds are expected to finance 3,530 housing units in 13 states, including California, for very low income people who require long-term services and support in order to live independently. HUD is now working with Medicaid and Health and Human Services officials to identify people who may be eligible for the rental assistance.

The assistance is available through HUD's Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, which is the result of a 2010 law aimed at providing the disabled with community-based housing options. HUD said it expects that many of the people who qualify will be transitioning out of institutions and into independent living.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Millions In Disability Housing Aid On Way," Shaun Heasley, Feb. 14, 2013

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