Various government agencies provide free grants for the disabled, which are aimed at helping disabled persons and their families both physically and financially. Free grants entail that the money or award given out by the agency does not need to be repaid. While some grants are awarded to communities, hospitals, colleges and universities, and other organizations to help the disabled through research and creating awareness, other grants go directly to disabled persons and their families. Some free grants for the disabled include Capital Assistance Programs, Centers for Independent Living, Social Security-Disability Insurance, Developmental Disabilities Basic Support and Advocacy Grants, and Blind Rehabilitation Centers.
The Capital Assistance Program for Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities is provided by the Federal Transit Administration, which is part of the Department of Transportation. The program offers grants to nonprofit organizations and approved government bodies to help elderly and disabled persons afford transportation costs. The grants are designed to fund transportation projects for the elderly and disabled in urban, suburban and rural areas.
Centers for Independent Living is a program intended to help individuals with severe physical, mental or sensory disabilities who are unable to function independently within a community or household setting. Grants for the program are provided by the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, which is part of the Department of Education. These grants are available to private nonprofit groups and are designed to the fund the creation and operation of independent living centers, which provide essential services for disabled individuals.
Social Security-Disability Insurance is provided by the Social Security Administration. The program provides free grants to workers under the age of 65 who are unable to perform financially gainful activities because of a mental or physical disability that has lasted, or is going to last, a minimum of 12 months. The grant is awarded to qualifying individuals as a monthly cash benefit, and sometimes rehabilitation costs are also covered.
Developmental Disabilities Basic Support and Advocacy Grants are provided by the Administration for Children and Families, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Grants are awarded to eligible states to be used in the development of coordinated systems that provide services for individuals with disabilities and their families. The goal is to help the developmentally disabled become more independent and more involved with their communities.
The Blind Rehabilitation Centers program awards grants to VA (Veterans Affairs) Medical Centers to finance the provision of specialized health services to blind veterans. The program is run by the Veterans Health Administration, which is part of the Department of Veteran Affairs. To be eligible, veterans must have enlisted in the military before September of 1980.