For those with disabilities, life is a little tougher than for those who do not suffer from a mental or physical disability. While Social Security Disability is a federal aid program designed to help those with disabilities, there are always improvements that can be made to further bolster our disabled population. The Colorado State Board of Human Services unanimously approved a rule that will make Colorado’s Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND) program more accessible for Coloradans with disabilities.
‘AND’ can be sought in addition to this Social Security Disability benefits they may already be applying for. If a person is in the process of applying for SSD or SSDI they can be approved for ‘AND’ in the meantime prior to hearing the decision from the SSA. ‘AND’ was created to put some desperately needed cash in the hands of people living with disabilities while they are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). These federal programs were designed to ensure that people living with disabilities can meet their basic needs.
It’s true that the queue in which a person must enter prior to being approved for SSD or SSDI benefits is quite long – up to a year for some. The new Colorado rule will give applicants more time to verify that they have a qualifying disability and make more health care providers available to provide the verification. The new rule will also give applicants more time to complete an SSI/SSDI application, a requirement of receiving ‘AND’, and allow those applying to receive ‘AND’ payments on a provisional basis while they take advantage of the longer timeline.
Finally, the new rule will take the responsibility of assessing the functional capacity of a disabled person off the shoulders of Colorado county workers who have no expertise in disability and no relationship with the applicants they are assessing. This is great news for the disabled seeking SSD. It should give those thinking of applying for SSD an incentive to get started with the process. ‘AND’ is there to give financial assistance to disabled seeking SSD benefits.