Living with a disability or having a loved one with a disability or special needs can be challenging. It can also prove to be very expensive, especially if you factor in costs, such as medical equipment, therapy tools, and medicine.
We understand that you want to provide your loved ones with nothing but the best. To help you out, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of discounts, grants, and free stuff for people with disabilities. Our list covers offers for adults and kids. We’ve included deals for persons with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, permanent disabilities, and cognitive disabilities.
How to Qualify for Disability Discounts
Many retail establishments offer discounts and freebies for people with disabilities. To qualify for disability discounts, bring your valid ID and proof of disability when you’re shopping. Veterans with disabilities may also be eligible to qualify for a whole host of benefits. These include VA medical benefits, VA home loan, VA education benefits, and access to exclusive discounts through the Military Discount Center. Requirements for the benefits and discounts for veterans with disabilities can vary.
Travel & Transportation Discounts
Free Car Grants for People with Disabilities
1-800-Charity Cars:1-800-Charity Cars provides struggling families with donated vehicles. The donated vehicles benefit military veterans, struggling families, survivors of domestic violence, and persons with medical needs.
Free Charity Cars:Free Charity Cars provides families and individuals in need with free vehicles. Beneficiaries include families with low income and people who have a medical disability and are in need of transportation.
Travel Grants & Discounts for People with Special Needs
Tip: Various airlines and cruise lines have special services, such as accessible seats, support, and assistive devices for individuals with special needs or disabilities. Check with your airline or cruise line of choice to view their guidelines and eligibility requirements, as these can vary across providers.
accessibleGO:accessibleGO is a unique travel platform that offers discounts for people with disabilities. Through clubGO, its exclusive travel club, members can enjoy up to 60% off on participating hotels, resorts, and more.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand: Alex’s Lemonade Stand funds pediatric cancer research, but it also has a Travel for Care Program that provides financial support, enabling families who need to travel to receive treatment for their child to offset their travel costs.
Angel Flight:Angel Flight features pilots who volunteer their services to families who have members with special needs. They provide free air transport to eligible individuals or groups, enabling them access to medical care, which would otherwise be difficult to access under normal circumstances.
Believe in Tomorrow: The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation provides housing and accommodation services to families with critically ill children. It has a hospital housing program and a respite housing program with six facilities that provide beach getaways and mountain escapes for children and their families.
Cerner Charitable Foundation: The Cerner Charitable Foundation provides financial assistance to families who have children with medical or special needs. Expenses covered by the grants include treatment, equipment, displacement, and vehicle modifications.
Epilepsy Foundation: The Epilepsy Foundation, through its J. Kiffin Penry Patient Travel Assistance Fund, provides individuals with medical or special needs with financial assistance that covers the cost of travel, so they can receive specialized care.
National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS): The National Children’s Cancer Society provides a broad range of support to children with cancer and their families. The organization provides a Transportation Assistance Fund to families to help offset travel and lodging costs for their child’s treatment.
Transportation Discounts for People with Disabilities
Tip: Different states offer varying public transportation discounts for people with disabilities. Check your local transit agency or transport system to learn more about their offers and eligibility requirements.
Amtrak:Amtrak provides discounts for both adults and children with disabilities. For adults, you can get a 10% discount, while kids can claim a 50% discount on top of the 10% discount on the children’s fare. Furthermore, passengers with disabilities who are traveling on Downeaster trains may receive a 50% discount. A 10% discount will also be given to individuals who are traveling with a person with a disability as their companion. See more Amtrak deals.
Car & Truck Rental Services for People with Special Needs
Avis: Avis has the Avis Cares Program, which provides special products and services, such as a transfer board and swivel seat, to customers with disabilities or special needs. See more Avis deals.
Budget: Similar to Avis, Budget also offers services for people with disabilities. These include providing assistive and adaptive devices and hand controls at no additional cost. Restrictions apply. See more Budget deals.
Other Rental Services: Other rental services that provide special services, such as providing accessible parking services, wheelchair-accessible rentals, and adaptive driving devices, to individuals with special needs or disabilities include Dollar Rent-A-Car, Enterprise, Hertz, and Mobility Works.
Car Insurance for People with Special Needs
It can be difficult to find auto insurance discounts for persons with disabilities, as most car insurance providers don’t offer such services. Modifying vehicles to accommodate your disability may even inflate your insurance rates, given that you need to purchase additional coverage for your custom equipment.
Given the difficulty of looking for insurance providers that offer unique discounts, you may be hard-pressed to find the right provider. Note that any physical or mental disability can’t be used by car insurance companies as a basis for calculating your premiums. You won’t be subjected to higher rates, but you also won’t likely be given preferential treatment or discounts.
But the good news is, you can still enjoy auto insurance discounts that are available to persons with disabilities. These include similar discounts on auto insurance that people without disabilities can receive, such as bundling, safe driver discounts, discounts for good students, and veteran or first responder discounts.
To help you with your search for car insurance for drivers with disabilities, you can use The Zebra, which is an insurance search engine that lets you compare and look for car insurance quotes from some of the country’s top insurance providers.
It’s worth noting that several car companies offer rebates to people with disabilities on mobility or accessibility equipment, such as lifts, ramps, lumbar support, running boards, and hearing devices.
Audi:Audi offers a mobility subsidy of up to $1,500 for hand controls and other eligible equipment.
BMW: Through BMW’s mobility program, you may get a one-time adaptive equipment reimbursement of up to $2,500. See more BMW deals.
Ford:Ford has its own accessibility program that offers a reimbursement of up to $1,000 on eligible adaptive equipment or a rebate of up to $200 for the following: alert hearing devices, lumbar support, or running boards.
General Motors: General Motors has an Accessibility Adaptive Equipment Program in which you can receive up to $1,000 when you add eligible equipment to your new GM vehicle. If you purchase or lease a new Express or Savana van and have qualifying adaptive equipment installed, then you can get a rebate of up to $1,200. Additionally, you can receive two years of OnStar coverage and services, which come with access to in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot.
Lexus: Lexus has Lexus Mobility, a program that offers reimbursement assistance of up to $1,000 for eligible equipment. Moreover, they provide flexible, extended-term financing of up to 84 months for both the vehicle and the adaptive equipment.
Bookshare:Bookshare provides people with print disabilities access to its online library. Its reading materials come in various formats, including audio, braille, and large font.
Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation (BRPF): Students with neurological disorders or individuals who have parents suffering from neurological disorders (spinal cord injury-related disorders) can apply for scholarships or research grants from the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation.
Microsoft: The Microsoft Disability Scholarship awards high school seniors with disabilities who are planning to attend a vocational or academic college with up to $5,000 annually for up to four consecutive years. Apply by March 15, 2022. See more Microsoft deals.
National Federation of the Blind (NFB): Students who are diagnosed to be legally blind in both eyes can apply for a scholarship under the National Federation of the Blind. Apply by March 31, 2022.
Perecman: The Perecman Firm PLLC, through its Avonte Oquendo Memorial Scholarship for Autism, is offering a $5,000 scholarship grant for a student living with autism or whose close family member is living with autism. Apply by July 31, 2022.
Health Discounts & Grants
Government Health Insurance for People with Disabilities
Medicaid: Medicaid provides people with disabilities with free or low-cost medical benefits. If you qualify for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then you may be eligible to qualify for Medicaid. Aside from SSI, other optional pathways for eligibility include poverty level, working people with disabilities, and special income levels, among others.
Medicare: If you’re under 65 years of age and have certain disabilities, or if you have end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, then you may be eligible to qualify for Medicare. To check for eligibility, application requirements, and coverage, visit the official website of the US government.
Affordable Care Act: The Affordable Care Act is an option for individuals who don’t qualify for Medicaid or other disability benefits but still need health coverage. It provides people in need with greater access to a host of affordable health insurance options. Learn more about when and how to enroll and how you can use your coverage by visiting the USA.gov website.
Therapy Tools & Mobility Aids for People with Disabilities
1800Wheelchair: 1800Wheelchair provides free shipping on all orders over $59 and exclusive offers on wheelchairs, powerchairs, scooters, and medical supplies. See more 1800Wheelchair deals.
Adaptive Sports Foundation: The Adaptive Sports Foundation offers sponsorship opportunities for children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. The sponsorship includes virtual adaptive fitness programs and winter snow sports programs.
Challenged Athletes Foundation: The Challenged Athletes Foundation is offering several grants for people with disabilities. These programs include sport expense grant requests, equipment requests, and athletic prosthetics requests, among other benefits.
Chanda Center for Health: The Chanda Center for Health offers regular wheelchair repair clinics, as well as a broad range of classes that tackle topics, such as nutrition, wound care, and more. While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily halted some of their services, they continue to provide free virtual classes and resources to people with disabilities.
Kelly Brush Foundation: The Kelly Brush Foundation has an Active Fund grant that provides individuals who have been paralyzed due to spinal cord injury with adaptive sports equipment.
Med Mart: Med Mart has special promotions and deals all year round that let you save money on mobility products. For instance, now you can get 10% off on best-selling items, plus free shipping on all purchases over $50. See more Med Mart deals.
PAN Foundation: The PAN Foundation provides individuals in need, particularly underinsured persons, with the necessary medical or critical treatment.
Silverts: Silverts is offering special discounts on all adaptive clothing, footwear, and accessories, plus free shipping on orders over $20. See more Silverts deals.
Vitality Medical: Vitality Medical offers affordable prices for their medical supplies and medical equipment. For a limited time you can save 10% on qualify orders over $75 with code DROP10. See more Vitality Medical deals and coupons.
CBD Discounts for People with Disabilities
C4 Healthlabs: Low-income, unemployed, or individuals with special needs can claim a 10% discount on CBD oil products from C4 Healthlabs. See more C4 Healthlabs deals.
Lazarus Naturals: Lazarus Naturals is offering 60% off on CBD products to veterans, people with long-term disabilities, and persons with low-income. Free shipping is also available on orders over $25. See more Lazarus Naturals deals.
Disney Parks: Disney Parks have a new Disability Access Service (DAS), which is designed to accommodate guests who have disabilities and are unable to wait in conventional lines. Aside from DAS, Disney Parks also have other special services for persons with disabilities. These include Disney’s Handheld Device, which offers assistive listening and audio descriptions. They’ve also developed a guide for guests with cognitive disabilities. See more Disney Parks deals.
Regal Movies: People with disabilities can enjoy their favorite films without having to worry about accessibility at Regal Cinemas. All Regal Entertainment Group theaters are accessible for persons who use a wheelchair or for persons with mobility or physical disability. Additionally, companions of people with disabilities may be given free admission. See more Regal Movies deals.
San Diego Zoo: While guests with disabilities would still have to pay admission fees, the San Diego Zoo provides free admission to their companions (personal attendant or caregiver). See more San Diego Zoo deals.
Seattle Aquarium: The Seattle Aquarium offers a $2 discount off admission for people with disabilities. The aides or companions of people with disabilities are eligible for free admission.
Free Recreation Pass from USGS: The United States Geological Survey (USGS) offers an Access Pass to US citizens or permanent residents who have been medically determined to have a permanent disability. The Access Pass is a free, lifetime pass that provides access to over 2,000 recreation sites managed by US federal agencies, such as national parks and federal recreational areas. It has a $10 fee for document processing and comes with a hangtag and brochure.
ConnectHome: SSI and SSDI recipients living in HUD-assisted housing may be eligible for free broadband internet service under the ConnectHome Program. Currently, the service is limited to selected areas.
Danny’s Wish:Danny’s Wish awards iPads to children with autism. They accept applications from September 1 to December 31 every year. To be eligible, the individual you’re applying for must have a diagnosis that falls on the autism spectrum.
Lifeline: People with disabilities or special needs may be eligible for a free or discounted smartphone and phone service through the Lifeline Program. Those qualifying for the program may enjoy a $9.25 discount per month. Lifeline discount companies include AT&T, T-Mobile and, Verizon.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy runs a Weatherization Assistance Program that aims to reduce energy costs and increase the energy efficiency of low-income households. The program prioritizes individuals who are over 60 years old or families that have one or more members with a disability.
Additionally, the Benefits.gov website is a great resource for information on housing and public utilities. It has well-organized information that’s divided per state, so it’s easy for you to find the information you need according to your location.
Free Tax Return Preparation for People with Disabilities
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, seeks to assist eligible individuals by offering them basic tax return preparation assistance free of charge. Qualified individuals include people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and taxpayers with limited English.
Service Animals & Pets Grants for People with Disabilities
Organizations and initiatives like the Assistance Dog United Campaign and BestFriends.org aim to bring people with disabilities and service animals together. The former provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities, allowing them to afford a service animal. The latter provides resources and guides on pet assistance to people with disabilities.
BroadFutures: Young adults with disabilities can look for gainful opportunities for training, paid internships, and employment through BroadFutures.
Job Accommodation Network: The Job Accommodation Network provides free, expert, and confidential guidance with regard to job accommodation solutions to individuals with medical conditions or disabilities.
US Department of Labor (DOL): The US Department of Labor is an invaluable resource for persons with disabilities who are seeking assistance for training and employment. They also have an Employment and Training Administration (ETA) that offers grant programs for people with disabilities looking to find employment. The ETA provides access to training services, vocational rehabilitation services, and more to persons with disabilities through its Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.
Best Ways to Get Disability Discounts
One of the best ways to learn more about how you can get freebies and discounts is by checking the websites of the country’s various federal departments and agencies.
Social Security Benefits
About: The government runs two Federal programs that have disability benefits. They’re administered by the Social Security Administration, and only individuals who have a disability and meet their requirements can qualify for either program. These are the Supplemental Security Income and the Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSI and SSDI, respectively. The former pays benefits based on your financial need, while the latter pays benefits to you and certain family members only if you are considered “insured.” This means that you’ve worked for a certain period and have been able to pay your Social Security taxes.
What each program covers: SSI benefits are funded by general tax revenues and cover the elderly, those with blindness, and people with disabilities who have no or low income. It’s financial assistance that enables them to meet their basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. SSDI covers people with disabilities who have a qualifying work history. The maximum benefit derived from the SSDI will be based on the applicant’s work history.
How to qualify: To qualify for disability benefits, you would need to apply for either program. Regardless of what you’re applying for, medical and other information will be collected. Moreover, you or your family member with disability will be assessed to check whether or not you meet the SSA’s definition of disability. Note that, unlike other programs, Social Security will only pay for total disability and doesn’t include partial or short-term disability.
Other ways to find discounts for people with disabilities include:
Connecting with communities and social groups with apps.
Conducting a local search for organizations in your area that assist people with disabilities.
Signing up for newsletters on websites that specialize in helping people with special needs or disabilities.
Using specialty websites or search engines that cater specifically to the needs of people with disabilities, such as BenefitsCheckUp.org.
Staying up-to-date with the latest news thanks to websites, such as the Disability Scoop and Disabled World. The former specializes in developmental disability news, while the latter provides disability-related news.
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