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Georgia disability benefit programs.

Find information on programs in Georgia that focus on the disabled. Several government agencies strive to meet their needs as well as those of their caregivers and immediate family. Benefits are provided to those with a disability that are outside of and beyond any standard low income or other government assistance programs.

Georgia offers several resources to those that qualify. Some of the aid is targeted at short term needs and can include meals or medical care. Other benefits offered, such as vocational training and counseling can help meet the longer term needs of the disabled. More information on the various services and organizations is below.

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, or DBHDD, administrates a number of the state programs. They offer support services, treatments, and other assistance to people with an eligible condition. This includes people with mental illnesses and addictive diseases, developmental disabilities, and others. DBHDD can help residents of all ages with the most severe and long-term conditions. They also partner with organizations such as the offices of Provider Services and Hospital Operations, division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Addictive Diseases, and other groups.

The DBHDD Office of Deaf Services provides access to behavioral health services and other benefits for the deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf blind individuals in Georgia.

The state will work to provide individuals with developmental disabilities an opportunity to live independently, at their home and in the least restrictive setting possible. With this goal in mind, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities helps people with autism, cerebral palsy, and some other conditions who require services similar to those needed by people with an intellectual disability.

The benefits provided can help families continue to care for a relative when possible. The state of Georgia will provide home type care to individuals who do not live with their families. The services were designed to build and encourage inclusion in the community and safety in the home environment. They can also deal with complex behavioral and/or medical needs. While the exact assistance offered will depend on a determination of level of need, they will try to offer those benefits. The department also works closely with other community resources as needed.




Call the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. They are located at Two Peachtree Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30303, and can be reached at (404) 463-8037.

Government assistance may be obtained from the Division of Family and Children Services. Families with a disabled member and that meet income and other guidelines can also benefit from these resources. Dial 1-800-GEORGIA.

  • Emergency food is available using federal government funds. This can help pay for groceries and food for low income and disabled persons in Georgia. Food stamps are an option too.
  • Utility bills assistance is offered for poor and low-income families.
  • Medicaid and other government insurance, such as PeachCare for Kids, are available.
  • TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is cash assistance for the very low income and their children.

High quality services are provided by the Division of Community Mental Health. This organization will help people where they live, in their own communities. Case managers will provide them with access to a wide array of services and referrals. Among other support, The Division of Community Mental Health keeps a statewide service system for the treatment of emotional disturbance and mental illness. Assistance is available for both adults and youth with a focus on recovery efforts. More information can be received by calling (404) 657-2136.

Georgia Department of Community Health’s (DCH) Division of Medical Assistance’s Service Options is the name of the agency that runs the program known as SOURCE, or Resources in a Community Environment. This provides case management and primary care to individuals with chronic health conditions. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals with disabilities and the elderly. SOURCE will link them with primary medical care, including home care and other local community-based services. The program will integrates primary medical care with other benefits and supportive services through case managers who work with their physicians, doctors, and insurance plans. (404) 657-7211.





The Division of Public Health’s Family Health Branch’s Children and Youth with Special Needs and the Babies Can’t Wait program is for infants and toddlers under the age of 3. It supports those with developmental delays or disabilities. Assistance is also available for their families and parents.

Some of the early intervention services provided may include assistive technology, medical diagnostic services, family training and counseling, medical and nursing services, food, nutrition services and speech/language therapies. Physical services may be available as well as well as assistance for any psychological needs. Georgia will also try to arrange transportation and vision care. The objective of the agency is to ideally eliminate the need for special services later in life by helping children early. Staff will work with infants that have developmental disabilities and help them reach their maximum developmental potential. (404) 657-2878

Medical care may be administered by the Department of Community Health’s Special Needs’ Children’s Medical Services Program. The state runs a fully comprehensive system of dental and healthcare for youth and children. Assistance is for those with chronic medical conditions, provided they are under the age of 21. Income thresholds are in place as well.

Some of the health care provided or paid for can include medical and surgical treatment services from private providers and hospitals. Bills paid for may be those of a physician service, hospitalization, surgical services, prescription medicines, durable medical equipment, and other supplies that may be needed for the qualified medical conditions.

Only children and teens with certain medical conditions may qualify for benefits from the Special Needs’ Children’s Medical Services Program. This includes cystic fibrosis, asthma and other lung disorders, hearing loss, neurological disability such as seizures, benign tumors, and hydrocephalus, visual disorders, diabetes, and others. More information can be obtained at (404) 657-2726.

Long-Term Care Services (LTC) provides both community and home based services. They even cover assisted living or nursing facilities. Staff work to improve a senior or disabled person's health and allow the individual to live in the least restrictive setting possible.

The care available in Georgia can be provided in the community, in the patient’s home, or at a nursing facility. There will be fees due, and they can be paid for by Medicaid, out of pocket by the individuals, insurance, or long term care type plans.  Types of long-term care offered include certified home health services, adult day health care center, private duty nursing, nursing facilities, and respite care.

Adult Day Health Care Centers are an option. This offers a community-based day program and other benefits include health, therapeutic, and social services. They were all created to meet the specialized needs of the disabled persons who would otherwise be at risk of placement in a nursing facility.







Certified Home Health Services offer medical, therapeutic and other medical care services in a disabled individual's home. This will be part-time, intermittent care. If and when needed, it also provides additional support services from nurses, physicians, therapists, social workers, personal care attendants, homemakers, and other health care staff.

Nursing Facilities are available across Georgia. They serve as a short or long term residence for people who require constant medical care. They need to offer a certain number of benefits, including basic assistance.

Respite Care is the name of assistance provided by unpaid caregivers of qualified individuals who are unable to care for themselves. The care is generally provided on a routine basis because of the need for relief of those unpaid persons.

For more information on any of those Long-Term Care benefits listed above, dial (404) 656-4507.

Additional state and non-profit disability programs in Georgia

Georgia Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services (DAS)
Two Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 9385
Atlanta, GA 30303-3142
Toll-free: 1-866-552-4464
While most of the assistance is for seniors, some programs can benefit the disabled as well. This includes the aging and disability resource connection, home-delivered services including delivered meals, health promotion and disease prevention, home modification and repair, and counseling.

Georgia Department of Labor’s Rehabilitation Services
Suite 510 Sussex Place, 148 Andrew Young International Boulevard, NE
Atlanta, GA 30303-1751
Dial (404) 232-3910
The agency runs programs to help people with disabilities gain meaningful employment. Examples of services include the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program, the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, Disability Adjudication Services, Georgia Industries for the Blind, and also the Business Enterprise Program which is for people with visual impairments.

Georgia Department of Family and Health’s Disability and Mental Health
Offers benefits such as the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission, the Babies Can’t Wait Program, COMPASS, libraries for the blind, the Mental Health Services locator service, and also the Georgia Relay service for the hearing impaired.





Georgia Department of Community Health’s (DCH) Division of Public Health’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programs
Two Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 657-6652


By Jon McNamara

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