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Indiana disability benefit programs.

Indiana residents with a disability can get help from assistance programs and benefits that are administered by the state or partner non-profit agencies. Anything provided to the disabled is offered in addition to the standard state, local, and federal government programs that can help the low income and the working poor.

Individuals and their families can turn to any one of several different organizations. They can provide referrals, information, and sometimes directly offer the disabled the benefits they need. Two of the leading departments to contact are the Family and Social Services Administration as well as Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, however other groups in Indiana also provide assistance. The staff are committed to ensuring individuals get the support and assistance they deserve.

Indiana does operate a Disability Determination Bureau. This can help answer questions people have on cash compensation, insurance and financial aid. The state will ensure applicants for Supplemental Security Income and/or SSDI are treated fairly.

The state works to correctly identify disabled adults, children, and other beneficiaries. Qualified adults with potential to gain some form of income or work will be referred to a public or private Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), which can help them gain financial benefits they are entitled to and also hold a job.

The Disability Bureau works closely with the federal government and the over 20 social security Field Offices that are located throughout Indiana. They will follow all rules and regulations in place when they make their medical determinations. Disability claims can be filed through your local Social Security office, or dial 1-800-772-1213. Or to call the Indiana bureau, dial 1-800-457-8283.

The Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) works with residents in an effort to help them live independently in their communities and homes. Case managers from BDDS assist individuals and help them receive residential services, community support and also get assistance with using a person-centered plan to help determine which services are needed. Most of the resources listed below are administered by them.




First Steps is the name of a program for Indiana families with toddlers or infants that are experiencing developmental delays or disabilities. The goal is to ensure they have access to early intervention services close to home when they need them. The service is offered as a locally-based, family-centered, coordinated system that provides early intervention services to those that are at risk.

Professionals from education, social service and health agencies are brought together by First Steps. This will give Indiana's families and children the widest possible array of early intervention resources. This government program and the benefits administered are for children three years of age and younger. The individual also needs to be experiencing developmental delays or they may have a diagnosed condition that may lead to a future developmental delay.

Financial aid and resources may be offered by the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). They administer several state and federal low income programs and cash benefits. Examples include SNAP food stamps, programs like TANF cash assistance, low income energy bill help and more. The main intake number is 1-800-403-0864.

BVIS, or Blind and Visually Impaired Services, is offered by the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS). Benefits will be offered to qualified Hoosier’s that are blind or visually impaired. The state will ensure they get the care they need for medical or other reasons. Another focus is on employment and self-sufficiency.

In addition, the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program provides independent living services for people age 55 and older with a severe visual impairment. They can get help with activities including mobility, cooking, money management, communications skills, Braille, personal grooming, and low vision aids. Dial (800) 545-7763.

To follow up on above, the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program provides career and entrepreneurial opportunities for the legally blind. The clients need to be currently part of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). These blind entrepreneurs in Indiana currently manage a wide variety of food-service operations, including coffee shops, cafeterias, vending locations, and highway area vending sites. Qualified clients can receive training, career counseling and opportunities to become productive, independent business owners.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services is another department of BDDS. This particular group provides assistance to identify and find resources to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing. A number of benefits are available to these individuals and their families throughout the State of Indiana. Toll-free (800) 545-7763

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services Vocational Rehabilitation Services, or VRS, will help residents with disabilities prepare for, find, and keep employment. The client will receive hands on support. The individual will work closely with a staff member throughout the entire employment process. The state will provide them with active participation in their rehabilitation process.




Another benefit from VRS is that individuals with the most severe disabilities or hardships will be placed with qualified job coaches/trainers. They will offer the client individualized and ongoing support services and any other help that may be needed for the individuals to retain employment. (317) 232-3980.

Indiana Department of Health’s Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) offers additional medical care to residents under the age of 21 with serious, chronic medical conditions. A number of conditions are covered, and a few examples are severe asthma, autism, cystic fibrosis, cancer, hydrocephalus,, heart conditions, and much more. Some general guidelines are the condition will need to produce a disability, disfigurement, or limits the child’s ability to function. It also need to be a two year or longer condition and will produce a chronic disabling physical condition without assistance.

Medical assistance provided may include diagnostic evaluations, specialty care and other services related to the eligible medical conditions, comprehensive well child and sick child care, immunizations, free prescription drugs, community referrals and information. Even routine dental care type benefits can be provided in Indiana. Toll-free (800) 475-1355.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s (FSSA) Division of Aging can mostly help older individuals. This non-profit offers a number of programs. Some of them include Home Health Care, Medicaid Waiver Program, Free Meals, Long-term Care & Medicaid, Money Management, the Older Hoosiers Program, and much more.

Another key benefit offered is Care Select. This is a medical care program that can assist Medicaid recipients who benefit from specialized attention or that may have special health needs. As part of this program, the disabled individual can pick a primary doctor, dentist and a health plan by choosing one of the Care Management Organizations (CMOs) contracted with the state. They will then coordinate your needed health care needs and benefits that you are entitled to. Care Select can support the aged, blind, disabled, wards of the court and foster children. Toll-free 1-888-673-0002.

Additional non-profit and disability agencies in Indiana

American Council of the Blind of Indiana (ACBI)
Location is 5885 North Central
Indianapolis, Indiana 46220
(317) 251-2562

Agency The Arc of Indiana
107 North Pennsylvania Street, Suite 800
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Toll-free number is 1-800-382-9100

Autism Society of Indiana
Main address - 4740 Kings Way Drive, Suite 7
Indianapolis IN 46205
Call (317) 695-0252





Brain Injury Association of Indiana
Address is 9531 Valparaiso Court, Suite A
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Main phone - (317) 356-7722

Division of Disability & Rehabilitative Services (DDRS)
P.O. Box 7083, 402 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46207
Toll-free 1-800-457-8283

Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging
9302 North Meridian Street, Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46260
(317) 818-0702

Indiana Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
7301 Georgetown Road, Suite 112
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(317) 870-2500

Indiana Deaf-Blind Association
9901 Pendleton Pike, Tr. Lot 16
Indianapolis, IN 46236

Indiana Department of Education
151 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Main phone number is (317) 232-6610

Indiana Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Division, Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
2 North Meridian Street, 6B
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 233-7634
This agency offers assistance to people impacted by diabetes.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration - This is one of the main government organizations. There are a few different departments that are part of it, and they are focused on helping the disabled, family members, care givers and others.

  • Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services, Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) - DHHS provides assistance to identify and find resources to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their families throughout Indiana. Location is 402 West Washington Street, Room W453, P.O. Box 7083, Indianapolis, IN 46207
  • Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA), Address is 402 West Washington Street, W 453, Indianapolis, IN  46207, Toll-free (800) 901-1133
  • Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services, TBI Lead Agency, Location is 402 West, Washington Street, W 453, Indianapolis, IN46207, phone Call (317) 232-1759
  • Medicaid, P.O. Box 7083, 402 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46207, Call (317) 233-4454 for information.





Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities
150 West Market Street, Suite 628
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Main phone number is (317) 232-7770

Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Office location: 7725 North College Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 253-1481

Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD)
1200 East 42nd Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205
(317) 920-6232

Indiana University, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
2853 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 855-6508

Indianapolis Regional Office of Paralyzed Veterans of America, Indianapolis VA Regional Office
575 North Pennsylvania Street, Room 328
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 916-3628

Indianapolis Resource Center for Independent Living
1426 West 29th Street, Suite 207
Indianapolis, IN 46208
(317) 926-1660
Toll-free (866) 794-7245

Learning Disabilities Association of Indiana
1508 East 86th Street, #275
Indianapolis, IN46240
Toll-free 1-800-284-2519

Spina Bifida Association of Central Indiana (SBACI)
P.O. Box 19814
Indianapolis, IN 46219
Call (317) 592-1630

United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Indiana, Inc.
Address is 107 North Pennsylvania Street, Suite 804
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Telephone - (317) 632-3561


By Jon McNamara

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