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West Virginia disability benefit programs.

Resources for the disabled in West Virginia are extensive. Non-profit agencies, government organizations, and federal government benefits can help with providing for health care, basic needs such as food and housing, and employment. Case mangers from the state are committed to helping residents with a disability get the help and support they need.

While there are several different places to turn to for assistance, the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services is the leading agency. They work with federal government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, as well as other organizations that are located within the state. Referrals, financial aid, applications for government benefits, and much more is offered by the Division of Rehabilitation Services.

One of the key services is help in applying for Social Security Disability. Examples of the cash assistance that people can claim is Social Security Disability (SSDI) and/or SSI - Supplemental Security Income. Staff from DDS can provide information and individualized, accurate support and guidance to those that are applying.

Both SSDI and Supplemental Security Income pay out cash benefits. The money can go to children or adults, provided they meet program terms. There are a number of conditions that need to be met by applicants, including being unable to work for a period of time, income limits, and more. Staff from the Division of Rehabilitation Services can answer questions.

The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services can also help those who are able to, and want to work. They are the state’s vocational rehabilitation resource for those with disabilities. Case managers help people prepare for careers consistent with their needs, interests and abilities.

In order to apply, there will be an interview and intake process that needs to occur. Your employment counselor will also talk about your career plans and the services that are available. They will discuss your exact disability and options that are available.

Clients will receive personalized services and access to a job counselor. They will advise you of your rights and work to create an individualized program that leads to part or full time paid employment. Benefits may include restoration, evaluation, vocational training, job placement assistance, occupational tools and equipment, and access to assistive technology. The entire process may take a few months or several years.




For more information on those programs, referrals, or other information from the Division of Rehabilitation Services, dial 1-800-772-1213.

The Bureau for Children and Families oversees many of the federal government low income programs. For example, they process applications for SNAP food stamps or LIHEAP energy bill assistance. Other aid can include rent help from section 211 or 8 vouchers. Family Services offered these benefits, and others, to the disabled that meet low income guidelines. The main phone number is 1-800-642-8589.

The West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services oversees the Federal/State Medicaid program. Assistance with enrollment information and eligibility. Counselors will help people apply for government Medicaid services including behavioral health, inpatient, outpatient, adaptive equipment, physician, nursing, pharmacy, dental care and other services. This is a key way to save money on medical bills. (304) 558-1700.

Additional organizations for the disabled

There are numerous other government agencies and non-profits that can help the disabled in West Virginia. Some are private groups and others are government funded.

West Virginia Advocates is designated by the state to offer advocacy and protection for West Virginians with disabilities, their caregivers and families. Call (304) 346-0847.

Referrals and information is from the Family Support Program, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities. Call (304) 558-0627. This group will assist families and individuals with a disability in accessing transportation, affordable childcare, home modifications, and other needed support and services.

While Senior Centers do focus on the elderly, they can also be involved in providing some benefits to older adults with a disability. It may be home delivered meals or food, recreation activities, and workshops on government health care. They can also assist in accessing or applying for resources, help people continue to reside at home and navigating the long-term care system. The main centers in West Virginia can be reached at 1-866-987-2372.

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living coordinates assistance to individuals with disabilities. Access skills development, learn about individual and systems advocacy, information and referral, transportation, peer support, personal assistance services, low income housing, and other supports. Beckley dial (304) 255-0122, Huntington (304) 525-3324, Charleston - (304) 965-0376, Spencer (304) 927-4080 or in Sistersville call (304) 652-2116.




Center for Independent Living provides information on rent and housing assistance, information and referral, skill training, self and systems advocacy training, and family support. 1-800-834-6408

West Virginia Home of Your Own Program provides the disabled with free counseling, legal aid and financial planning services. This assistance and support is for people with disabilities who want to become homeowners. Phone number is (304) 624-3641.

WVATS, or the West Virginia Assistive Technology System, disburses referrals and information, runs toll-free hotlines, training and education about AT devices and services, and provides funding. Phone 1-800-841-8436. They also work closely with the Partnerships in Assistive Technologies (PATHS), dial 1-800-841-8436.

Department of Education and the Arts’ Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) offers clients with rehabilitation technology services. Examples of assistance can be vehicle modifications, assistive technology, which includes computer access, and home updates. This can be installation of stairs and ramps, and modifications of bathrooms, kitchens, and doorways in a disabled families home. Benefits are also for the deaf and blind. Cal 1-800-642-8207, or in the Kanawha Valley dial (304) 766-4600.

The Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, runs the Children with Special Health Care Needs Program, or CSHCN. Clinics coordinate prescription medication programs, laboratory tests and X-rays, physical therapy, hearing aids, physician visits, medical equipment and supplies, surgery/anesthesia, and hospitalization. The office is at 350 Capitol Street, Room 427 Charleston, WV 25301. Call (304) 558-5388.

Appalachian Center for Independent Living, Inc.
Location is 4710 Chimney Drive
Charleston, WV 25302
Call (304) 965-0376 or (800) 642-3003

The Arc of West Virginia
Main address is 1021 Quarrier Street, Suite 200
Charleston, WV 25301
Telephone - (304) 344-3403

Brain Injury Association of West Virginia
P.O. Box 574
Institute, WV 25112
Main phone - (304) 766-4892

West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services
Main location is Town Center Mall, 3rd level
Charleston, WV25305
Call 1-877-987-3646 for information.





West Virginia Chapter of the Autism Society
C/O Kim Farley, P.O. Box 7
Huntington, WV 25706
Main number is (304) 544-4730

West Virginia Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America
Address is 336 Campbells Creek Road
Charleston, WV 25306
(304) 925-6830

West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Capitol Complex, Bldg. 6, Room 863
Charleston, WV 25305
Toll-free 1-877-461-3578

West Virginia Department of Education
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305
(304) 558-2681

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Medical Services (administers the Medicaid Program)
350 Capitol Street, Room 251
Charleston, WV 25301
Telephone - (304) 558-1703

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Division for Developmental Disabilities
State Capitol Complex, Building 3 Room 206
Charleston, WV 25305
(304) 558-0684

West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council
Location of office is 110 Stockton Street
Charleston, WV25312
Main number is (304) 558-0416

West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
301 East Main Street
Romney, WV 26757
(304) 822-4800

West Virginia University, Center for Excellence in Disabilities
Address is 959 Hartman Run Road
Morgantown, WV 26505
Toll-free 1-888-829-9426

By Jon McNamara

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