Tips on Rental Assistance for Disabled People on Social Security

The information in this article is current as of November 26, 2021.

As the United States continues to experience economic uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, housing costs have increased, and the market has become more volatile.

This isn’t good news for millions of Americans who are frequently under-resourced in their ability to access safe and affordable housing, including those who are disabled on social security.

Fortunately, the federal government and other organizations offer programs that may be of help.

Disabilities can result in a significant loss in household income and impact the health and well-being of individuals and families in various other ways.

This article will cover information that you may need to know about rental assistance. In addition, we’ll cover a wide variety of tips available to help you get the resources you need.

Emergency Rental Assistance for the Disabled On Social Security

An emergency assistance program is available for people on social security. This is a new program that began in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides rental and housing assistance to people on social security.

If you’re receiving disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or you’re on Social Security, this program can help.

The Federal government understands that COVID has hit some people harder than others. A large number of Americans lost jobs and lost income. If you cannot pay your rent or mortgage payment, the U.S. government can provide you relief.

This program is supported by additional funding efforts at the state and local levels. Together, all three levels of government are working to keep people in their homes and help them avoid eviction or foreclosure.

Section 8 Voucher Program

Americans with disabilities can always apply to become a member of the Section 8 voucher program. This is the most extensive affordable housing program in the country. That’s both good and bad.

The good news is that Section 8 helps a lot of people every year. The bad news is that Section 8 helps a lot of people every year. There can be long waitlists to be moved into a Section 8 property in your area.

How Does Section 8 Work?

Section 8 works by providing low-income individuals and families with housing vouchers. These vouchers act as rebates to help with monthly rent for properties pre-qualified properties for the program.

Because monthly rental amounts can vary based on the area, the rebates can vary as well.

Section 8 Eligibility

Before you apply for the program, you’re going to want to make sure you can qualify. Qualification criteria depend on income, as well as your personal history.

First, you’ll need to decide where you want to live. Once you have an area where you want to live, you can contact the local housing authorities in that area. If there’s no housing authority for the neighborhood you want to live in, try contacting state or regional housing authorities.

Once you hone in on the desired area, you’ll need to figure out how much your household makes. That usually depends on the one or two incomes being brought in by the adults in the house. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has an entire library of online resources to help you determine if you qualify for Section 8 housing. First, however, contact your local Public Housing Authority to get the most accurate information for your specific circumstances.

Section 8 Immigration and Background check

Finally, Section 8 will want to know about your immigration status and criminal history. At least one person in your household needs to be a legally-documented American citizen to qualify for Section 8.

HUD will also look at any justice system involvement in your household when you apply. Your local housing authority will determine what type of history may still qualify and what may disqualify an applicant from the program.

How to Apply for Section 8

The first step to applying for Section 8 is to contact the local housing authority. Let them know you’re interested in signing up for the program, and they can advise you on the first steps you may need to take.

It’s beneficial to have an email address so you can sign up for Section 8 alerts. These alerts will let you know when the local housing authority is opening up the waitlist.

When the waitlist opens, get your name on it as soon as possible and be prepared to be patient, especially if you live in an area where the surrounding housing is expensive. 

Note that there is no way to speed up the waitlist process. Some people may attempt to defraud you by telling you to pay them money, and they’ll move you up the list.

There is never any cost to apply. So if someone asks you for money, that should be a red flag.

One way to speed up the process is to be flexible in your area. In some cases, a legitimate doctor’s note may help as well.

The Housing and Disability Advocacy Program (HDAP) for California Residents

The Housing and Disability Advocacy Program is relatively new. It started in 2016, was revised in 2019, and aims at helping Americans receive the disability benefits and housing support they deserve. 

HDAP helps these individuals by providing financial help. The program also offers “wraparound services” that support U.S. citizens while they find a more permanent housing situation.

The wraparound services provided include rental assistance, interim housing, case management, and housing navigation. In addition, HDAP will also offer more direct financial help with moving costs, security deposits, utility costs, and legal services.

In some instances, HDAP has even helped Americans with credit repair.

HDAP uses what they call a “housing-first” model for their program. They will intervene and improve someone’s housing situation based on evidence. If this evidence supports the level of need HDAP is looking to serve, that individual will receive assistance.

HDAP Eligibility

HDAP aims to help people who are currently experiencing homelessness. In addition, if someone is experiencing homelessness and is likely eligible for government disability programs, HDAP may step in to help them.

People who are experiencing “chronic houselessness” and who rely heavily on state and county-funded services take priority. 

It’s important to note that the HDAP program is only available to California residents.

A Roof Over Your Head

Rental assistance for people who are disabled on social security is possible. In addition, safe and accessible housing is a fundamental human right, and there are programs available that can help.

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