Disability in Tennessee

Like most states, Tennessee has a Disability Determination Services department that is in charge of evaluating individuals who apply for disability funds.  The office works in accordance with Tennessee and Federal guidelines to determine who is eligible for disability and what kind of disability they should receive.  In addition to deciding who can receive Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, they also decide who is eligible for other programs.

Medicaid

One of these programs is Medicaid.  Those with a disability in Tennessee who also have very low or no financial resources may qualify for Medicaid.  However, Medicaid is a separate application from standard disability, and it will require you to prove your income and expenses.  You’ll need to supply check stubs, monthly bills, bank statements, tax returns, and more.  If you qualify, Medicaid will help pay for your medical bills and prescriptions.

TennCare

TennCare is an extension of the Medicaid program for residents in Tennessee.  In addition to providing medical coverage to those who are unable to afford it, TennCare provides medical benefits to people who either have no insurance or who have been designated as medically un-insurable.  Depending on what kind of income you have, you may be required to pay a small monthly premium or make a co-pay for doctor’s visits.  Note, too, that if you begin receiving more income, you may lose your Medicaid or TennCare eligibility.

Vocational Rehabilitation Program

In addition to medical assistance, the state of Tennessee offers a variety of other programs to help an individual with a disability get back on their feet or increase their quality of life.  One of these is the vocational rehabilitation program.

The vocational rehabilitation program takes those with disabilities and helps them either enter the workforce for the first time or return to work after learning how to cope with their injury or illness.  The program helps individuals recognize their strengths and pairs them up with jobs that cater to those strengths.  The individual works one on one with a career counselor to create their own employment plan, determine how, if necessary, to gain the education needed for their plan, and determine the best way to get the education they need for their job.  For those who may not be able to re-enter the workplace, there are programs to assist them in learning how to live independently or with very little assistance.

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