DADS, or the Department of Aging and Disability Services, is the acronym you'll be dealing with the most if you're an individual with a disability in Texas. The department is charged with assisting those with mental and physical disabilities and the elderly with health care, community involvement, and social services. They will assist you in applying for disability funds and a variety of other services.
Medicaid is a program designed to assist the disabled, the elderly, and those with very limited incomes with medical services. In Texas, if you are already receiving Supplemental Security Income as part of your disability from Social Security, you're automatically qualified for Medicaid. It doesn't matter how much you receive from SSI each month.
Nursing or assisted living facilities are quite expensive, but unfortunately, for those whose disabilities prevent them from living by themselves, they are often the only result. This can lead to individuals and families very stressed over the cost. However, Medicaid does offer financial assistance for these facilities. There are qualifications, though. First, the individual must have a medically determined need to live in an assisted living home. Second, you must make less than a specific amount and have limited financial resources.
If, however, you don not want your disability to come between you and your independence, you may be eligible for services in your neighborhood. If you're already living in a nursing home or assisted living center, you may request services to your home or community instead. A caseworker will evaluate your situation and decide if you can live on your own and what services will be available to you in your home.
Along those same lines, a person with a disability in Texas may be eligible or may choose to hire a persona attendant. This service is restricted by the number of attendants for hire in certain neighborhoods. Note that your eligibility for funds to pay for your personal attendant is different from your eligibility for other programs. If you plan on hiring your own personal assistant, note that while DADS does have a list of potential assistants, they do not screen these workers and are not affiliated with organizations like the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities. Be sure to set up a screening process and interview all potential attendants before hiring one.