The shortage of care attendants negatively impacts independent living for disabled.

Shortage of Care Attendants Impacts Independent Living for Disabled

Will an attendant shortage force disabled people into institutional care?

Some people are born with a physical or mental disability and others develop a disability through illness, accident, or injury at some point during their lives. Fortunately, the federal government, through the Social Security Administration, offers assistance to the disabled. 

Although both federal disability benefits programs require applicants to meet the government’s definition of “disabled”, the similarities end there. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available to those who have worked the requisite number of work credits and paid into the Social Security fund through their payroll taxes before becoming disabled. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available to those who are disabled, blind, or over the age of 65 and have extremely limited financial resources. Sometimes people are eligible for both programs. 

The process of applying for disability benefits

Applying for disability benefits is a long and complex process. So, many people hire skilled disability benefits attorneys to increase their chances of having their initial application approved. Attorneys can also help in the event appealing a denial of disability benefits is necessary.  

Unfortunately, qualifying for disability benefits and having an application approved doesn’t guarantee smooth sailing ahead. 

The shortage of attendants

Many disabled patients who rely on attendants for assistance with basic tasks, like “getting out of bed, bathing cooking and transportation to doctor appointments”, are finding a shortage of available attendants to assist them. This is due to “paltry and stagnant wages” and no employee benefits. In fact, the hourly pay for fast food workers or gas pump attendants is significantly higher, which is making it difficult to retain qualified attendants who are struggling to make ends meet. 

Without in-home assistance, some of these disabled patients are forced into institutional care against their will. While costs and programs differ from state to state, attendant care can cost states about 30% less than nursing home care. Still, some state legislatures are reluctant to allocate enough money to raise attendant’s wages. 

Assistance for Social Security disability benefits

If you need assistance applying for Social Security disability benefits or appealing the denial of benefits, the Disability Attorneys of Arizona at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

From our offices in Tempe, Phoenix, and Tucson, we represent disabled clients and their families throughout Arizona in all aspects of disability law.