Progressive Disability

The Basics

Some people have disabilities that gradually develop. These types of disabilities are often called “progressive disabilities.” Common examples of progressive disabilities include muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and types of vision and hearing loss that get worse over time.

With these types of disabilities, your condition changes over time. As your condition changes, the types of support that you need, including health benefits, work accommodations, and equipment (such as crutches or wheelchairs) also change.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a satisfying life. However, it does mean that you need to adapt to your changing disability and plan for how things may be different in the future.

This article is for people who are currently working and have a disability that changes over time. It will help you answer a series of important questions about these changes in your life:

  • Where can I get help?
  • What are my rights as a person with a disability?
  • What will happen with my job?
  • How can I get trained for a different job?
  • What sort of health coverage can I get?
  • How will I get income if I can no longer work?

Sometimes the answers to these questions are very confusing. Even if you already have some knowledge about programs, like Medical Assistance (MA), MA-EPD , SSI, SSDI, and VR, you may not know all of their ins and outs and what may change as your disability changes.

In this article, we don’t expect you to know what all of these programs are. Instead, we’ll answer the questions above by presenting basic information about the people and programs that can support you, beginning by presenting a few paragraphs about each that will tell you:

  • What they offer
  • How you get them
  • When they’re a good option as your disability changes
  • How to find detailed information about them on DB101

By organizing the information in this way, you can think of this as a refresher course about disability resources, programs, and benefits that you may need as your situation changes. We will also help you figure out how you can get organized and plan for changes in your needs.

Chat with a Hub expert

DB101 has a great service called Chat with a Hub expert. As you read this article or at any time when you have questions about disability benefits, you can get expert advice from an expert. Click here to Chat with a Hub expert or call 1-866-333-2466.

This article covers many of the same issues that are covered in DB101’s Sudden Onset Disability article. The difference is that this article is for people who have disabilities that evolve over time, so it explores how things could change for you in the future, while the Sudden Onset Disability article assumes that you just became disabled (in an automobile accident, for example) and don’t know much about the benefits that are available and that you need now.

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