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Disability benefit programs in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma residents with a disability can get help from several different organizations. The state or partner non-profit agencies provide everything from basic needs to financial aid for income qualified residents and employment training. While most of the benefits are administered by the Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Development Disabilities, there are a few different options as well.

The state will work with individuals, their caregivers and family members to ensure that they have the support and assistance they need. Help is offered for both short term needs as well as longer term case management and self-sufficiency services. More information on some of the assistance programs is below.

The Oklahoma Development Disabilities - Department of Human Services, administers many of the resources. They are often the first place that residents contact for help, referrals, and information. Some of their leading benefits include the following.

Job training and placement from Community Integrated Employment (CIE) helps coordinate short or long-term support. This aid can help individuals in finding and maintaining employment within their Oklahoma town or county. Assistance is provided in an integrated setting in the community. Having a job will also usually not impact any SSDI financial aid payments.

Cash payments from the Family Support Assistance program is for families with children under the age of 18. The exact amount paid out will depend on how many disabled members live at the home. Oklahoma residents that are qualified can decide to receive this cash assistance over other Community-Based or government benefits and/or services Medicaid Home. Funds can be used for basic needs such as food, housing/rent, or utility bills. The disabled in Oklahoma often benefit from various federal assistance programs such as LIHEAP for their utility bills. It operates year round for summer and winter bills. More on Oklahoma LIHEAP utility bill help.

The Department of Human Services runs Group Homes and provides living arrangements as well. These will tend to be single-family homes located as close as possible to their current community and loved ones. The agency or group home receives reimbursement from the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD) for supporting the programs and the residents of the home.




Assisted Living is an option for individuals with mental retardation who do not receive any other assistance or social services through a Home or Community-Based Services Waiver. Clients will also be required to receive minimal support in order to live safely in their own home.

Sheltered Workshop (Center Based Services) coordinates work and training in a controlled environment with many other individuals and families with disabilities. Qualified workers are paid in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as their individual production. What may be offered includes intake, assessment, job training and other transitional services. The goal is to have this lead to community job placement at the proper time. Funding for these sheltered workshops comes from Community-Based Services Waivers as well as government grants.

Respite worker vouchers is a cash payment for caregivers. Financial assistance is for those that are caring fulltime for adults or children with a medical condition or developmental disabilities. The benefit pays for care so that the provider or caregiver can get a temporary break, relief or rest from full time care. Human Services offers this for a fulltime caregiver of an individual with developmental disabilities. Note that there are income requirements in place and also respite care receivers cannot be receiving DDSD Waivered Services.

Other programs include Guardianship Assistance, which includes assessment of the need for a guardian, help to locate a volunteer or family member to serve as guardian, and vouchers for attorney’s fees to set up a program. Job training and vocational support is offered. Also get information on applying for federal benefits.

All of the programs and resources above are overseen by the Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Development Disabilities. Call your local service office or dial (405) 521-3646 for more details.

The state’s Department of Human and Social Services also oversees the cash assistance programs. This can be federal government or state funded, or a combination of the two. Low income families with a disability may apply or qualify for the following.





Child Care Subsidies can pay a portion of day care costs if you are working or in job training. Utility bill assistance for the disabled is offered from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Other benefits and financial support is offered from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) as well as Food Stamps and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Or inquire into public health care from Medicaid. Dial (405) 521-3646.

Low income families in Oklahoma, whether disabled or not, can get help from federal government daycare programs too. There is direct financial aid, help in finding safe child care providers, and many other services arranged. Learn more on government free daycare programs.

The Department of Health’s Children with Special Health Care Needs coordinates specialty services for children diagnosed with conditions such as sickle cell anemia and other disabilities. The department will coordinate respite care services, formula for children with PKU, and also outreach clinics in rural areas. The address is 2400 Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. Call (405) 521-3679.

The Oklahoma Human Services’ Aging Services Division focuses most of its aid on seniors, but assistance is also available for adults with a disability. Some of the benefits provided include Adult Day Services, which is a community-based program to help older people with functional impairments. They will be provided a care plan to gain stability.

Another option is the ADvantage Services, which provides government assistance and Medicaid benefits to help older, disabled individuals stay at home instead of going to a nursing home. Another aging services program is the Pharmacy Connection Council, which will work to improve access for income qualified and disabled citizens with no or inadequate health insurance. The program will assist them with the purchase of medically necessary prescription drugs. Other assistance can include transportation, help with daily living, State Plan Personal Care, and others. Call (405) 521-2281.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services oversees government supported medical care that addresses mental health and related services. The organization will coordinate a broad range of assistance, including community mental health centers. They will offer outpatient services and also often host sites for other specialized programs. Telephone - (405) 522-3908. The Oklahoma Department also partners with free community clinics in Oklahoma.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is the department that focuses on assisting qualified residents individuals with disabilities get prepared for employment. The state will help them get employed and hold the job.

While the primary job training and vocational rehabilitation services are guidance and counseling for placement, other employment and social services may also be provided as needed, such as assistive technology evaluations, physical or mental restoration; vocational, college or other training; any needed equipment and training; information on government disability benefits and more. Individuals may also get personal assistance services, such as transportation, while receiving vocational rehabilitation services. There is also transition school-to-work services for youth with disabilities. Call (800) 845-8476.

The purpose for Vocational Rehabilitation Services is to help eligible individuals with disabilities prepare for work and become gainfully employed. Case managers offer guidance, counseling and other services for job placement. Other benefits are Vocational, college or other training; Personal assistance services while receiving VR services; assistive technology evaluations, equipment and training; transportation; Transition school-to-work services for youth with disabilities; and other services and referrals. Also work with an Oklahoma Vocational Rehabilitation to create and Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Call (800) 845-8476.

The Disabled in Oklahoma often need medical equipment too. There may be modifications to their house to make it safe and livable. Or maybe crutches, wheelchairs, CPAP machines, handrails, and other items for rehab. The state as well as non-profits will try to help. As an example, find CPAP machine assistance programs.







The Oklahoma Division of Visual Services is an agency that will focus on those that are blind or that have a vision impairment. Some examples of the assistance include assistive technology evaluations, equipment and training. Another major program is run by the Instructional Services for People who are Blind. This group that is part of visual services helps clients regain or maintain maximum independence and self-sufficiency through communication methods, instruction in personal and home management, skills for reading and writing Braille, keyboarding skills, adaptive devices and techniques, and recreation activities and also low vision technology. Oklahoma also offers the Older Blind Independent Living Program, which expands independent living services for people 55 years old or older and that are legally blind.

Job training and employment benefits for the blind and hard of seeing include transportation, assistive technology, personal assistance, and information on other government and non-profit disability resources. The main phone number is (405) 951-3493.

Other government and non-profit organizations for the disabled

Ability Resources, Inc.
Main address is 823 South Detroit Avenue, Suite 110
Tulsa, OK 74120
Toll-free (800) 722-0886

Autism Society of Central Oklahoma
P.O. Box 720103
Norman OK 73070
(405) 370-3220

Brain Injury Association of Oklahoma
P.O. Box 88
Hillsdale, Ok 73743
Call (800) 444-6443 for information.

Learning Disabilities Association of Oklahoma
P.O. Box 1134
Jenks, OK 74037
Main number is (918)298-1600

Mid-America Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America
Address: 6108 NW 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
Toll-free (800) 321-5041

National Multiple Sclerosis Society Oklahoma Chapter
4606 East 67th Street, Building 7, Suite 103
Tulsa, OK 74136
Telephone - (918) 488-0882

The New View Oklahoma
501 North Douglas Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
(405) 232-4644

Oklahoma Department of Education
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Call (405) 521-3301

Oklahoma Department of Health, Injury Prevention Service, Traumatic Brain Injury Lead Agency
1000 NE 10th Street, Room 408
Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Toll-free number is (800) 522-0204





Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, Oklahoma Commission for Rehabilitation Services
3535 NW 58th Street, Suite 500
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Toll-free (800) 845-8476

The Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council
2401 NW 23rd Street, Suite 74
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Toll-free (800) 836-4470

Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Services Division
Address is Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Call (405) 521-6267

Oklahoma Health Care Authority - Medicaid Agency
4545 North Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 124
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For information on benefits, dial (405) 522-7300

Oklahoma Office of Disability Concerns
2401 NW 23rd, Suite 90
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Toll-free (800) 522-8224

Oklahoma School for the Blind
Main address is 3300 Gibson Street
Muskogee, OK 74403
Toll-free in Oklahoma (877) 229-7136

Oklahoma School for the Deaf
1100 East Oklahoma Avenue
Sulphur, OK 73086

Main address: 2516 East 71st Street, Suite A
Tulsa, OK 74136
Toll-free (outside Tulsa) (800) 688-8272

United Cerebral Palsy of Oklahoma
10400 Greenbriar Place, Suite 101
Oklahoma City, OK 73159
Toll-free (800) 827-2289

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Medicine, Center for Learning and Leadership/UCEDD
Main address is 800 NE 15th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Toll-free (800) 627-6827


By Jon McNamara

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