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Social Security Disability Benefits for College

Prior to 1981, Social Security Administration (SSA) offered college student benefits, but they were eliminated once Congress passed the Reconciliation Act Repeal of Social Security. Now, SSA does not offer education benefits as part of their disability programs, but programs funded at the state level might be available, depending on where you live.

Recipients of disability benefits through Social Security might be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation benefits that can be used to pay for training or college. Beneficiaries can also offset some educational expenses by applying for disability-related awards and scholarships.

You might also be able to find disability-specific scholarships offered by organizations associated with your disability, such as the American Council of the Blind or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. You can try searching on the internet for your condition and the scholarships available to people with the same challenges.

The United States Department of Education offers additional funding sources, including Stafford Loans and Pell Grants. For Pell Grants, the government determines eligibility by applying the applicant’s financial information to a formula that shows the EFC, or Expected Family Contribution. The Department of Education then compares the EFC to the cost of college and comes up with the amount of financial aid. Interested applicants can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.433.3243 for more details.