Federal Grants for Disabled People Over the Age of 55

Federal assistance to the elderly and disabled persons is available through various programs, including federal grants. Federal grants are financial-assistance awards from a federal agency to beneficiaries to perform some charitable work for a public purpose or good. Federal grants are not awarded to small businesses or individuals. Federal grants are unrestricted (the recipient can use it in any manner within the limits of his/her organization's activities), or they are restricted to an explicit purpose by the grantor.

Centers for Independent Living

These project grants are to assist older individuals with significant disabilities to function more independently by providing them with independent living services statewide in family and community settings. These restricted grants are to establish and operate centers for independent living offering information and referral services, peer counseling, teaching independent living skills and personal and organization advocacy. New projects are approved and funded for five years on a 12-month basis. Renewals depend on fund availability. Private nonprofit agencies are the principal eligible applicants. Applicants should contact their designated state offices to finish the application process.

Capital Assistance Program

These formula grants are to supply elderly and elder disabled persons with financial assistance to meet their transportation needs where public transportation services are inadequate, unavailable or unsuitable. These restricted grants are for eligible specialized transportation service capital expenses for the aged and disabled persons. Private nonprofit companies and state-approved public bodies are eligible applicants. Eighty percent of grants may be for eligible project costs. Funding availability is for three years. The local transit administration office is the contact for further information on the application process.

Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who are Blind

These project grants promote independent living to severely visually impaired persons 55 years or older for whom competitive employment is extremely difficult to obtain. The funds are to develop services such as helping the elderly adapt to visual disabilities (e. g. offer eyeglasses and other visual aids, equipment and services to increase self-care and mobility, Braille training, teaching and other support services that facilitate independent living). These grants stipulate cost-sharing ($1 for each $9 of federal funding), and renewal depends on fund availability. State agencies approved to provide blind persons with rehabilitation services may apply to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education for these grants.