Government and Community Benefits to Consider for Students Graduating or Exiting from Special Ed

special education teachers teacher experience transition Sep 08, 2021
If you teach special education life skills to high school juniors or seniors or transition, then you have probably heard of and/or know the value in connecting your students and families with government and community benefits. However, it can often seem like a foreign language that changes constantly with no beginning and no end. You just encourage students and families to jump in to the tornado of overwhelm. Or, you pass along the name, email, or phone number of an adult agency contact and the dust bowls soon pass by.
If you need a list of potential government and community benefits, services, and supports that your students and families may be eligible for before graduating or aging out of special education services, then look no further! Below is a list, however there may be more and/or different ones available depending on what state and area your students and families reside.

Government & Community Benefits

Funding or Finances

  • SSI
  • ABLE Accounts
  • Special Needs Trust
  • Medicaid Waiver


  • Medicaid
  • SSDI

Independent Living

  • Housing
  • Public Transportation
  • Food Assistance
  • Department of Human Services

Decision Making

  • State ID
  • Power of Attorney
  • Supported Decision Making
  • Guardianship/Conservatorship


  • Respite
  • Therapies


  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
This list doesn’t have to be overwhelming and you, as a teacher or transition coordinator, CAN help your students and families access and apply for these benefits by increasing your understanding of each benefit and finding quality experts and providers.
If this is speaking to you, then consider checking out the Benefit Taskmaster Mindset training (FREE) or Confused to Connected Professional Development.
  • The Benefit Taskmaster Mindset will help you get past the mental blocks you are experiencing (including finding the time and feeling overwhelmed) to begin helping your families.
  • The Confused to Connected Professional Development will help you increase your understanding of benefits so you can connect your students and families with the right ones, lock in quality experts and providers, and increase follow through and efficiency in the process.

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