Where to Start

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Services provided by Columbus are paid for through different funding sources. Depending on what you have qualified for, services can be paid for by the Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Medicaid or private pay.

DSPD Services

How to Apply

  • Create an account on MySteps: Click here to access MySteps
  • Gather the paperwork: This application also lists the documents necessary to support your disability claim. If you have
  • What is it: DSPD, or Division of Services for People with Disabilities, provides funding and case managers for long term services, such as job coaching, residential services, and respite care.


  • Waivers: DSPD distributes Medicaid Waivers, such as the Acquired Brain Injury Waiver (for those who acquire a brain injury), The Autism Waiver (for autism-related medical expenses for children under age 21), and the Community Supports Waiver (for people with intellectual disabilities who want to live in a community-based setting).


  • Learn more about the process: reading more about DSPD services and eligibility requirements at www.dspd.utah.gov/eligibility. You can also call 1-800-ASK-DSPD


  • The progress: you will have 90 days to submit all your paperwork. You can check on the progress of your application by contacting your intake worker.


  • Waiting list: There is a waitlist for DSPD services but discuss your needs with your intake worker. Immediate needs are taken into consideration when determining eligibility.


  • Renew: Annually, you will be asked to fill out a survey to update your disability and circumstances. If you don’t fill out this survey and return it during the designated time, your name will be taken off the waitlist. Therefore, it’s very important that you watch for, fill out, and return this form. Also, keep your information up to date- especially your phone number and address.


  • HINT: Many of the documents you need to apply for DSPD will be required to apply for other services. Once you gather this paperwork, keep it in a safe place. You will probably need it again.
Vocational Rehabilitation

How to Apply

  • What is it: Vocational Rehabilitation, “Voc Rehab” or “VR”, is pivotal in providing employment services for people with disabilities. This includes assessments, help with resumes and interviews, job carving, job placement, and job coaching. There are also specialized services such as Customized Employment. VR provides these services or authorizes services through a Community Rehabilitation Provider, such as Columbus Community Center, Turn Community Services, Eaton Alliance, and many others.



  • Waiting List: VR may also have a waitlist. They serve “most significantly disabled” clients first.


  • Who Can Apply: Students as young as 14 can apply for VR services. Research shows that students who have a part-time job in high school are much more likely to have a job after they graduate. This provides stability and helps them avoid disengagement after graduation. VR may also pay for education and training, depending on income and specific circumstances.
Social Security

How to Apply

You might qualify for one or both depending on your family personal circuntances. There are two different kinds of social security benefits.

    • SSI (Supplemental Security Income): is primarily for youth with disabilities and no employment history who live in poverty.
      If the applicant is younger than 18, income level is determined by the parents’ income, and there is an asset limit of $2,000 with a few exemptions (one car, the house you live in, disability trusts).
      In the case of the parents’ income is above the poverty level, you may want to wait to apply for SSI.
      If the applicant is over 18, he/she is considered his/her own household, even if he/she still lives with a family. This means Social Security will determine eligibility by the individual and $1,100 for a couple.


    • SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance): is a benefit for individuals with an employment history. The amount varies, depending on how much you have paid into the Social Security system through FICA taxes, and on whether you work while receiving SSDI benefits.

When you apply for SSI, you are also applying for SSDI. Generally, the application runs through SSDI first, and many people have stated that they are declined the first time they apply.
There are legal services in place for individuals who feel they have been unfairly declined for SSDI benefits.
You may be declined for SSDI and still qualify for SSI, so read your correspondence with the Social Security Administration carefully and call if you have questions. Visit theses site to apply www.ssa.gov/disability/ or www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/ . You can also call 1-800-772-1213.

  • Learn more about the process: Explore the website to learn more about updates and new benefits ssa.gov/disability/ or www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/ You can also call 1-800-772-1213. There are two different kinds of social security benefits.


  •  Paperwork: You need a lot of paperwork for social security applications-medical history, school records, and a psych evaluation. The paperwork needed is listed in the application. Gathering the paperwork is the most difficult part of applying for these services. For more information about applying for Social Security disability check out their websites ssa.gov/disability/ or www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/. You can also call 1-800-772-1213.


  •  UWIPS(Utah Work Incentive Planning Services) is an organization that provides benefits planning around employment and Social Security, to help you determine how to manage earned income and benefits. You must be referred to a UWIPS counselor. For a referral, speak to your social security intake advisor, or call Columbus Community Center at 801-626-1552 and ask for someone from Community Employment. https://jobs.utah.gov/usor/vr/services/uwips.html

How to Apply

  •  UWIPS (Utah Work Incentive Planning Services) is an organization that provides benefits planning around employment and Social Security, to help you determine how to manage earned income and benefits. You must be referred to a UWIPS counselor. For a referral, speak to your social security intake advisor, or call Columbus Community Center at 801-262-1552 and ask for someone from Community Employment. https://jobs.utah.gov/usor/vr/services/uwips.html

How to Apply

  • What is it: Medicaid is a needs-based program that pays for medical care and pays for waivers administered by DSPD. Medicaid is for people who live in poverty and for individuals with disabilities. Medicare is a separate program and has different qualifying criteria.


  • Learn More: There are different types of Medicaid, and these services, just like any other health program, need research and investigation to ensure you are receiving the right services for you. Click here to know more about Medicaid https://medicaid.utah.gov/


  • Who qualifies: Individuals who qualify for Supplemental Security Income automatically qualify for Medicaid.
Other Resources


  • Abuse/Neglect of Seniors and Adults with Disabilities (Adult Protective Services-APS)



  • Child Abuse/Neglect

1-855-323-DCFS (3237) (Child Protective Service-CPS) https://dcfs.utah.gov/services/child-protective-services/





  • Utah Food Stamps and other Utah benefits through



  • Federal food stamp program, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)




  • Heating: Apply for the HEAT to help with heating your home



  • Energy Assistance: Apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for help with electricity



  • Section 8 Housing: Utah Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program helps low-income families in Utah find affordable housing in the public housing market. The program provides rental assistance to eligible families. This assistance is paid directly to the landlord after the program participant has signed a contract with the landlord.  Application and more information can be found at www.sectioneightapplication.com/apply/UT



  • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): Provides support and advocacy for families and friends of people with mental illness. www.namiut.org


  • Utah Independent Living Center: Assists people with disabilities to achieve greater independence by providing services and activities which enhance independent living skills. www.uilc.org


  • WorkAbility Utah: Create a comprehensive system of work incentives and supports that increase employment and healthcare outcomes for individuals with disabilities. www.workabilityutah.org


  • Disability Law Center: To enforce and strengthen laws that protect the opportunities, choices and legal rights of people with disabilities in Utah. http://disabilitylawcenter.org/


  • Utah Parent Center: The mission of the Utah Parent Center is to help parents help their children, youth and young adults with all disabilities to live included, productive lives as members of the community. They accomplish their mission by providing accurate information, empathetic peer support, valuable training and effective advocacy based on the concept of parents helping parents.


  • National Ability Center: Committed to the development of lifetime skills for people of all ages and abilities by providing affordable outdoor sports and recreational experiences in a nurturing environment. https://discovernac.org/


  • Camp K (Camp Kostopulos): Dedicated to improving the lives of people of all abilities through education, recreation, and growth opportunities. Since 1967, we have offered educational and recreational opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities. http://www.campk.org/


  • Ohana Day Center: Ohana is a day center where individuals with special needs can socialize and develop, practice, and maintain life skills. We focus on providing meaningful activities and nurturing lifelong relationships both in the community and at our center. http://www.ohana.23-lines.com/


  • Adaptive Recreation through Salt Lake County: Salt Lake County provides the opportunity to play sports in inclusive environments as well as in specialized programming. https://slco.org/adaptive/





  • National Council on Disability: The National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency that provides advice and recommendations to the President, Congress, and executive branch agencies. NCD does not provide direct legal or advocacy services to people with disabilities.
  • Please also refer to NCD’s Frequently Asked Questions for answers to commonly asked questions. https://ncd.gov/resources