The Department of Health and Human Services is a federal department of the United States that protects the health of all Americans. It provides essential services and programs, including, services for children, youth, families, seniors, veterans, as well as the deaf, hard of hearing, and blind. They also often deal with mental health services, public health, social services, health and wellness services, rehabilitation, state hospitals, research, developmental services, and healthcare.
The department was created in 1979 with the Department of Education Organization Act, which separated education from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. It officially became the Department of Health and Human Services on May 4, 1980.
For many years the Social Security Administration was a part of Health and Human Services, so this department was in charge of Social Security Disability benefits. In 1995, the Social Security Administration became an independent agency and took full control of the making decisions on eligibility for Social Security disability.
Health and Human Services is in charge of running the health programs offered by the Social Security Administration, including Medicaid and Medicare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is a federal agency within Health and Human Services. Among its many duties, the Centers coordinates with state governments for Medicare, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, long-term care facilities, health insurance standards, and more.
Medicare is available under Social Security Disability Insurance, after two years of receiving benefits. Medicaid, in most states, is available as soon as the applicant has been approved for Supplementary Disability Insurance.
Health and Human Services also oversees many other welfare programs and services aimed at helping those with disabilities. Most states have developmental divisions to working with those suffering from developmental disabilities to help them find jobs and health care. They also offer food stamps and energy assistance to families in need.