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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, February 25, 2019

People with Disabilities Earn a Lifetime Pass to National Parks

Having a permanent disability may be limiting in some ways but it opens many other doors as well – including visits to our national parks and federal recreational lands.

The pass is available for anyone with a qualifying disability – physical, mental or sensory. And there are no age limitations.

Included in the pass privileges are more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country – national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and other federal recreation lands. And the offer extends to everyone in the vehicle with the pass holder. That means if one person in the family qualifies, you are all entitled to visit the park at no charge.

There are some steps you need to take to obtain the free pass. It starts with one of the two following documents.

You can use a statement signed by a licensed physician that says you have a permanent physical, mental or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The document must include the nature of the impairment. Or you can use a document issued by a federal agency, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration, saying it has been medically determined that you are eligible to receive federal benefits as a result of blindness or permanent disability. In lieu of either of those, you can use proof of receipt of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or a document for a state vocational-rehabilitation that says you have been medically determined to be eligible to receive vocational-rehabilitation agency benefits or services as a result of blindness or permanent disability.

Once you have one of these documents, you simply need to fill out this application, and then either mail it in with a $10 processing fee or go to a federal recreation site in person with proof of disability and residency. If you do it in person, the $10 fee is not required.

So, take these few simple steps and then go enjoy nature’s beauty.



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