Moving Assistance for Disabled People: A Guide to Moving Tips & Resources

Moving to a new home is always challenging — but it can be even harder for seniors and people with disabilities. While transporting all your belongings to a new place can seem daunting for homeowners with disabilities and their families, the good news is that there are many resources and organizations that can help make this process easier.

In fact, many of the best moving companies already have services geared toward seniors and individuals with disabilities. If you or your family member are disabled and need help, read on to learn more about available assistance and some helpful tips.

Moving assistance available to people with disabilities

While moving to a new house can be tough, the good news is there are a variety of programs to help individuals with disabilities and their families. The following programs can help ensure that your new home is accessible and your move doesn;t put too much strain on your finances.

Home accessibility

First, you;ll need to make sure your new home or apartment is accessible for your specific needs. Many families use a home accessibility checklist to determine which upgrades or changes need to be made to make a space safe and accessible based on their situation.

Organizations like the UDS Foundation (available in parts of Pennsylvania and Delaware) or Ability360 (available in Arizona) can assist with this, evaluating the needs of the individuals and the property and modifying the home as needed with accessibility features like stairlifts, grab bars or accessibility lighting.

Home accessibility programs can vary by state, so be sure to research organizations in your area if your new property will require accessibility modifications. You can also call 211 or visit to learn more about available resources in your area.

Financial assistance

Moving expenses can really add up when using full-service movers, which is often a necessity for individuals with disabilities and their families. Moves can get even more expensive when additional charges for transporting specialty equipment are factored in.

Fortunately, there are several programs that can provide financial assistance for moves for individuals with disabilities and their families:

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): HUD is the government;s primary resource for housing and relocation assistance grants. Programs are targeted at homelessness prevention, relocation after a natural disaster, and other special situations. Eligibility is generally tied to income, but you can research and apply for grants on HUD;s website.
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL):The ACL is another government organization that offers grants and other resources for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs: The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a wide range of relocation assistance programs, from help with relocation costs to down payment assistance.
  • Modest Needs:Modest Needs offers one-time grants of up to $1,250 to help low-income families with a variety of expenses, including moving assistance. Grant funds are paid directly to your service provider, such as a full-service mover.
  • Catholic Charities: Catholic Charities also offers moving assistance for low-income families. The organization prioritizes providing assistance to families that need the help to avoid homelessness.
  • The Housing Industry Foundation (HIF): HIF offers housing relocation grants of up to $2,500. The charity also has a reputation for quickly processing grants after receiving a referral.
  • Elderly or Disabled Living: This charity provides financial help to low-income seniors and people with disabilities, with funds distributed in January, April, July, and October. Funds can be used for rental assistance, relocation, and covering basic household needs.


7 moving tips for people with disabilities

Even when using full-service movers, there;s still a lot of work to be done to help moving day go smoothly. The following tips are essential for people with disabilities and their families.

1. Start reaching out early

During your move, extra care and time may be required to address special needs like transferring and installing medical equipment. As soon as you know you need to move, make a moving checklist of everything that needs to be done to get ready for the big day.

Because of the extra work (costs) that can go into these moves, start reaching out to full-service moving companies and organizations that offer financial assistance as soon as possible. This will give you added time to complete grant applications (if you qualify), and do due diligence with movers to find someone experienced with helping individuals with disabilities.

Early planning will also help you budget for your move and take care of other essential tasks like transferring utilities and finding medical facilities near your new home.

2. Address accessibility needs at your new home in advance

Prior to moving in, you must ensure that the new home will be safe and accessible. A home accessibility checklist can help you and your loved ones identify any potential hazards that should be addressed before you move in and unload your stuff.

Common issues that could be potentially hazardous during or after the move include:

  • Stairs
  • Ledges
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Narrow doorways or halls
  • Cables and cords

Pay extra attention to bathrooms and bedrooms, as this is where many accidents and injuries occur. Strive to have all issues taken care of before you move in.

3. Declutter

Moving will be much easier when you have fewer items that you need to pack and transport.

Consider the following questions that can help you determine what to keep and what to get rid of:

  • Is this item still useful, and when was the last time you ever made use of it?
  • Will the item be needed in your new home?
  • Does the item belong to you, or should it be returned to the owner?
  • Are there other items you own that can do the same job?
  • Can you replace the item later without too much of a hassle?
  • Does it still work?
  • Would this item better benefit someone else?
  • Does it have any sentimental value?
  • Are there any items you could sell to get some extra cash to manage the move?

4. Mitigate moving day safety hazards

Even when you have full-service movers taking care of the heavy lifting, moving day can still be inherently hazardous. Be sure to address any obstacles or slipping hazards that could pose a risk to you or your movers. Ensure there is a clear path for movement, particularly for individuals who need to use a wheelchair.

If you will be involved in packing or loading the moving truck, pack lightly. Don;t overload boxes, as this could increase the risk of back and shoulder injuries. This could also make the boxes more likely to break.

5. Carefully evaluate moving companies

You must confirm if a potential moving company is properly equipped to address the needs of individuals with disabilities.

When evaluating movers, ask the following questions to get a better idea of their capabilities:

  • Have they ever helped someone with disabilities move?
  • What kind of equipment have they handled in the past?
  • What are their clean-up procedures after the move?
  • Can they assemble and disassemble medical equipment?
  • Can they assist with unpacking if needed?
  • Would moving someone living with disabilities come with extra costs?

6. Prepare a bag of essentials

Prepare a bag or box of essentials that will be readily accessible to you throughout the move. This should contain changes of clothes, medical supplies, toiletries, and anything else you might need (like accessories for wheelchairs or other mobility aids) before everything else gets unpacked. This way, even if the move is delayed, you;ll still have the most important items you need for day-to-day living.

7. Do a final walkthrough with movers

Full-service movers can help with everything from unpacking to furniture placement, which can be a real life-saver if you can;t do it yourself. However, before the movers leave, you should do a final walkthrough with them to confirm everything has been done properly.

You don;t want to be left with furniture in the wrong place or a few boxes that haven;t been unpacked after the movers leave. Be especially attentive to medical equipment being properly reassembled and accessibility ramps being in the right place.

Hiring the right movers for disabled people

The right movers will make all the difference for your move. Many of our picks for the best senior moving companies are also well-equipped to assist individuals with disabilities and their families. Below is a quick breakdown of some full-service movers we believe are well equipped to help with your needs.

Safeway Moving

Safeway Moving is one of our top picks for interstate moves thanks to their flat-rate pricing, free 30 days of storage, and triple-check verification system that ensures quote accuracy.

In addition to packing and unpacking, Safeway Moving can also provide custom crating for heavier and specialty items (such as medical equipment). However, Safeway Moving only specializes in long-distance moves.

Mayzlin Relocation

Mayzlin Relocation is a family-owned moving company that assists with both local and long-distance moves throughout the country. Mayzlin has a great reputation for treating customers; items with care, landing them on our list of top antique movers — a definite plus if you need to transport any specialized equipment.

JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services has a reputation for top-notch service. Its user-friendly phone app employs AI technology and virtual consultations to help you quickly get an accurate quote without needing to schedule an in-person visit — great for those who are immunocompromised. Their full-service packing also includes furniture assembly and disassembly.

However, local moves are limited to Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

North American Van Lines

In business since 1933, North American Van Lines (NAVL) has dealt with all kinds of moving situations. Their services include specialty packing supplies to prepare large or fragile items for transportation.

It;s also worth noting that NAVL offers a wide range of additional discounts and benefits exclusively for disabled veterans.

American Van Lines

American Van Lines has a reputation for some of the best customer service in the industry. They provide packing services and materials, temporary climate-controlled storage, and good insurance options for high-value items.

Military and senior discounts are also available.

Allied Van Lines

Founded in 1928, Allied Van Lines offers fully customizable moving services that can include packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, specialty packing supplies for fragile or bulky items, and more.

Before hiring professional movers, you should always ask about their prior experience helping people with disabilities. This can help you determine if they will be able to properly transport any special equipment you might have. Get at least three quotes so you can compare your options and find a solution that fits your needs and budget. If you;re having trouble finding movers, the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers (NASMM) can provide a specialty move manager to help you take care of all aspects of your move.

FAQs about moving assistance for disabled people

How much will my move cost?

Most individuals who are disabled or have disabled family members opt for full-service movers. However, many of these organizations charge extra fees for specialty items, such as bulky medical equipment. As such, the pricing tends to be on the more expensive side, with local moves costing an average of $1,187 and long-distance moves reaching up to $14,000 for total transportation costs.

You can use our moving cost calculator to get a good idea of how much your move should cost.

What financial assistance is available for disabled individuals needing help with moving costs?

A variety of housing assistance programs are available for disabled individuals and their families who meet certain qualifications. HUD offers grants for low-income families at risk of homelessness, while the Federal Relocation Assistance Program can help if you lost your home to a natural disaster. Several charitable organizations also provide assistance for relocation costs depending on your income status.

What questions should I ask a mover before hiring them?

Before hiring professional moving services, be sure to ask if they have prior experience helping move disabled persons or dealing with specialty equipment. Confirm their ability to take apart and reassemble your equipment, and whether there are extra costs associated with this.

What organizations provide moving assistance for disabled individuals?

Several nonprofit organizations offer moving assistance programs and support services for seniors and disabled individuals, including Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, and the YWCA. Their programs typically provide moving grants that you can qualify for based on your income status. Churches and other local charitable organizations may be able to help with addressing housing accessibility issues, packing, and other needs.

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