Financial Support Resources for Amputees
Neither you nor the person who has lost a limb is in this alone; there are tens of dozens of support programs out there to help provide support. Whether you or your loved one needs help financially, obtaining medical equipment, or finding local programs to help you adjust physically, there is someone out there ready to help.
Today we will take a look at some of the avenues open to amputees or parents of amputees for financial assistance.
1. Preparing to Apply
Before you begin the process of applying, you will want to organize your needs and information. Every assistance program you look into will require an application and detailed information about your medical and financial needs. Organize the following information:
- Figure out what devices you need. The prosthetic may be obvious but talk with your physician or physical therapist about other assistive devices or home accommodations you will need.
- Get a prescription for the devices you need to back up their medical necessity.
- Round up your personal information documenting the disability, your employment and income status, current expenses, health insurance, and if you have dependents.
If you aren’t sure where to start, your doctors should be able to point you in the right direction. And keep in mind even if you think the device or care won’t be covered by your insurance or another government program, you should try any avenue open to you already first. You will need to show denials or lack of coverage in many places to receive additional support.
2. Where to Look for Assistance for Medical Devices
The first and most common form of financial assistance sought by many amputees concerns the payment of costs associated with the process of receiving a prosthetic device or other durable medical equipment.
Prosthetic devices themselves can be pretty expensive, and they require proper fittings and customization to work for each person. If you also find you need an electric wheelchair, installation of a ramp, or other adaptive equipment for your home or vehicle, costs can add up quickly. Thankfully there are a number of organizations that offer financial assistance for medical devices.
Here are some nonprofit organizations that help in acquiring finances for prosthetics or other durable medical equipment:
- Ability Found: This organization helps obtain durable medical equipment for patients for little to no cost. You will need a medical professional to apply for you.
- Heather Abbot Foundation: This foundation is committed to providing customized prostheses to individuals who lost limbs in traumatic events. They have a grant you can apply for online, and even if they can’t help, they will try to find another organization that can.
- Amputee Blade Runners: For active individuals, a sport or running prosthetic often won’t be covered by insurance; this organization helps provide free running prosthetics for athletes.
- Jordan Thomas Foundation: Children need new prosthetics as they grow about once a year, increasing costs significantly. This non-profit helps provide prosthetic device support for children until they reach 18, if accepted.
There are dozens of other organizations nationally and locally that help provide assistance for medical devices. The Amputee Coalition has a longer list you can reference for help. And don’t discount reaching out to local service clubs in the community. Many of these groups, like Lions and Rotary clubs, can help fundraise.
3. Other Forms of Financial Assistance
Medical devices are an expensive, often ongoing cost. But there are other areas where amputees may need a little help, especially if their ability to work has been affected. The following list of resources are avenues that may help outside the realm of only medical devices across a broader scope of financial issues.
- The United States Department of Labor maintains a comprehensive list of resources for those with disabilities that we encourage everyone to look through. Chief among these will be social security and disability assistance for those who are limited in the employment they can keep.
- After the federal level, check with your state's Department of Health and Human Services to see if there are any programs available that help with financial assistance or vocational rehabilitation.
- Qualifying for a mortgage while on disability can be difficult due to income requirements for many lenders. The good news is there are special mortgage programs for persons on disability or who have low income.
Orthopedic Appliance Specialists
Getting back out into the world and back to activities you enjoy is a big part of recovering from limb loss. For many who have undergone a limb amputation or have limb differences, the use of an orthopedic device or prosthetic can help. Prosthetic limbs not only help aid what you are physically capable of, but might help you feel less conscious in public about your appearance.
The Orthopedic Appliance Company offers the highest quality bracing and artificial limbs across western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and north Georgia. We specialize in restoring mobility and independence to individuals facing the absence of a limb with comprehensive prosthetic services.
Working in close collaboration with involved physicians, therapists, other specialists, caregivers, and most importantly, our patient, the skilled OAC practitioner team follows a detailed, proven process to create the best prosthetic solution possible for both upper- and lower-limb applications. If you have any questions about our services or need to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us.