The chapter offers financial assistance programs to members with limited financial resources and to those without insurance coverage, Medicare or Medicaid. Services include emergency and short-term assistance important to those facing unexpected challenges as a result of their MS. Funding is limited and in some cases services may require a doctor's prescription. Current resources and services include:
- Crisis Counseling
- Critical Short Term Assistance
Home Delivered Meals
- Respite Care
- Speech Therapy
The chapter recognizes that heat creates problems for many people living with MS and may worsen their symptoms. The chapter can provide financial assistance to purchase air conditioners when it is medically necessary. A referral from your physician is required along with two price quotes from vendors. Funding is limited for this program.
Many chapter members feel overwhelmed by their MS and are unable to identify and tap into available community resources that can help them cope with the challenges of having a chronic disease. Chapter staff send a social worker to the member's home to assess, plan and coordinate needs relating to long-term care issues, access to entitlements and financial management. Appropriate referrals to community services and resources are also given. Up to seven sessions of case management are available.
Learning to live with a chronic illness like MS challenges a person's sense of psychological well-being. The unpredictability of MS can be frightening for anyone affected by the disease. Professional counselors are available to assist individuals living with MS, their friends and family, to cope more effectively. Up to five sessions of crisis counseling are available for uninsured or under-insured members or their family member(s) who may be having difficulty coping with MS.
Critical Short Term Assistance
Emergency financial support for people with MS experiencing a financial emergency (e.g., utilities, rent).
The chapter accepts mobility products in good working condition and under three years old. We are unable to accept donations of any bathroom or personal hygiene equipment due to health codes.
The chapter loans used and donated equipment in good working condition including wheelchairs, scooters, and hospital beds. A physician and/or therapist referral is required. Loans are provided based on availability.
Equipment Purchase and Repair
The chapter provides financial assistance toward the purchase of durable medical equipment (wheelchairs, scooters, shower benches, etc) if the member’s insurance carrier has denied coverage or if funding is prohibitive.
Home and Auto Modification
The chapter provides financial assistance toward the implementation of home and auto modifications. These modifications can improve safety and accessibility by removing barriers from the home and automobile. A doctor’s prescription is required, along with a written assessment from the contractor, including needs and cost. All modifications must be ADA compliant. In addition, a written statement of agreement from the owner of the building is needed.
The chapter provides up to 50 hours of home care. Home care services assist an individual with activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, personal hygiene, etc.) and include homemaker or chore services, personal care and escort service. This program is not available for people with Medicaid or an existing insurance that includes home care as a covered service.
Home-delivered meals are available to home-bound members who do not have adequate support systems in place to assist in meal preparation and food shopping. Frozen meals are delivered by UPS for up to ten weeks. The tasty, wholesome and nourishing food comes prepared and includes entrees ranging from pot roast to lemon pepper chicken. The food arrives packed in dry ice so it is necessary to defrost and heat the meals in an oven or microwave. The chapter assumes the cost of the meals and shipping and handling for up to ten weeks until the member can arrange for a more permanent solution. This program is not available for people with Medicaid, since it is a covered service, and is not available for people over age 65, who have access to Meals on Wheels.
If you are not eligible for this program, you can still contact our vendor, Home Cooking For You, and apply directly for their service. Home Cooking for You will offer a 20% discount to all chapter members. For more information, contact Ivory Mizell at 800-741-4827 or visit their website at www.homecookingforyou.com.
The chapter offers a maximum of three round trips (or the financial equivalent) for members to get to appointments with health care professionals. Requests must be made at least one week prior to the medical appointment. Please identify if you are using a wheelchair, scooter, or power wheelchair.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
This program helps people living with MS to deal with the variety of diminished cognitive and physical capabilities that may accompany the disease. Occupational therapists concentrate on skills that require upper-body strength, coordination and fine-motor control and are needed to accomplish the “occupations” of daily life, including bathing, personal hygiene, household chores and working at a job. An occupational therapist may analyze a person’s work environment and tasks, develop techniques to compensate for issues with memory and problem solving, teach safety techniques for sensory and mobility loss, educate on adaptive equipment to increase independence with activities of daily living and devise energy conservation techniques. Members may be referred to an OT for a home evaluation for accessibility compliance. Up to eight sessions of OT can be arranged. A doctor’s prescription and the letter of refusal from your insurance company (when applicable) are required.
Physical Therapy (PT)
The physical therapist works primarily with motor skills- standing, walking, lifting or moving about in a wheelchair. The physical therapist evaluates the person’s muscles (strength and weakness) and observes range of motion, posture, gait and balance. A program is then tailored to meet a person’s specific needs. Up to eight sessions of PT are available. A doctor’s prescription and the letter of refusal from your insurance company (when applicable) are required.
This program provides assistance with care when the usual caregiver is temporarily unavailable because of travel, illness or other demands. Temporary care in the member's home allows the caregiver much-needed relief from their responsibilities and provides them with the security and knowledge that quality care is being provided. We offer up to 100 hours of home based care through home health aides. This program is not available for people with Medicaid since it is a covered service.
Speech Therapy (ST)
Speech therapy is available for people who experience speech problems, including slurred speech, low volume, harsh voice quality, slow rate of speech and swallowing difficulties. The speech therapist will evaluate and teach techniques that can help improve speech patterns, enunciation and oral communication in general. Up to eight sessions are available. A doctor’s prescription and the letter of refusal from your insurance company(when applicable) are required. Financial assistance toward the purchase of speech communication devices is also available.