Multiple sclerosis creates a range of challenges that can result in short-term financial crises, difficulty obtaining critical equipment and home or auto modifications, and diminished capacity to pay for MS-generated needs. The National MS Society’s Financial Assistance Program offers guidance, leverage and resources to help contain the financial impact of MS.
How Does The Financial Assistance Program Work?
This nationwide program is comprised of a range of initiatives that support independence, safety, health and quality of life for people living with MS, as well as their families. These initiatives address areas of special importance to the MS community and leverage knowledge and resources that can have a significant, lasting impact. In the past, the program has provided support for needed modifications to homes and automobiles, helped with the purchase of wheelchairs and walkers, and provided immediate resources to overcome urgent financial crises.
Who Can Be Served?
Anyone with a confirmed diagnosis of MS (or related disorder*) who can demonstrate true financial need associated with the effects of the disorder is eligible for consideration. Since resources are limited, the National MS Society may not be able to fulfill all requests or cover all expenses related to a needed service or item. However, a consistent application process and the thorough evaluation of each application will help ensure support for those whose needs are the greatest and where support can be most effectively leveraged. When we are not able to fund specific needs through our own program resources, we can provide information and resources to help identify alternative solutions.
What Are The Program Goals?
The Financial Assistance Program was developed to bring meaningful financial assistance to as many people living with MS as possible, with emphasis on helping people maintain their independence, safety, health and quality of life.
We may be able to help with the following types of requests:
- Respite services such as short term home care
- Durable medical equipment and air conditioners
- Accessibility modifications to homes or automobiles such as ramps and hand controls
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Critical short term needs such as emergency help with utilities or rent
- Health and wellness support
Since resources vary by community, eligible items and services available in a given area may differ.
What Is The Financial Assistance Program NOT Designed To Do?
This program is not intended to support ongoing services in a role similar to that of an insurer, or to cover credit card bills, insurance premiums or previously incurred expenses. Nor will the Society provide financial assistance in instances where such support can be obtained elsewhere; in these cases the Society will provide information and support to help obtain those resources from other sources.
How Do I Get Started?
A common application and process provides access to all of the Financial Assistance Program’s initiatives in a community. To speak with an MS Navigator®, who can review available resources with you and provide an application, please contact the National MS Society at 1-800-344-4867.
* Clinically isolated syndrome, e.g. optic neuritis; Diffuse cerebral sclerosis (including Schilder’s Disease); Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (post-infectious Encephalomyelitis or ADEM); Balo’s disease; Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease or Devic’s syndrome); Transverse myelitis.