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In addition to the physical and emotional impact of multiple sclerosis, the disease may also impose financial challenges. A new study shows the average total cost of living with multiple sclerosis is an estimated $88,487 per year, per person. MS may impact the ability to work and may generate out-of-pocket costs related to medical care, rehabilitation, home and auto modifications, and more.

There are a variety of resources available to help address the financial impact of living with MS and help you plan for a future with MS.

Financial Planning

It’s never too early to begin planning financially for the future – evaluating your income, assets, debts, benefits, and other resources is essential to being well-prepared for a future with MS.

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Financial Resources (listed by need)

Assistive Technology (e.g., adaptive utensils, orthotic devices, voice recognition programs)
See the Guide to Medical & Assistive Equipment and contact an MS Navigator for more information.
 
College Scholarships
See the Scholarships page
 
Cooling Equipment/Vests
See the Heat & Temperature Sensitivity page for cooling equipment distribution programs and discounts from Society-affiliated vendors.
 
COVID-19/Coronavirus
See the Coronavirus Resources page
 
Financial Planning Services
See Financial Planning page
 
Food
  • Feeding America feeds the hungry through a network of 200-member food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs throughout the US. Use website to find local food banks, as well as to determine eligibility for federal food assistance including SNAP (formerly called Food Stamps) and meal programs for children.
  • FoodPantries.org lists food pantries, subsidized grocery resources and other local sources of food assistance. On the homepage, select a state in the drop-down menu, then enter a city name to display your local listings.
  • Meals on Wheels America distributes food through 5,000 independently run local programs. Programs focus on caring for individuals whose diminished mobility makes it hard to shop for food, prepare meals or socialize with others. Programs typically serve adults ages 60 and over, although age requirements can vary by areas served.
  • No Kid Hungry is the only national campaign committed to ending childhood hunger in the U.S.  Individuals can use the Free Meals Finder to find healthy meals (breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner) served by organizations in their communities.
General Expenses
  • Catholic Charities USA agencies provide an array of vital community-based services including assistance for food, housing and household expenses such as rent and utilities.
  • Community Action Agencies provide utility bill assistance and home weatherization for low-income individuals, offer job training services, and operate food banks.
  • County Department of Social Services or Human Services (perform an internet search for county name and ‘Dept. of Social Services’, ex. Cook County Dept. of Social Services)  
  • Salvation Army is an international charitable organization which meets the needs of individuals and families from all faiths. Emergency food, housing and utility assistance may be available. Use site to identify your local center and contact them for services available in your area.
  • Volunteers of America supports and empowers people with disabilities, seniors, veterans, and families through its human service programs. Contact your local VOA affiliate to learn about available financial assistance.

Health Insurance
See the Finding Coverage & Care without Health Insurance page.

International Requests (for persons affected by MS who live outside of the U.S.)
View the MS International Federation’s global directory to locate the MS organization serving the particular country. Then, contact the organization directly for more information.
 
Medication Assistance Programs
See the Patient Assistance Programs page and the Guide to Prescription Financial Assistance
 
Natural Disasters/Emergencies
See the Emergencies and Disasters page
 
Summer Camps for Children/Teens (who live in a household with someone affected by MS)
Visit the MS Adventure Camp page and contact an MS Navigator for more information.
 
Veterans/Military
See the Veterans with MS page
 

Assistance Specifically for Persons Living with MS

Benefit Finders

Find government programs and benefits for which you may be eligible:

BenefitsCheckUp
A free service of the National Council on Aging. Browse more than 2,500 federal, state and private benefits programs available to help persons ages 55 and over cover the cost of prescription drugs, health care, utilities and other basic needs. 

Benefits.gov
Benefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. Government. Its Benefit Finder tool informs U.S. citizens of benefits they may be eligible to receive.

USA.gov
USA.gov is the official web portal of the U.S. Government. Browse the Government Benefits, Grants & Loans page to view popular benefits by topic.  

Find Local Assistance

2-1-1 Information & Referral Search – 2-1-1 is a special abbreviated phone number for use in the U.S. and Canada, operated by a network of more than 200 private entities. Contact them directly for free, confidential help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more.

Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging -  perform an online search for resources in a multitude of categories. Serves adults ages 60+, or adults ages 18+ who have disabilities.

FindHelp.org
FindHelp.org connects people seeking help to verified social services in their communities. Site lists more than 600,000 free and reduced-cost programs in the U.S. Find ways to get help with housing costs, utility bills, home maintenance and repair, food, transit, health care, education, and much more.

NeedHelpPayingBills.com Use this free website to find info on assistance programs, charity organizations, and other resources that may provide help for paying bills, or who may distribute free stuff, or provide benefits counseling. NOTE: Use the blue buttons on the left side of the home page to filter results based upon location and need.  

Patient Advocate Foundation National Financial Resource Directory
Uninsured and underinsured persons may use the Resources Directory to ensure they’re accessing all available financial resources.
 

Request Community Resources

MS Navigators provide people affected by multiple sclerosis with information, resources and support to address the challenges of MS. We are a partner in your MS journey.  For the needs listed below, we encourage you to contact an MS Navigator who can identify relevant community resources to help mitigate the financial impact of MS. 

To obtain a list of community resources for a need listed below, contact an MS Navigator at 1-800-344-4867 during normal business hours or complete the contact form.
  • Air Conditioners
  • Children’s Expenses (including pediatric MS expenses)
  • Computers/Internet Service
  • Durable Medical Equipment (including walkers, wheelchairs, scooters)
  • Employment Supports (including job training)
  • Health Care Costs (including dental care, mental health treatment, physical/occupational therapy, primary care, vision care)
  • Health Insurance Co-Pays, Deductibles, Premiums
  • Home Accessibility, including Home Modifications and Repairs
  • Home Health Care
  • Housing (including rent, mortgage, foreclosure prevention)
  • Long-Term Care (including assisted living, skilled living, adult day programs)
  • Seasonal Giving (including back to school supply programs, Thanksgiving meals, children’s holiday gifts)
  • Service Dogs
  • Student Loans (including forgiveness and cancellation due to disability)
  • Transportation
  • Utility Assistance (electricity, gas, water, sewer, phone, internet)
  • Vehicle Accessibility (accessible vehicles, vehicle modifications, driver evaluation/training)

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