Disabled? Awesome List of Disability Resources!

Many weight loss surgery patients are disabled. Some because of their weight, and for some their weight was a result of their disability. After ending up on disability himself, Mike Marki compiled an awesome list of disability resources.

 

LITTLE KNOWN FREE BENEFITS FOR UNEMPLOYED, UNINSURED, LOW INCOME, SENIORS, DISABLED, CHILDREN AND MEDICARE AND MEDICAID RECIPIENTS

by Mike Marki  

 

I compiled this information from Internet research, phone calls to agencies and chatting with numerous people online, over the phone and meeting in person. When talking to people I am always on the look out for any information to add to my website which may benefit others. I found out about a few of these from friends of mine I had met in person from online and from television and late night radio commercials.  

My only motive is to help out others. Most of these are available in the Greenville County, South Carolina area and the rest of the Upstate of SC but the same or similar programs are also available elsewhere. I live in Greenville County that’s why I focused on this area, though some are available statewide or nationwide.

I found that there are a number of programs and benefits that many do not know about.

This information is accurate to the best of my knowledge and the links posted on here will lead to finding additional programs and benefits. With the changes in government some of these may be eventually cut, others may be added and some may have lowered the bar so more people can qualify, this may be due to the stimulus package, the economy, Obama‘s share the wealth or health care reform. One example of this is the Food Stamp Program, now called SNAP which has changed the poverty rate eligibility in October 2010 so more people can qualify.


If you are reading this then you are likely disabled and unable to work, retired or unemployed which means you have plenty of free time, wouldn’t it be worth it to check into these programs online or make that phone call to try and make life more comfortable for you and your family?

If you are planning on applying for disability this website should help: http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/ Excellent Facebook page for those applying for disability: Social Security Disability Secrets

Local libraries also have books about how to apply for disability which can increase your chances of getting approved the first time your application is submitted without having to pay an attorney. There are also used books sold online that will help. Some of these books are written by retired social security case workers.

“If you have any questions about being Disabled, become a Free member of The Disability Digest and get the answers! Get Free seminars and links to various disabilities at the #1 source for all disability needs.”


www.thedisabilitydigest.net/342.html 

“This link helped me to answer all of my questions about Fibromyalgia that my Doctor couldn’t. Every last thing you need to know about Social Security Disability and Fibromyalgia all in one place for Free!”

www.thedisabilitydigest.net/affiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=342&url=201

“Want to find out about Lupus and how it effects you?  Get the answers you need about disability and Lupus for Free.” www.thedisabilitydigest.net/affiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=101&url=182

Free book, Loose The Back Pain: A 7 Day Cure: www.losethebackpain.com/aff/index.php?p=marki200&w=LTBP-AFF

THE PARALYSIS RESOURCE GUIDE is a FREE 336-page book, a comprehensive information tool for people affected by paralysis and for those who care for them. You may request multiple copies. The book comes in English or Spanish (you may request some of both languages): www.christopherreeve.org/site/c.mtKZKgMWKwG/b.4486101/k.A2E9/Paralysis_Resource_Guide_Request_Form/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=mtKZKgMWKwG&b=4486101&en=dlLXJaPMKfLPIaN1LgJSIiP5LnKZLfMQJlL7LnN6LzG

   You’re entitled to Medicare 24 months after the date of onset of disability, in other words the date that your disability began. The only 2 exceptions are if you have end-stage renal disease (if you need a kidney transplant, if you’re on self dialysis, that can get you on Medicare right away).The second way is if you have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

www.MyMedicare.gov <<< Create and maintain a list of your favorite healthcare providers, claim status, access online forms, publications and messages sent to you by CMS. Resource locator, manage your health, claims, plans and coverage.

www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices<<<Create an account on the Social Security website. You can subscribe to a variety of updates from social security such as veterans benefits, changes in social security and sign up for benefits. Nationwide Social Security phone number 1-877-274-5423

The Social Security and Disability Resource Center website (SSDRC.com) provides a detailed overview of how the federal disability system works (social security disability and SSI) and also provides answers to many questions that applicants typically have, but often have trouble finding answers to. For the most part, this site is based on the author’s personal experience as a former disability-medicaid caseworker, and also as a former disability examiner for the social security administration.  

“God helps those who help themselves”
“You can lead a horse to water but you can not make him drink.”

INSURANCE FOR RECEPIENTS OF MEDICARE OR BOTH MEDICARE AND MEDICAID:

  Many people on Medicare or Medicare and Medicaid both do not realize that there are supplemental insurance plans that are available, some with no premium, depending on which plan you choose. No premium means at no charge.

  There are different insurance plans to meet different needs, what is the right plan for me may not be the right plan for someone else. If you want to get the most out of your Medicaid or Medicare contact the representative below.

   Patricia Mello (she only covers Upstate South Carolina) of Senior Benefit Solutions can get people free diabetic supplies IF the person qualifies, arthritis braces and free power chairs and other medical equipment to help. If people have Medicare or Medicare and Medicaid both she can put them on Care Improvement Plus (CIP) and now they will get an immediate line of help for extra help with their power bill, phone bill and rent. Also any other programs that become available from the government. Everyone with diabetes is eligible to receive one pair of diabetic shoes per year at no cost to them.

   They also carry low cost burial insurance for everyone as well as lower priced Medicare supplements and annuities that grow at 5.5% interest and are safe, untouchable by recession, banks or investment, these can be used to pay a yearly income, insurance premiums or other needs without ever touching the principal and paying out tax free for these needs. They have stand alone dental plans and vision for seniors or families and critical health plans for heart attack, stroke and cancer and home nursing and long term care plans and cash plans that pay a lump sum if you have to go to the hospital for any reason. Any kind of insurance offered she now carries with the top 50 companies in the state and is now licensed in North Carolina also. They carry all Humana products which just came out with an entire new line from life insurance for your grandchild to building a college fund and protecting your money for your family. They have a cancer plan that pays a lump sum benefit to you at first diagnosis of everything but simple skin cancer that can be removed, this can be $25,000 to $50,000 and pays cash to you in addition to any other plan you may have.

1 out of 4 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. This pays immediately upon diagnosis, no treatment or waiting for benefits. She also has discount programs for dental and vision.

  They are always available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and is the only insurance agents who tells each and every client to call them at home. They have done this for 30 years now and makes sure their clients know when they will be gone for more than a few days and who they can contact if they need help while they are gone. Their clients are never left without an agent they can call if need be. Once a person becomes a client they no longer need to have any insurance worries, if a better plan becomes available for their needs, she will have it and will change them to it. They work for each client and not for any insurance company so she can always do the very best for every client according to their individual needs.

  To contact Pattie Mello call her home office (864) 271-8755 and leave a message on her voice mail and state EXACTLY what you want to discuss with her, such as a drug plan or a Medicare advantage with drug plan (Care Improvement Plus is a Medicare Advantage with drug plan) and be sure to leave your full name, full address and phone number. She has to have this recorded and then she will send you a scope of appointment form which you must sign and mail back to her within 48 hours. You may want to spell your name and street name so that it is understood.

If you live outside the South Carolina Upstate below are websites to find a Supplemental Plan also known as an Advantage Plan in your area.

Medicare recipients can find a Supplemental Plan here: www.medicare.gov

Those earning low income could be eligible for Medicaid for their children and maybe even themselves.


Here is a state by state listing of the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid: http://ccf.georgetown.edu/index/medicaid-and-schip-programs
Here is another website to get Medicaid children on an insurance plan:
www.insurekidsnow.gov/
Here is the South Carolina DHHS website for finding Medicaid supplemental insurance for children and adults: www.scchoices.com/SCSelfService/en_US/5%20plans.html
The SC Children’s Health Insurance Program offers free health insurance for children and their families, go to: www.ChildrensHealthSC.org 

To find your local Medicaid office call 1-888-549-0820 or visit www.scdhhs.gov PHARMACY DISCOUNTS:

When a doctor prescribes a medication be sure to ask for free samples they often have plenty and doctors and pharmacists often have coupons for medications. And ask if a lower cost generic form of the prescribed medication is available or if a cheaper over the counter medication (OTC) will achieve the same effect or a cheaper priced prescription medication. If you are taking a tablet that comes in more than one strength (say 15mg and 30mg), you may be able to cut your medication costs by having the higher strength tablets cut in half. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist to see if this is a viable option for you.

Most pharmacies will happily split the pills for you, but you can purchase an inexpensive pill splitter, if you need to do it yourself. Here is an article with some advice about pill splitting: www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm171492.htm

 If you do want to buy a pill splitter buy one that has a rubber insert to hold the pill so that you get nice, even halves. Keep in mind that split tablets may be affected by heat and humidity, so only split one pill at a time.
Pill-splitters cost between $5 and $10 and can be found in most drugstores and some Dollar Stores sell them.

Shoppers Guide to pill splitting:  www.consumerreports.org/health/resources/pdf/best-buy-drugs/money-saving-guides/english/PillSplitting-FINAL.pdf

If you have a problem with swallowing pills, most pharmacies sell a pill crusher that turns it into powder.
  Some pharmacies may offer a discount for switching a prescription from another pharmacy. If you are a veteran, check with the Veterans Administration to see if you qualify for benefits. Buying in 90 day supplies can be cheaper than buying in 30 day supplies, be sure to follow the storage information to maintain its quality. Some doctors will write a prescription for a year supply which the pharmacy can fill at 90 day increments.

 

www.cvs.com  <<< CVS offers prescriptions mailed to the home but there is a $10 yearly fee for this service.

 www.walmart.com/cp/1078664  <<<Walmart, www3.samsclub.com/healthyliving/pharmacy <<<Sams Club complete list of $4 generic prescriptions 

Walgreens and Walmart also offers prescriptions mailed to the home, this is at no extra charge. Walgreens has $3 prescriptions instead of $4 ones.
www.welvista.org   <<< Mail order pharmacy for low income and uninsured.

 Pharmacies offering no charge mailing along with $4 generic prescriptions have become popular, the links to these can be found on this website: www.ncsl.org/programs/health/generic$.htm

 If you are prescribed an antibiotic, some or maybe all of the pharmacies that offer $4 prescriptions also offer free antibiotics, you will have to call around to find one that does.

  There may be other pharmacies that mail the prescriptions to the home at no additional costs, my insurance plans pharmacy, Care Improvement Plus mails my generics to my home, my brand name medications from the brand name free prescription programs are either mailed directly to my home or to my doctors office and I either schedule my next appointment around that delivery date and pick them up at that time or else my doctors office mails them to me. Each pharmaceutical company that offers the Free prescription programs does it differently just as their guidelines and application process varies.               

If for whatever reason you still want to pick up your medications there are some that have a drive through. You can check with your local pharmacies to see if any of them do.

 To compare prices of major pharmacy store chains www.pathtobettercare.com/Pages/DrugSearch.aspx and this one: www.leslieslist.org/low-cost-prescriptions.php

And also you can call around on the phone to compare prices.

When ordering online only order from pharmacies that have a VIPPS seal, ones that don’t sell counterfeit prescriptions.

www.publix.com/wellness/pharmacy/Publix-Pharmacy-Diabetes-Management-System.do <<< In March of 2010, Publix Pharmacy began making the diabetes drug Metformin available at no charge.      

www.gianteagle.com/pharmacy/diabetes-care <<< Giant Eagle offers free diabetic medicine and more.

Kmart has discount prices on prescription medications for the uninsured and people 50 and over: www.kmart.com/shc/s/dap_10151_10104_DAP_Kmart+Pharmacy+Microsite?storeId=10151&vName=Kmart+Pharmacy+Microsite&adCell=WH&catalogInd=DAP&catalogId=10104&expCheckout=&orderEmail=&langId=

Check with your pharmacy to see if they offer a senior citizen discount on prescriptions, as far as I know all the ones that do, consider age 50 as a senior citizen. For that matter ask at grocery stores and restaurants also to see if there is a senior citizen discount with them. At Denny’s for example it is age 55.

Within the next few years a large number of patents on brand name medications will expire, then they will be manufactured as much cheaper generics, go here to see a list of medications and their patent expiration dates: www.medcohealth.com/art/corporate/anticipatedfirsttime_generics.pdf

Most major pharmacies, the Y’s (previously called YMCAs) and gyms have free blood pressure checks. The Y also offer a discount membership for people who are disabled, you just need to show them your social security income statement, call your local Y for further details this is not stated on their website but a friend of mine told me this.

Here is a website of affordable generic prescription medications: Visit 4RX.com for affordable meds!

 

MONEY:

    There will be a social security check increase in January 2012 of 3.6%. But higher Medicare premiums could erase a big chunk of it..

     http://finance.yahoo.com/focus-retirement/article/111849/social-security-changes-in-2011?mod=fidelity-readytoretire&cat=fidelity_2010_getting_ready_to_retire <<< 4 Changes in Social Security in 2011.

http://finance.yahoo.com/focus-retirement/article/112624/boost-social-security-benefits-kiplinger?mod=fidelity-readytoretire&cat=fidelity_2010_getting_ready_to_retire <<< Go there to find ways to increase your social security check.

If you are on Medicare you can call your local Medicaid office to see if you qualify for Medicaid also, even if you don’t then ask if you are able to get your monthly Medicare premium paid for by Medicaid. In 2011 in South Carolina to qualify for Medicaid you need to have an income of less than $903. If you are over that amount but under $1219 you may qualify to get your Medicare premium paid for each month, saving you approximately $100/month. A friend of mine told me that even if you are only on Medicare and not qualified for Medicaid, you may still be able to get dental and eye coverage paid for by the state Medicaid program.
www.medicare.gov/navigation/medicare-basics/medical-and-drug-costs.aspx 

If you are receiving social security disability you can apply for supplemental security income (SSI), go to: www.socialsecurity.gov last time I checked the income guidelines were not posted so you may have to call on the phone to find out if you qualify and also to apply over the phone. It would be worth taking the time to search around on that website also to see what benefits are available.

http://finance.yahoo.com/retirement/article/110266/secrets-to-maximizing-social-security?mod=retire-planning <<< If you are into the married with children routine here is a website which may be able to help increase your social security income.

www.wellspouse.org/ <<< If you have a spouse that is disabled and in need of home care, you might be able to get paid by Medicare to be their care giver, you will have to contact Medicare or this association for details. If you are caring for someone on social security disability and you live in the same household you can also draw a monthly disability check, contact the social security office for details.

www.upstateseniors.org/services/adult-day-care/ <<< Adult Day Care in Greenville County

The Caregivers Market Place is the nation’s first cash back program for anyone who gives, gets or needs care. You can receive cash back on eligible products that are not typically covered by insurance or Medicare — no matter where you buy them: www.caregiversmarketplace.com/FrameSetup.asp  This is easy to sign up for and easy to mail in your receipts to receive your check.

The Alzheimer’s Association has a respite program for caregivers where they can apply for a $500 voucher good for home care or temporary stays in participating assisted living communities.  Contact the local branch for more information: www.alz.org/apps/findus.asp

Widowers benefits start at age 60.

Disabled widowers benefits can start as early as age 50, you would actually be filing on your spouse’s record and you still have to get a medical decision.

When you file for Social Security disability, the benefit amount you get is what you get if you were at your full retirement age. So if you filed for disability benefits today, your benefit amount would be what you get when you hit 67. That’s the full retirement age. So if you file for disability today and continue to receive it for the rest of your life, nothing’s going to change for you when you hit 67. It’s not going to change because you are already getting your maximum amount. Now, when a person is approaching 62 or they’re already 62 or they’re 63 or they’re 64 and they go in to file for disability benefits, Social Security is going to advise them to do this. They’re going to say is what we should do for you is we should start taking a retirement application for you today and let’s file for disability. The reason they’re going to take a retirement benefit for you is they can start paying you checks right away because you’re eligible based on your age. Now, when you take retirement early it is reduced. It’s reduced for every month you take it prior to your full retirement age. So it’s going to be a reduced amount. The reason you’re filing for disability at the same time is if you’re approved for disability benefits, the benefit amount is going to be up at the full amount. You’re not going to have that reduction that you take at retirement and you’ll get paid the difference. So if you get awarded the disability benefits and they’ve paid you $1,200 but you’re due $1,600 as a disabled individual, once you’re awarded, you’re going to get that $300 difference for those months. (You can not get retirement earlier than age 62, unless you get it through your employer).

If you become disabled or you file for retirement benefits, there’s other family members in your household that could be eligible for a benefit. There’s your children. Children under the age of 18. Spouse can be eligible depending on the situation. There’s aged spouse, if your spouse is 62 or older, or there’s a benefit to a spouse if you have children under 16 in the household. So it’s not just yourself that can be entitled to a check. There’s other people in your household that can also be eligible. And it’s Social Security’s job to look for those benefits for you.

When you are eligible for retirement benefits or if you happen to be receiving Social Security disability, your disabled children can be eligible for a benefit based on your record. What they’re called are adult-disabled children and as long as they were disabled prior to the age of 21, it has to be proven that they were disabled prior to the age of 21; they can receive benefits under your records under Social Security. With Social Security it can be a little easier to deal with and it would be 50% of whatever you’re receiving. That’s called the disabled adult child benefit.

Free legal help: www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm?gnav=global_publicresources_findlegalhelp

www.thehotline.org/ <<< free legal advice for domestic violence and also http://www.avdaonline.org/aid to victims of domestic violence.

www.jamesdisabilitylaw.com <<< This site offers information on social security disability law and medicine, as well as a comprehensive directory for attorneys.  James Publishing also gives to charity through it’s foundation called Kids, Inc

http://safeharborsc.org/ <<<Safe Harbor helps victims of domestic violence in Greenville, Pickens, Anderson and Oconee Counties.

   www.lawhelp.org offers free or reduced cost legal services including those related to cancer patients.

and www.lawyers.com to search for an attorney.

The ABC Child Care Program is the statewide system designed by South Carolina to deliver child care services under a federally-funded grant program. The ABC Child Care Voucher program makes payments to providers to care for low-income children so their parents can work. In addition, the ABC Child Care Program has a number of activities and projects that help to improve child care programs through-out the state, and make them more available and affordable to the families that need them.
http://childcare.sc.gov/main/general/programs/abc/index.aspx

 

www.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=ntl_cdc_parent <<< Go there if you are looking for affordable child care for your disabled or non-disabled child.

You can have your social security check deposited directly into your bank account and also have your bills on automatic payments. This will save you gas from having to make a trip to your bank every month and making a deposit and writing checks and mailing them out. It will also avoid late fees and utilities shut off since your bills will be paid on time and in my case my cell phone carrier Verizon made me a Preferred Customer since my bill is always paid on time, they boosted my minutes from 450 to 700 for one month on my plan with no increase in my bill since I am a Preferred Customer, but here once again I had to call Verizon and ask for this in order to get it. Plus it avoids misplacing your social security check and if you are in the hospital and unable to be home to pay out bills.

Also, if you bank with Bank of America there is a monthly checking account fee of $8.95 but there are two ways to avoid this is, have a daily balance of $1,500 or else have a check directly deposited into your account each month, such as your social security check. Bank of America’s phone number is 1-800-432-1000.

If you get your prescriptions mailed to you from a pharmacy, such as CVS for example, you can also have your debit card on record with them and the cost will be deducted from your account before your prescriptions are mailed to you. Contact your bank or local social security office to arrange direct deposit and then contact your utility companies and others that you want on auto pay. You can track both online, all banks and companies have a website which you can sign up for and do this. Some companies will even email you or text you to notify you each month that payment was made.

Here is a website called US Direct Express www.usdirectexpress.com/edcfdtclient/index.html   which offers a debit card that can be used to access your social security money for purchases. This may be good for people who do not have a bank account.

www.dnr.sc.gov/licensing.html <<< disabled can get a hunting and fishing license free or at low cost, here is the South Carolina website.

Seniors, the blind and the disabled can get free passes into state parks, here is the link for the South Carolina website: http://southcarolinaparks.com/hot-deals/ad.aspx?adID=29
and this is for nationwide parks: http://store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html

www.thespeciallife.com/disability-discounts.html <<< Here is a list of some well known vacation spots that give discounts for the disabled from Amtrak and helpful tips and information.

Are you looking for a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist and unable to afford the cost? Many churches offer these services or can refer you to state run clinics, non profit and other organizations with charges being based on income (sliding scale), free or low cost prescriptions are also offered. You might be surprised at how many services churches offer or can refer you to but in my life experience of all the places I have lived it seems more so here in the belt buckle of the Bible Belt of Greenville County SC than anywhere else. 

http://nc.eastersealsucp.com  <<< Easter Seals provides a variety of services including Out Patient Mental Health Services, locate your local Easter Seals Office website for details.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). NAMI’s website is here: http://nami.org/. The local NAMI office is in Greenville and their website is http://www.namigreenvillesc.org/. The contact people there are Kelly Troyer and Fletcher Mann. Kelly’s e-mail address is kellyt@namigreenvillesc.org and she can be reached by phone at (864)331-3300. Fletcher’s e-mail is fletcher.mann@att.net and he can be reached by phone at (864)331-3300. NAMI is a great resource to ask for local mental health services.

www.feedthepig.org/savingstips  <<< Money saving ideas. 


 www.walletpop.com/insurance   <<< Consumer information on a large variety of topics.

Free stuff from your town:  www.freecycle.org  There is also a yahoo group for this in Upstate SC.

 The following organizations collect and refurbish old computers from businesses and individuals and then distribute the computers to non profit organizations, schools, libraries and economically disadvantaged individuals. Contact them directly:

Fast Forward (computer loan program)
United Way of the Midlands
1800 Main St.
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone:1-803-733-5422

Clothing, Furniture, and computer Bank
The Cooperative Ministry
1928 Taylor St.
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: 1-803-799-3853

www.bringchange2mind.org/index.php  <<< This website offers support and a phone number to call for information about resources available to help those with mental illness.

www.greerrelief.org/programs.html <<< Clothing, financial, food, transportation services in the greater Greer area.

www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=107626,00.html <<< Free Tax Return Preparation for you by volunteers of the IRS.

www.unitedwaygc.org/vita-program.php  <<< Free Tax Return Preparation for you by volunteers of the United Way.        

www.nls.org/benefits/stulndis.htm
   <<< Are you disabled but owe on student loans? You may be able to get them discharged and not have to pay them back and possibly get the money you paid into them returned to you.                      

                                                                                                                                www.fertilehope.org/financial-assistance/index.cfm  <<< Fertile Hope is a national livestrong initiative providing reproductive/cancer information, financial assistance and more.

The Life Beyond Cancer Foundation is a foundation that is strongly dedicated to fulfilling and assisting the unmet needs of cancer patients. They will aid people in all states across the country.
Contact the foundation at 1-800-381-2637 to learn more or apply for help with your cancer bills and other expenses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides low-income, uninsured and undeserved women access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services: www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/about.htm  and here is another webpage which will help you locate a local screening facility:  http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/cancercontacts/nbccedp/contacts.asp

www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/home <<You may be able to get paid to participate in a trial study for medical purposes, this link is a registry of federally and privately supported clinical studies conducted in the United States and around the world. I participated in a study at the Cleveland Clinic in Ft. Lauderdale in 1991, the purpose was to determine why a new surgical procedure I had undergone a few months earlier called the J-pouch surgery was so very successful while others were not. I was paid $80 for the day.

And  here is another link:  www.myclinicaltrial.com
And this one is for people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis:  www.youandra.com
Men of any income can get a free prostate exam if available in your area: www.prostateconditions.org/screening-site-finder
www.womansday.com/Articles/Money/Saving-Money/22-Ways-to-Save-on-Health-Care.html <<< excellent website of money saving health care.


Here is the Health Bus website to find locations in your area for discount health screening:
www.healthfair.com/publicLocations.aspx?Zipcode=34236 

http://www.walgreens.com/topic/mobile/apps/learn_about_mobile_apps.jsp?stop_mobi=yes&ec=hncx8390rx_trouble&ep_rid=AAVzSW&ep_mid=_BO$3eaB8fGS9tIASSISTANCE PAYING UTILITY BILLS:  This program www.safelink.com  became available in South Carolina October 1st 2010, I just applied for my free cell phone (including free minutes) soon after it became available in my state. I have a friend in NC and another in NY and another in Pa who all have one of these free phones and they like it very much. One friend told me that it needs to be plugged in for 3 days to charge up before you use it. It doesn’t hurt to sign up to see if you qualify, only takes a minute. Even if you already own a cell phone it might be a good idea to have a back up on hand in case the battery dies or it becomes broken.

   And these websites are for a free or low cost home and cell phone for those on Medicaid, SSI or receiving food stamps; www.mashadi.info/pdf/freephone.pdf and www.usfreecall.com and www.usafreephone.com

People of low income, Medicaid patients, those that receive food stamps or live on tribal lands may be eligible to get some communication services at a discount rate such as a reduced cost for home phone service and bundle packages, from AT&T formerly Bell South, Verizon, Cox communications and others. There are two programs, LinkUp to help with cell phone costs and Lifeline for home phone, call the service provider on the phone and ask about this.

 Seniors 65 and over can get a cell phone and service at low cost from AT&T and Verizon, here again call to ask about this, other carriers may offer the same, even if your are under 65 but disabled they may still make this offer available to you, it doesn’t hurt to ask. I have a friend that was eligible through AT&T at age 57 and his bill was lowered even more through the LinkUp and Lifeline programs, he also had home phone service from them.

 These plans are called Senior Plans, so when you call the company tell them the programs name so they understand what you are talking about. I was unable to find this offer on their websites so you need to call the carrier for details.

www.lifeline.gov/lifeline_Consumers.html <<< This is a website explaining the LinkUp and Lifeline programs.

     There are applications for some cell phones that allow you to order prescription medicines from your local pharmacy, Walgreen’s offers this:  www.walgreens.com/topic/mobile/apps/learn_about_mobile_apps.jsp?stop_mobi=yes&ec=hncx8390rx_trouble&ep_rid=AAVzSW&ep_mid=_BO$3eaB8fGS9tI  Also there are applications which allow you to check your blood pressure using an accessory, contact your cell phone carrier to find out which application and accessory you need.

   http://scedp.org/index  <<<Here is a great website for people who are hearing, speech or visually impaired in need of a home telephone or other communication technology especially made for these disabilities. This equipment is free to those that are eligible and it only takes a few days to recieve a brochure and application in the mail. This equipment is paid for by a surcharge on all in-state residential and business phone lines. So everyone helps fund this program.
I used to have a problem with telemarketers calling me and waking me up from a nap or disrupting me while I was recovering from surgery or eating until I found the Do Not Call List, you can go to: www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx or call 1-888-382-1222 it only takes a minute to register your phone numbers, be sure to do this for your cell phone as well as your home phone. If you do not register your cell phone it could cost you minutes when they call or send texts to your phone. It was easier for me just to register over the phone by calling that number but you need to call from the phone that you want registered on the do not call list, it only takes a few seconds and is good for 5 years.

Click around on this link to find electric utility assistance, fuel, medical and prescriptions: www.citizensenergy.com/english/pages/57/citizens-health

www.ilru.org<<<Center of Independent Living offers fuel assistance and free or low cost prescriptions, maybe even more.Energy saving fluorescent light bulbs have kept my electric bill very low. Consumer Reports rated the GE Brand Energy Smart Saf T Gard 60W 78961 as number 1 and the lowest price I found was on Amazon.com. I also have a well maintained very energy efficient central air conditioner. I have also referred to Consumer Reports so I could choose a water and energy efficient washing machine and energy efficient dryer. You can go to your local library and photocopy the ratings and then get online to compare prices from different retailers.
Government rebates on energy saving appliances:  www.energysavers.gov/financial/70022.html
If you have an account with Duke Energy, www.duke-energy.com/south-carolina.asp when you sign on you will see a screen stating that you can get 15 free CFL bulbs, I ordered mine and I received them a few days later; the bulbs are 20 watt equivalent to a 75 watt.



.

 A low flow shower head and toilet dam or similiar devices will help keep your water bill low. These are very simple to install, only takes a minute. Here are links that sell water and energy saving devices and give energy saving tips. www.amconservationgroup.com and www.joingreenrevolution.comUS Department of Energy website on energy saving devices and ideas: http://www.energysavers.gov/


Energy saving information: www.togetherwesave.com/

Nationwide clearinghouse for low income energy assistance: www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/index.html and this link: www.liheap.ncat.org/admin.htm#applications    In South Carolina if you contact: www.scshare.com by phone they also have utility help available. The Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources, Inc (SHARE)in Greenville offers rental, utilities and other assistance, call them at 864-220-7257. They also give out fans in the summer time to senior citizens.

www.gserra.org/client-information/  Golden Strip Emergency Relief can assist clients living in southern Greenville County, south of I-85, or northern Laurens County, north of Hwy. 101 with utilities, food, prescriptions and rent.

www.united-ministries.org/index.html United Ministries’ Emergency Assistance program assists with food, rent, utilities, life sustaining medications, heat, and food stamp applications.

Churches provide a wide variety of assistance, including rent help, food,assistance with paying utility and heating bills, health care, and more. Many churches are increasing their aid programs in today’s bad economy. For help paying rent, utilities, student loans and more: www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/get_help_paying_rent.html

The following organizations offer assistance paying utility bills:

Saint Vincents: www.svdpusa.org

Salvation Army: www.salvationarmyusa.org

Catholic Charities: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/

United Way of America: www.liveunited.org

 

  • - Many companies and organizations partner with United Way to provide needed services throughout the country

www.findhelptopaybills.com/signup/optinconfirm/50/339003/e44f58766ae495cf4c42abd0c4e13483 <<< This is a report on how to go about getting assistance with paying your utilities.

 

MOBILITY CHAIRS:

 There are mobility chairs available that are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, in other words little or no charge to you. You should be able to find them through google shopping or else talk to any friends that may have one, maybe they can refer you to a particular company or your insurance representative can arrange for you to receive one or maybe even your doctors office can. There may even be reviews online comparing one brand or company to another. There is at least 1 company which advertises on TV. My understanding is that there are many large nationwide companies and also many smaller local companies. These websites may be helpful:
www.wheelchairforme.com

www.1800wheelchair.com/scholarship/

www.infinitec.org/live/wheelchair/wcscooters.htm

www.abledata.com<<< Your source for assistive technology, they do not sell products but they can locate companies that do.
http://billieshelppageforpainunderstanding.org/disabilitylnks.htm  <<< This is a disability accessory link.
.
www.chariotsofhope.org/about.html  <<< Here is a website for the disabled to get a wheel chair at no charge. I ordered a wheel chair for a friend who has MS, the wheel chairs really are free but there may be a waiting period, we had to wait about 5 weeks for hers to be delivered to her. 

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN:
South Carolina Department of Health and Environment many services for women and children:


www.scdhec.gov/health/mch/wcs/care_line.htm

AMERICAN CHILDHOOD CANCER ORGANIZATION
www.candlelighters.org/Information/Resources/Books.aspxProvides a copy of nine free books at no cost to families of children with cancer.FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER 314-843-9300
www.childrenwithcancer.org/?page_id=53 Family must be referred by a health care professional and payments go directly to the vendor. There is currently a $500 limit per family.

CHILDRENS CANCER FUND OF AMERICA
www.ccfoa.org/ourservices.html Offering financial assistance.

THE DREAM FACTORY
www.dreamfactoryinc.org Grants dreams to children diagnosed with critical or chronic illnesses who are 3 through 18 years of age.

NEW ENGLAND SERVE 617-574-9493
www.neserve.org Offers a free publication entitled, Paying The Bills, it is tips for families on financing health care for their children with special needs. It is available by calling or is down-loadable at their website.

KIDS OF COURAGE
www.kidsoc.org  Kids of Courage is a volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with serious medical diagnoses .

OUTDOOR DREAM
www.outdoordream.org A non-profit organization that grants outdoor adventures to children who have been diagnosed with terminal or life-threatening illnesses

RIDE A WAVE
www.rideawave.org/ Has a mission is to give children with special needs the chance to feel the thrill of riding a wave and experience a safe, fun-filled day at the beach, whether they are physically, developmentally or economically challenged.

 CHEF DAVIDS KIDS
www.chefdavidskids.com Helps children afflicted with any form of terminal illness such as cancer, leukemia, and pediatric HIV, also help with neglected and abused children.

CAROLINAS SUNSHINE
www.carolinasunshine.org/ Provides a ray of sunshine for South Carolina children with life-threatening illnesses

THE WISHING WELL FOUNDATION
www.wishingwellusa.org/Home.asp They will consider the wish of any child with a life threatening illness from ages 3 to 18

BELIEVE IN TOMORROW
www.believeintomorrow.org/ Dedicated to improving the quality of life for critically ill children and their families through three unique programs

THE CANCER CARE CO-PAYMENT ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION
www.cancercare.org/get_help/assistance/cc_financial.php A non-profit organization established in 2007 to address the needs of individuals who cannot afford their insurance co-payments to cover the cost of medications for treating cancer: www.cancercarecopay.org  <<< and here is another webpage

LOCKS OF LOVE
www.locksoflove.org/apply.html A public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthesis

DISABLED CHILDRENS RELIEF FUND
www.dcrf.com Provides assistance to obtain wheelchairs, orthopedic braces, walkers, lifts, medical supplies, hearing aids, eyeglasses and more.

STARLIGHT:
www.starlight.org This organization is dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill children through wish granting and state of the art in hospital entertainment

SILVER LINING FOUNDATION
www.silverliningfoundation.org Provides wishes for children with cancer while they are receiving treatment

CAMP SUNSHINE
www.campsunshine.orgSupports children with life threatening illnesses and their families. The camp has the distinction of being the only program in the nation whose mission is to address the impact of a life threatening illness on every member of the immediate family—the ill child, the parents, and the siblings

THE NATIONAL CHILDRENS CANCER SOCIETY
www.thenccs.org/ Transportation to and from treatment, lodging during treatment, meals during treatment, long distance telephone calls, medical expenses not covered by insurance

FRIENDS4MICHAEL FOUNDATION 845-774-4809
www.friends4michael.org Provides non medical financial assistance to children, up to the age of 18 at the time of diagnosis, afflicted with brain tumor and currently undergoing medical treatment. Requests must be submitted by a social worker.

CLAYTON DABNEY FOUNDATION FOR KIDS WITH CANCER 214-361-2600
www.claytondabney.org/case_approval_criteria.php Provides gifts, last wishes and financial assistance to families which will facilitate quality of family life and create everlasting memories. Child must be considered terminal, under the age of 21 and be referred by a healthcare professional. $2,000 Cap per family is the usual amount

HUNT OF A LIFETIME
www.huntofalifetime.org
A nonprofit organization with a mission to grant hunting & fishing adventures and dreams for children age 21 and under, who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses

BENEFIT 4 KIDS
www.b4k.org/wish.htmThe Outdoor Wish program has been designed to allow children through the age of 17 with debilitating conditions or terminal illnesses an opportunity to experience the outdoors in a way they would not otherwise have the chance to do.

ANGEL FUNDS:
www.childrenschance.org/programs/angelfunds.htm Established by Children’s Chance to help families of children with cancer with out-of pocket expenses such as gas, food and telephone calls. Must be a resident of South Carolina to be eligible.

 

BRAVE KIDS:
www.bravekids.orgHelp for disabled kids.

 

THE CHILDREN’S LEUKEMIA RESEARCH ASSOCIATION:
www.childrensleukemia.org Provides partial aid to help with laboratory fees associated with leukemia, X-ray therapy treatment or chemotherapy treatment of leukemia and also leukemia drugs. 

 CURE SEARCH:
www.curesearch.org/resources/resourceservice.aspx?ServiceId=4 Cure search for children’s cancer has retreats and also other programs such as financial help, you need to be diligent on this website and read closely to find the help that is offered.  the closest location for a retreat to Greenville, SC is in Asheville, NC.

DELIVERING THE DREAM
www.deliverthedream.org/  when a child develops a life threatening disease, or a parent is diagnosed with a debilitating illness.

FIRST HAND FOUNDATION 816-201-1569
https://applications.cerner.com/firsthand/FirstHand_1a.aspx?id=28729  First Hand Foundation assists individual children who have health related needs and no financial resources to cover these expenses.

 HELPING HANDS FUND
www.cancerrecovery.org To help with paying for household bills for families with a child with cancer.

JAKE OWEN RABORN FOUNDATION 888-356-5253
www.jakesfoundation.org Provides financial assistance to children diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

MELONHEAD FOUNDATION 888-Melon-21
www.melonhead.org/index.php/resources  Supports the needs of children with cancer and their families who are seeking alternative methods of healing. The foundation also disperses funds to patients for treatment needs and to the families for their personal needs. 

NICKI LEACH FOUNDATION 904-280-8916
www.nickileach.org Provides financial assistance to children and young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 diagnosed with a life threatening, malignant medical condition. Helps with the costs of items they normally would not ask for but would love to receive, and provides a momentary diversion from the reality of living with cancer. Funding may help with car expenses, clothing, hair or makeup as well as for the purchase of a camera, computer or special trip.

 UNITED HEALTH CARE CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION 952-992-4459
www.unitedhealthcarechildrensfoundation.org  Offers financial assistance to cover medical services beyond what insurance will cover or if service is not covered by the policy at all. Children are eligible up to the age of 17, who are US citizens and are currently covered under a commercial health insurance policy. Generally assistance must be requested before services are obtained and funds will generally be paid directly to the facility. Grants up to $5,000 per year, with a lifetime cap of $7,500.

WIGS FOR KIDS
www.wigsforkids.org Provides free wigs to children under 18 who have lost their hair due to a medical condition and also wigs and prostheses for women with limited resources.

BELIEVE IN TOMORROW
www.believeintomorrow.org/ Dedicated to improving the quality of life for critically ill children and their families through three unique programs.

THE WISHING WELL FOUNDATION
www.wishingwellusa.org/Home.asp They will consider the wish of any child with a life threatening illness from ages 3 to 18.

CHILDS WISH
www.childswish.com  A non-profit Christian organization that routinely coordinates with other caring organizations worldwide in fulfilling a dream wish. If you know of a child [or adult] who is terminally ill or disabled and would like to go on a free dream hunt, fishing trip and camping or canoeing.

CATCH A DREAM
http://catchadream.org/learn/index.html  Grants once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing experiences to children 18 years old or younger who have a life-threatening illness.

CHILDRENS WISH
www.childrenswish.org/  This foundation fulfills special wishes of children under the age of 18 who have a life-threatening illness. 

ANDRE RIVER OF LIFE
http://andreriveroflife.org/ Within 24 hours helps with urgent expenses to allow single parents to stay at their child’s bedside during catastrophic illness.             

 A HUNT ABOVE                                                                                                                                  www.ahuntabove.org A Hunting and Fishing Experience for Handicap Children and Children who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses.

Excellent website for disabled hunters and anglers, both adults and children:  www.afarcry.info

AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION CAMP                                                                                                                   www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents-and-kids/ada-camps/camps/2011 Camp for Children with Diabetes

 Children’s Hospital of Greenville has a number of programs for Children with medical needs: http://www.ghschildrens.org/programs.php

www.discoverchurch.org/connect/serve.cfm <<< Discover Church of Simpsonville offers classes for children with special needs and other classes and groups are available.

DOGS FOR AUTISM www.dogsforautism.com/clients2.html Service dogs provided for families with an autistic child in the Greenville area.

www.friendsneverforget.org/  Friends Never Forget Inc. sponsors children of our fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to summer camps throughout the United States, to include cost of camp, travel to and from camp, lodging and meals. This allows no out of pocket expense for the parents or guardian of these children.

44 Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles offer health care where children need it the most: http://rmhc.org/what-we-do/ronald-mcdonald-care-mobile.

 

Please share this list of disability resources with your friends and family. They may have a disability that you are not aware of, or could become disabled in the future.

 

 

 

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