ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, first came into public awareness when the baseball player Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease. Since that time, the condition – a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord – has gotten a great deal of attention and greater understanding. For those who are diagnosed with the disease, or who have loved ones who have ALS, life is extremely difficult. ALS eventually leads to death, and between the time that it is identified and the years that intervene, patients slowly become paralyzed.
The grief that is felt and the challenges that are experienced when confronting ALS can be overwhelming, and making matters worse is the fact that the disease can be extremely costly to manage. No matter how economically stable you and your family may be, serious illness can throw off the economic balance, and this is especially true if the person with the diagnosis is a financial contributor to the family.
There are a number of steps that you need to take in order to ensure that you are able to continue paying your bills and continue your life in as normal a way as you can. People with ALS are able to continue working for a while before their disease disables them completely, and it is a good idea to investigate what benefits your workplace insurance may offer in terms of long-term disability and health care benefits.
You can also look into the many organizations that offer a helping hand to those with ALS as well as with other debilitating diseases. There are national and local groups that are dedicated to making a difference and easing the financial burden of those who have been affected by illness. The list below is a great place to start.
Financial Help for ALS Patients & Families – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
ALS Foundation for Life
About ALS Foundation For Life: The ALS Foundation for Life is committed to providing funding for medical equipment, home modifications, and technological devices allowing patients some independence and sense of dignity.Their goal is to reach out into the ALS community to offer assistance and make an impact on the lives of patients and their families.
ALS Guardian Angels
About ALS Guardian Angels: ALS Guardian Angels grants help families with expenses not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, insurance and other reimbursement programs. Recipients may apply for and receive grants up to $1,500 each. The group offers a respite care fund, a medical equipment fund, vacation and transportation funds, and a home modification fund.
Voice for Joanie
About Voice for Joanie: Provides assistive technology devices to individuals who have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and other debilitating diseases.
Fifth Season Financial
About Fifth Season Financial: Fifth Season Financial offer the Funds for Living Program, a financial assistance resource that helps relieve the financial burden experienced by many people with serious illness like ALS. Fifth Season’s program provides funds to people living with cancer or any other serious illness by using their life insurance policy as collateral. The funds you receive have NO RESTRICTIONS. You choose how you want to spend your money. Pay bills, take a vacation, or give a gift to someone you love. It’s your choice! The Funds For Living Program has provided over $115 million in funds to hundreds of families. Learn more: www.fifthseasonfinancial.
The Oley Foundation
(518) 262-5079 / (800) 776-6539
About The Oley Foundation: Provides an equipment/supply exchange to consumers of home parenteral (IV) and enteral (tube-fed) nutrition (homePEN) for patients requiring enteral/parenteral care, including those with cancer, Crohn’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, Cystic Fibrosis, and AIDS.
Muscular Dystrophy Association
About Muscular Dystrophy Association: The Muscular Dystrophy Association provides several types of assistance to individuals who have neuromuscular diseases, including those with ALS.
The Edward T. Strauss Memorial Fund
About The Edward T. Strauss Memorial Fund: This fund was established in memory of Edward T. Strauss, who lost his life on 9/11. “With Eddie’s Help”, Inc. works closely with ALS patients and equipment manufacturers providing the financial support which enables ALS patients to acquire this basic life sustaining equipment either by becoming their medical insurance co-payee or in some cases, providing full monetary support. We will continue to provide ALS patients the financial assistance that will allow them to live out their lives with as much dignity and comfort as possible.
About HealthWell Foundation: The HealthWell Foundation reduces financial barriers to care for underinsured patients with chronic or life-threatening diseases.