Loss of income, medical bills, rehabilitation, and the costs of daily care leave many spinal cord injury survivors in dire financial straits. Many families resort to loans to cover gaps in their medical insurance or daily expenses, but loans can end up destroying a family's credit and costing thousands of dollars.
A grant, by contrast, doesn't need to be repaid. Available from private, government, and nonprofit organizations, grants offer support and funding for specific ends. For instance, some spinal cord injury grants cover the costs of returning to school, while others cover general living expenses or medical bills.
Thousands of spinal cord injury grants are available, and regularly scouring the Internet for new grants may help you find a program for which you are eligible.
Where to Find Grants
The following resources are excellent starting points for locating spinal cord injury grants:
- The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation provides updates on new financial assistance programs and also offers grants of its own.
- Grants.gov is a searchable tool for locating government-backed grants.
- The American Medical Association sponsors healthy living grant programs. These grants won't cover medical expenses but if you're interested in educating others about spinal cord injuries, services, or general health and wellness, such a grant could be ideal.
- Paralyzed Veterans of America provides a listing of scholarships and grants, as well as information about resources and tips on advocating for your needs.
- Help Hope Live compiles an annual Resource Directory to share information about organizations, programs, and foundations, including those who offer grants for spinal cord injury-related expenses.
Spinal Cord Injury Grants
Thousands of organizations offer grants, and the specific value and requirements associated with these grants is constantly changing, so check with the sponsoring organization before completing an application packet. Some of the most respected spinal cord injury grant programs include:
- Project Thirty Four: Offers grants to help pay for medical equipment and other expenses not covered by insurance.
- Spinal Cord Opportunities for Rehabilitation Endowment (SCORE): Offers grants to alleviate spinal cord injury-related financial hurdles, with preference given to young people injured during athletic pursuits.
- 180 Medical Scholarship: Offers grants and scholarships to spinal cord injury survivors who wish to pursue higher education.
- Gridiron Heroes: Offers grants to athletes injured in football games.
- The Joseph Groh Foundation: Offers grants and other assistance to former participants in the HVAC industry.
- Mike Utley Foundation: Offers a month of rehabilitation services at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, including personal training, nutritional consultations, biofeedback, physical therapy, and a one-month membership at the Brasza Fitness Center.
- Challenged Athletes Fund: Provides grants to support people with physical challenges these funds may be used for equipment such as prosthetics or adaptive sports equipment, travel or competition expenses, or coaching and training.
- High Fives Foundation: Offers grants, resources, and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries. Raises injury prevention awareness to support outdoor sports athletes.
- AvaCare Medical: Offers a scholarship for those pursuing a college degree in the medical field such as therapy, nursing, medicine, nutrition, laboratory science, dentistry, health law, etc. All students eligible can apply but preference is given to students with a physical disability.
- Be Perfect Foundation: Provides financial and emotional aid for individuals living with paralysis. The Be Perfect Foundation offers resources, medical expenditure coverage, and hope all while encouraging personal independence.
- Victoria's Victory Foundation: Provides resources and supports individuals living with disabilities through inspiration, guidance, connections, and scholarships. Victoria's Victory Foundation allows those living with a disability to have access to what is needed to live a more independent life.
- The Chanda Plan: Providing integrative therapies through community providers, independent of participants' capacity to pay.
- Getting Back Up: Provides funds to qualified persons to participate in exercise-based recovery programs and purchase adaptable products. These programs and products have been shown to significantly enhance an injured person's physical and mental well-being.
- MW Fund: "Focus on the positive." MW Fund provides financial aid for specialized spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation that is not covered by insurance. They also help aid and promote SCI recovery research efforts.
- Neilsen Scholarship Fund: The Neilsen Scholarship Program (NSP) offers scholarships at designated colleges, universities, and community colleges. Its goal is to establish and sustain educational opportunities for students dealing with spinal cord injuries, enabling them to pursue higher education and live fulfilling lives both within and beyond academic settings. In order to diminish socioeconomic obstacles to achievement, these scholarships encompass tuition and fees for undergraduate or graduate studies, accompanied by additional financial assistance for eligible students.
- The Kelly Bush foundation: The Active Fund provides assistance to individuals experiencing paralysis due to Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and living in the US. This support is directed towards acquiring sports or recreational equipment specifically designed for people with disabilities, facilitating their engagement in active pursuits. The funding operates on a biannual basis, with cycles occurring in both Spring and Fall.
- Perseverance Project: A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, aims to offer financial aid to individuals dealing with spinal cord injuries, movement disorders, and neurological conditions.
- Go Hawk Eye Foundation: The grant program extends its eligibility to adaptive individuals and organizations across the United States, offering grants for both adaptive sports equipment and adaptive sports experiences. The grant cycle follows a biannual schedule, concluding on May 1 and November 1.
- Swift Outdoor Accessible Recreation (S.O.A.R.)
- The “BUD SWIFT” Memorial Veterans Grant: The "BUD SWIFT" Memorial Veterans Grant, awarded annually, aims to support military veterans who meet the specified criteria. The grant will be conferred by a collaborative effort involving a minimum of two board members or executives of SOAR, who will be entrusted with the responsibility of selecting the recipient for the "BUD SWIFT" Memorial Veterans Grant.
- The Tom Higgins Charitable Grant: an annual initiative administered by S.O.A.R., focuses on providing equipment based on need. The selection process involves a collaborative decision-making effort by a minimum of two board members or executives of S.O.A.R. S.O.A.R.'s mission is dedicated to enhancing the emotional and physical well-being of individuals with disabilities, as well as families and individuals in need, by establishing accessible outdoor environments.
- Triumph Foundation
- The “Keep Moving Forward Grant”: The Keep Moving Forward (KMF) Grant by Triumph is designed to empower individuals with spinal cord injuries facing financial challenges, aiming to enhance their quality of life and overcome obstacles. Triumph's KMF Grants focus on providing support in key areas such as obtaining Adaptive Equipment for daily activities, making Home Modifications for wheelchair accessibility, facilitating the Return to Work and community integration, and engaging in Therapeutic Activities for health and wellness.
- Employment Achievement Award: Grant program designed to offer financial support to individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) aiming to reenter the workforce, enhance success with their current employer, obtain licenses, acquire essential products or equipment for starting a business, and overall, elevate workplace achievements. The primary objective is to empower individuals recovering from paralyzing accidents, facilitating their transition to becoming productive and valued members of the community.
- National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility “Ralph Braun Grant Program”: Dedicated to offering financial aid to individuals with disabilities in the United States and Canada who require vehicle modifications. Committed to the belief that accessible transportation is a fundamental right, NOVA strives to fulfill its mission by providing assistance through education, information, and facilitating the acquisition of necessary products. Applications are open year-round, and grants are awarded quarterly, ensuring a consistent and accessible support system for those with mobility needs.
- Bridge to Mobility: Locate a National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association (NMEDA) dealer in your vicinity and schedule a meeting. During this meeting, your dealer will conduct a thorough Needs Analysis to evaluate your requirements. The assessment will consider your income and credit to determine what can be financed. In cases where there is a funding gap, your dealer will take the initiative to submit a grant application to Bridge to Mobility on your behalf. Grant application outcomes are communicated to all applicants directly by their NMEDA dealer.
- Bryon Riesch Foundation:
- Charitable Grants: Charitable Grants, reviewed quarterly in January, March, June, and September. Requests, emphasizing specific items, receive priority from Wisconsin residents, but the grants are open to applicants beyond the state. Eligibility for Individual Grants involves grappling with a spinal cord injury or related disorder, with a requirement to demonstrate financial need, potentially requiring supporting documentation.
- Scholarships: Scholarship Grants, awarding $1000 to $4000 annually to two to three individuals with spinal cord injuries, spinal cord-related disabilities, or children of such individuals for post-high school education. Preference is given to direct spinal cord injuries and diseases resulting in paralysis, such as spinal tumors, spinal strokes, or aneurysms affecting the spinal cord, or spina bifida. Applicants must also maintain a high school or college GPA of 2.5 or higher to qualify.
- Wheelchairs 4 Kids: The flagship program, “Let's Roll”, is a dedicated initiative improving the lives of children with physical disabilities. It offers complimentary wheelchairs, home and vehicle modifications, and therapeutic equipment to kids facing limited mobility due to illness, accidents, or abuse. All services are provided at no cost to the wheel kid families, embodying the organization's commitment to enabling children to fully participate in life. Let's Roll equips them with essential tools for a more inclusive and empowered future.
- Oracle Health Pediatric Grants: Grants provide coverage for healthcare expenses of children aged 18 and under. This includes clinical, equipment, travel, lodging, and vehicle modification costs related to children's healthcare needs. The grants cover travel and lodging within North America, clinical and equipment expenses like procedures, therapy, wheelchairs, and hearing aids. Vehicle modifications such as lifts and ramps are included, excluding funding for accessible vehicles.
- Giving Angels Foundation: (Organization with a 100% volunteer board) Dedicated to assisting special needs children aged 21 or younger with a physical disability in lower income families throughout the United States. Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis, with the funds going directly to enhance the everyday lives of these children and their families. Families with a maximum annual income of $50,000 can apply for assistance, which covers life-changing equipment, medical supplies, essential family bills, specialized camps, and therapeutic toys. The Foundation accepts applications year-round, and Board voting occurs monthly. Grants are awarded once per family, prioritizing those with demonstrated financial need and children under 21 with physical disabilities or illnesses like spina bifida, paralysis, missing limbs, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or cancer.
- 180 Medical Ron Howell Caregiver Scholarship: The scholarship is dedicated to caregivers supporting loved ones with disabilities like spinal cord injuries.
- Tighten the Drag: A Florida-based 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity that includes a sponsor adapted fishing weekend. Funds are dedicated to providing scholarships for Florida residents, enabling individuals with spinal cord injuries to access Activity-Based exercise therapy rehabilitation and recovery programs.
- United Health Children’s Foundation: 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides medical grants to help children gain access to health-related services not covered, or not fully covered, by their family’s commercial health insurance plan. Families can receive up to $5,000 annually per child ($10,000 lifetime maximum per child) and do not have insurance through United Health.
- Score Fund: Non-profit organization dedicated to offering small financial grants to individuals who have become paralyzed during their engagement in sports or recreational pursuits.
- Dream2Walk: Operates as a 501(c)(3) public charity, concentrating on spinal cord injury recovery. The organization assists spinal cord injury patients on their path to recovery and relearning to walk. This is accomplished through fundraising efforts that result in awarding scholarships to eligible patients seeking assistance at approved recovery-based therapy facilities.
- Demonstrating Independence Program: Aims to empower individuals by offering quarterly support through cutting-edge technologies. Recipients of this grant will have the opportunity to enhance their independence through innovations such as voice-controlled lighting, television, or solutions for individuals with limited arm mobility to operate their cell phones.
- Wheels of Happiness (WOH): 501(c)(3) organization established to assist spinal cord injury survivors and individuals with motor disabilities in underserved communities worldwide. WOH provides medical equipment, supplies, scholarships, and psychological support to promote independence and reintegration. Funded by corporate and individual donors, along with special events, WOH operates in the USA, Latin America, and select African countries.
- The Ian Burkhart Foundation: supports individuals in finding accessible funding sources and offers grants for items typically not covered by insurance, yet crucial for enhancing independence and quality of life. Grant approvals are determined by the board, and eligible items range from wheelchairs and exercise equipment to vehicle modifications, home adjustments, and adaptive tools. Applicants are encouraged to articulate how the grant will positively impact their quality of life.
- Walking With Anthony: funds crucial rehabilitation therapy costs for individuals with spinal cord injuries, removing the financial burden. The organization is also expanding access to dedicated rehab centers for all who can benefit from them.
- Falling Forward Foundation: Extends support to patients navigating catastrophic medical issues, providing funding for ongoing rehabilitation.
- New Perspective Foundation: Aids individuals hospitalized in Ohio, Georgia, and Florida due to spinal cord injuries by offering assistance to their family and friends. This support covers airfare, gasoline, and lodging expenses, enabling them to travel and provide crucial support during a time of need.
Medical centers often maintain up-to-date lists of current grants, scholarships, and research programs.
For a more complete list of relevant spinal cord injury grants in your area, talk to your medical provider or click the button below to be connected with a lawyer who can help walk you through other legal opportunities.