Chronic illness is more than debilitating or disabling, it is also can drain your finances. This is never truer than when dealing with multiple sclerosis. With MS, symptoms can come and go, striking from nowhere and remaining for unpredictable periods.
Patients with multiple sclerosis could feel great today but be unable to walk tomorrow and have trouble with vision the following day. The range of expenses extends from lost wages to treatments. Lifetime costs for a person with MS could accumulate to $2.2 million. Fortunately, help is available if MS is an issue for you.
Ask and You Shall Receive
Active research is in progress to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Now that researchers have access to stem cells, this cure could actually be on the horizon for the next generation of MS victims. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) provided $50 million to fund 440 studies and trials in 2008 alone.
This organization has established upwards of 60 chapters across the United States and beyond. On a more personal level, larger chapters also provide financial assistance to individuals in need. Smaller chapters channel their energies into linking patients with available community resources.
Seek and You Shall Find
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is another organization assisting patients. Three vital programs receive funds from this source: the MRI Diagnostic Fund and the Equipment Distribution program as well as a Cooling Equipment Distribution Program.
The MSAA makes payments directly to the MRI provider for the purpose of initial diagnosis. Items that MS patients need for safety and convenience are available through this program. Finally, MS patients who experience episodes directly attributed to heat sensitivity are eligible for items to reduce these symptoms.
Knock and it Shall be Opened to You
Grants provide funding for home care, vital emergencies and assistive devices. The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) administers these funds. However, MSF has no way of knowing that you need them unless you let them know.
Home care is a grant-funded program for patients in need of light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation and respite services. For patients who require portable ramps, wheelchairs, speakerphones, hand controls, eyeglasses or leg braces, the MSF has another program with funds for these assistive devices.
The Patient Assistance Program (PAP) helps with one-time emergencies. It will pay such bills as rent, urgent repairs and utilities if the item is for the safety, well-being or independence of the patient. PAP also assists those who need medications by linking them to drug companies where possible.