How to Apply for a Wheelchair Van Grant for Free or Low Cost Funding
Wheelchair van grants are funds offered by foundations, non-profits, and other organizations and issued to individuals to lower the cost of buying handicap vans or modifying existing minivans to be accessible. Grants don’t need to be repaid and are awarded to applicants that satisfy general conditions, like a disability. By finding and applying for various wheelchair van assistance programs, the purchase or conversion price can be lowered or sometimes covered completely. The preparation and the grant application process can be lengthy, but it often pays off with a new or used handicap van in your driveway. Follow the steps below to learn how to apply for a wheelchair van financial aid program.
Preparation is top priority when applying for a grant for a wheelchair van. Having the information ready and available saves you headaches and hiccups later on in the process. Generally, the information these applications require will vary based on grant requirements and the individual's circumstances. Usually, the applications ask for personal information (i.e. driver’s license, marital status, and financial information), along with further background about the individual applying. When you have all your personal information neatly organized on one page, it makes transference onto applications much simpler.
Almost all grants, regardless of whether they're state, federal or private charities, require applicants to submit their medical records. Ask a doctor to write a letter of recommendation for added support. Have the doctor address the letter to a generic individual, like “Dear Madam or Sir” or “To Whom it May Concern”, and make copies of the letter so you can apply to multiple grant opportunities simultaneously. Once you have the proper medical records, establish at least three references—close friends, colleagues, church members, neighbors or anyone else who will provide quality input about your character and disability, citing individual achievements they've witnessed personally or how you deal with your disability from their perspective. Tell them to explain how your current condition would benefit from the free money to buy a wheelchair van.
You're now at the point in the funding application process where you have the basic information, so it's time to research sources for your financial assistance. The AMS website provides a list of credible foundations and institutions under the financing wheelchair vans section, or visit the wheelchair vans grants page. DON'T limit yourself to one funding source, because money from multiple aid programs can be applied to a single accessible vehicle.
Do a little research to find the person in charge of the funding program you're seeking. Some financial assistance programs will assign a project officer who can be contacted, while others offer no technical assistance. If you do find an available contact, remember to be courteous and always thank them for spending time to help you. This can prove to be invaluable, because opening a direct line of communication is a great way to inquire about financing proposal reviews and requirements. Any questions or concerns you may have about the grant program can be addressed at this stage. For each program, get a contact name and number of a person who can update you on your applications status. If it's not clear on their website, ask them to give you their timeline for choosing the candidate for the assistance opportunity.
At this point you get to let the grant provider understand your personal story and what impact any hardships have had on your life. You'll want to be honest, concise and sell your story to the funding organization. Include clearly defined statement of how you intend to use the funds received and the way it will improve your life. Be sure to separate your story from the other grant candidates by writing an inspirational, emotion-filled piece.
Organizing your handicap van grant application data is a must, because you may have to refer to this information numerous times throughout the application process. Have a set method for remembering important dates and meeting deadlines. To stand out from other applicants, be persistent and up-to-date with your application status! It shows the funding institution you’re serious and interested in receiving their monetary support.
Following our tips on how to apply and receive free grant money to lower the cost of a wheelchair van can greatly increase your chances for financial support. These charities were designed to assist specific people in need, including everyone from the disabled veteran to the special needs child in a low-income family. These hints on how to apply for a wheelchair van grant for free funding ensure the best chance to get a free or low-cost handicap van.