HELP’s Financial Assistance program is designed to assist predominantly low-income clients to overcome barriers which prevent them from focusing on medical care. The program encompasses several types of services. Utility payments provide gas, electricity and water necessary for heat, personal hygiene and food storage/preparation. Medication and insurance assistance bridge gaps in coverage to ensure uninterrupted access to medical care and prescription medications. Medical supplies and durable medical equipment may be necessary during periods of declining health. Other vital needs include eyeglasses and hearing aides.
In order to qualify for utility assistance, clients must demonstrate sufficient income to maintain their monthly expenses going forward. This requirement is designed to assure the best opportunities for long-term stability and to prevent repeated cycles of financial distress. Staff members work with clients to evaluate their monthly budgets. Documents and information submitted by clients, health care providers, case managers and utility vendors help identify problems when evaluating the overall household situation. HELP is also a THAW site; staff members establish utility plans with clients to take advantage of seasonally available resources such as home heating credits and earned income tax credits. The importance of making regular payments, even if not in full, is emphasized to keep clients in good standing with energy providers.
Eyeglasses and Medical Supplies
Prescription eyeglasses are provided for eligible low-income clients who lack eyeglass insurance coverage. HELP may also provide payment assistance for hearing aides, medical supplies, durable medical equipment, infant supplies and other items necessary to adhere to medical treatment and perform basic activities of daily living.
Medication and Insurance Assistance
Agency staff provide client advocacy with the Michigan AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), insurance carriers and medication providers (pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies). In extenuating circumstances, HELP has a limited pool of funds to support emergency medication needs that cannot be met with other resources. Short-term assistance may be provided for co-pays and health insurance premiums or COBRA payments to support uninterrupted access to medical coverage.
For more information, please call 313-832-3300 and ask to speak to a Financial Service Specialist.