“What resources are available to help me get a prosthesis, adaptive sports equipment, or other adaptive device if I don’t have insurance, my insurance doesn’t cover it adequately, or I can’t afford it?” That’s basically the number one question Amplitude gets asked by our readers.
These devices are often costly and can take a huge chunk out of your budget—if you can afford them at all. Even worse, you may need to purchase some of them every few years or more. Moreover, some people need more than one device for different purposes (e.g., a cosmetic prosthesis for everyday life and a sports prosthesis or adaptive bike for sports activities).
Fortunately, several organizations offer assistance with these devices for those in need. Keep in mind, however, that each organization has its own criteria regarding eligibility. Some are for certain ages, only athletes, only those with certain incomes, people in specific states, etc.
50 Legs provides prosthetic legs to children, adults, and military servicemembers who desire to live an active lifestyle. The organization partners exclusively with specific providers in Florida, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
Applicants must have financial need and be willing to work with a provider who is registered with Ability Found.
The Bowman Limb Bank Foundation acts as a resource for artificial limbs for those in need. It is a nonprofit organization that helps to fulfill the need for artificial limbs in underdeveloped nations and in the United States where traditional funding is unavailable.
Friends of Man provides medical assistance to people in need. One hundred percent of donations are used for direct charitable assistance. Friends of Man accepts applications only from a referring professional on behalf of the applicant.
The Heather Abbott Foundation provides grants for customized prostheses to those who have suffered limb loss through traumatic circumstances.
A global nonprofit organization dedicated to providing fully functional lower-limb prosthetic care for individuals who cannot otherwise afford it. Applicants must have no other means to pay for prosthetic care, including Medicare, insurance coverage, or state assistance.
Mending Limbs Organization provides financial assistance toward the cost of a prosthesis for individuals who do not have insurance, government-assisted funding, or supplemental assistance.
Miracle Limbs–Courage in Motion
Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion, a Florida nonprofit corporation, is the vision of Bob Ayres, an above-knee amputee. This organization provides support to his fellow amputees so they may more easily navigate the hurdles that accompany the experience of losing a limb.
Range of Motion Project (ROMP)
The US Assistance Program at ROMP serves people with amputations who do not have access to prosthetic care due to immigration status, lack of insurance, or extreme financial hardship.
San Antonio Amputee Foundation
SAAF provides financial assistance to amputees in the San Antonio, Texas, area. Applicants must have attended at least two SAAF support group meetings.
Steps of Faith is a nonprofit public charity providing prosthetic care, hope, and comfort to amputees needing financial support. The organization helps uninsured and underinsured amputees get the prosthetic limbs they need. Applicants must not be eligible to have any portion of their prosthetic care covered by insurance.
The War Amps serves war amputees and all Canadian amputees.
Ability Online is a Canadian nonprofit organization that provides a social media technology platform for young people with disabilities, and offers equipment grants for qualifying parents on the online community.
Founder and amputee Noelle Lambert helps young amputees obtain specialized prostheses that they are unable to afford so that they will be able to live a more fulfilling life.
Inner Wheel USA Foundation, Inc.
Inner Wheel USA provides myoelectric prostheses to children born without or who have lost an arm or hand through disease or accident. The organization provides an avenue for children whose insurance or family circumstances do not allow them to benefit from the latest updated technology.
The Jordan Thomas Foundation provides children affected by limb loss with the prostheses they need throughout childhood and adolescence and serves as a caring resource, advocate, and support system for these children and their parents.
The Limb Kind Foundation helps children with limb loss regain their motivation and determination by providing prostheses free of charge.
The mission of Lost Limbs Foundation is to provide financial assistance to the families of amputee children who need medical and prosthetic assistance.
Shriners Hospitals for Children
Variety — The Children’s Charity
Variety focuses on multiple unmet needs of children who are sick, disadvantaged, or live with disabilities, and other special needs at a local, national, and international level.
Adult applicants must have completed three 5Ks and have pictures and results from each race. Child applicants must have completed at least one one-mile fun run.
Angel City Sports hosts the Paralympic-style Angel City Games and offers year-round clinics and events. Their inventory of adaptive sports equipment can be loaned or rented to individuals who want to get into the game. They also list grant opportunities on their website.
Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF has awarded thousands of grants to individuals with physical challenges to access adaptive sports equipment, training, and competition expenses.
IM ABLE Foundation grants are awarded to individuals with physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral challenges residing in the Mid-Atlantic region, providing adaptive sports gear and group fitness programs. The grants are awarded to applicants who are committed to becoming more active.
Another great resource is your state’s vocational rehabilitation agency, which can pay for wheelchairs, adaptive vehicles, prosthetic devices, etc., for those who need them for their current or future employment.
Visit askearn.org/state-vocational-rehabilitation-agencies to learn more.
For More Information
“Getting a Wheelchair for Less—Or Free”