Tips on how to apply for grants and the sources that give them


Wheelchair van grants are funds offered by foundations, non-profits, and other organizations that are issued to individuals to lower the cost to buy handicap vans or modify existing minivans to be accessible. Grants do not need to be repaid and can be awarded to applicants that satisfy general conditions such as your disability. By finding and applying for various wheelchair van assistance programs, the purchase or conversion price can be lowered or even covered completely. The preparation for the grant application process can be lengthy, but could pay off with a new or used mobility van in your driveway. Follow the simple steps below to learn how to apply for a wheelchair van financial aid program.

1) Compile proper information for the grant application process
Preparation is top priority when applying for a grant for your wheelchair van. Having the information ready and available can save you from headaches and hiccups later on in the process. Generally, the information these applications ask for will vary among the individual’s circumstances along with grant requirements. Usually the applications want personal information (i.e. driver’s license, marital status, and financial information) and some background about the individual applying. Having all your personal information neatly organized on one page makes transferring it onto applications as seamless as possible.

2) Explain yourself to grant funding resource
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.

3) Get necessary medical records and references
Almost all grants, regardless if they are state, federal or private charities, will require the applicant to submit their medical records. In addition, getting a doctor to write a letter of recommendation can be very beneficial for applicants. Having the doctor address the letter to a generic source (i.e. “Dir Madam or Sir”, “To Whom it May Concern”) is a good idea. This way you can make copies of the letter to simultaneously apply to multiple grant opportunities. Once you have the proper medical records it is time to establish at least three references. These could be close friends, colleagues, church members, neighbors or anyone else that can provide quality feedback about your character and disability. Most donation funding institutions want to know about individual achievements they have witnessed personally or how you deal with your disability from their perspective. Allow them to explain how the free money to buy a wheelchair van would benefit your current conditions.

4) Identify the right funding resources for your accessible van
Now, you’ve reached the point in the funding application process where you have the basic information, and you need to begin researching sources for your financial assistance. Make sure to keep in mind not to limit yourself to one funding source because money from multiple aid programs can be applied to a single accessible vehicle. Before contacting a grant source, read their mission statement. In a cover letter, try to combine your needs with their goals. The purpose behind this is to educate the grant funder of how you can further their institution's aspirations. This information will be critical to the financial aid foundation.

5) Communicate with the grant funding organization
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 that 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 that 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 that can update you on your applications status. Ask them to give you a timeline of when they will be choosing the candidate for the assistance opportunity if it's not clear on their website.

6) Be organized and know submission dates
Organizing your handicap van grant application data is a must. You will need to refer to this information numerous times throughout the application process. Having a set method for remembering important dates and deadlines is a necessity. Staying persistent and up-to-date with your applications status can make you stand out from the others. It shows the funding institution that you are serious and interested in receiving their monetary support.

The featured tips for how to apply and receive free grant money to lower the cost of a wheelchair van can greatly increase the chances of being selected for financial support. These forms of charity were designed to assist specific people that are need of help including everyone from the disabled veteran to the special needs child in a low-income family. Knowing the tricks of how to apply for a wheelchair van grant for free funding will ensure you have the best chance to get a free or low cost handicap van.

Resources Available To Assist You In Purchasing Disability Equipment

Disabled Children's Relief Fund (DCRF)
This funding resource provides disabled children with assistance to obtain wheelchairs, orthopedic braces, walkers, lifts, hearing aids, eyeglasses, medical equipment, physical therapy, and surgery.

Midwest Special Needs Trust (MSNT)
Provides trust services for children with disabilities.

The United Healthcare Children's Foundation
A non-profit Section 501(c)(3) charity funded by contributions from UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare and its employees, as well as the generosity of individuals and corporations.

The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project
Small grants available for chronically ill children.

Easter Seals
This foundation helps disabled people and their families overcome obstacles on the road to independence and reach personal goals.

Administration for Children & Families
New funding opportunities are displayed on this website on an ongoing basis

President's Choice Children's Charity
This grant for kids is dedicated to helping children who are physically or developmentally challenged. The aim is to remove obstacles that make everyday living extremely difficult and to provide these young people with a renewed sense of dignity, independence, and freedom.


Your local Rotary Club
Often there are community funds set aside for individuals and families that need assistance. Stop by or call your a local rotary club with information about the needs of your disabled child and family. Often presenting this in handwritten form gets more attention.

Sometimes provides assistance when it involves a child or children and other special circumstances.

Medicaid/Department of Human Services (DHS)
Children are screened often as part of the Early and Periodic, Screening, Diasnosis, and Treatement (EPSDT) program of Medicaid. Under the "rehabilitative services" people can receive handicap van or lift funding for the intention of obtaining their "best possible functional levels."

Finding child (or children) grants for funding wheelchair vans help you obtain mobility freedom. Disabled and special needs kids deserve the same freedom as adults, and with foundations designed to aid in the purchase of wheelchair van, you can get out to show them the world.


Directory of Grants for A Paralyzing, Cancerous Brain or Spinal Tumor

As a nonprofit organization, CancerCare provides nationwide, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer. Their programs include limited financial assistance for men, women and children with paralyzing, cancerous brain or spinal tumors.

The SAM Fund
For survivors aged 17 to 35 of a paralyzing, cancerous brain or spinal tumor, the SAMFund can provide financial assistance to cover a wide range of post-treatment needs.


Directory of Grants for Spinal Cord Injuries

The Reeve Foundation
Named for its late founders Christopher and wife Dana Reeve, the foundation strives toward curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis. While they do not make grants to individuals, their Information Specialists in their Paralysis Resource Center can direct you to other resources.

The Travis Roy Foundation
This foundation is dedicated to enhancing the life of spinal cord injured individuals and their families by providing adaptive equipment and finding a cure for spinal cord injuries through increased funding of research. Self-reliance and the ability to be as independent as possible is their goal for recipients.

A leader in fundraising assistance for spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, HelpHOPELive helps patients who have exhausted all other resources by awarding them a one-time grant for fundraising, and providing other financial services. HelpHOPELive can help people mobilize their communities to fundraise for uninsured expenses related to catastrophic injury, including but not limited to, vehicle modifications.

The K Grant
Offered by the Kevin Kitchnefsky Foundation for Spinal Cord Research, this grant is a special award designed to help offset the costs of mobility equipment needed as a result of a spinal cord injury. Only Pennsylvania (PA) residents with a spinal cord injury could be eligible.


Directory of Grants for Paralyzing Neurodegenerative Diseases

The Weber Foundation of Helping Hands, Inc.
Elizabeth Weber founded the charitable Weber Foundation to help families in dire need due to a paralyzing neurodegenerative disease. Since 2001 the foundation has issued more than 300 grants totaling nearly $675,000.

The Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation
In the spirit of living every day to the fullest, MDFF has helped hundreds of people with a neuromuscular disease by providing assistance toward the purchase and/or installation of wheelchair accessible vans, lifts or ramps. Their mission is to fund adaptive equipment.


Directory of Grants for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation Brighter Tomorrow Grant
The goal of this foundation is to provide up to $1,000 to individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, to improve their quality of life by enhancing safety, self-sufficiency, comfort or well-being. (Applicants must not have any other means of fulfilling the need for a wheelchair accessible van, a van modification, or mobility equipment.)

Kelly Packowski MS Foundation
Their sole purpose is to provide direct help to New England-area individuals with Multiple Sclerosis. Services such as assistive devices and mobility transportation may be supported.

If you are unable to find help financing or funding your handicap van or mobility needs for Multiple Sclerosis through the links above, please look contact us for information on loans that you might be qualified to apply for.


F.Y.I. these are only some of the sources of aid for people wishing to apply for grants..There are other sources available and our list is by no means complete and exclusive. These are just some of the one we are aware of and will continue to add to our list as we find more.