What Is Medical-Based Financial Aid and How Do I Get It?

While looking for college funds, Jason White recalls reading a footnote in a drab manual on the federal government’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. White may qualify for medical-based financial help provided he verified his medical issues Consolidation Now, which included allergies and asthma in his instance.

The VR initiative seemed to be a long shot at first. On the other hand, White received $96,000 from the program to use toward not one but two degrees. Consider the following questions to understand how he achieved it — and how you, too, may earn medical-based financial help if you qualify:

  • What is medical-based financial assistance, and how does it work?
  • How can you apply for medically-based financial aid?
  • What are the options for medical-related financial assistance?
  • What are the advantages of financial help based on medical necessity?

What is medical-based financial assistance, and how does it work?

Medical-based financial aid is a kind of higher education help is given to students and families with health problems that interfere with their ability to study or work in their industry. The qualifications vary in each program. However, most candidates must provide documentation of their medical condition.

There are three main criteria for medical-based financial help.

1. Medical proof: A letter or email from your doctor outlining your problem, including how it was identified and treated. White, for example, reported getting allergy testing and injections to ease his symptoms. It was about a paragraph in length.

2. Tax information: If you’re a dependant, you’ll need to get your parents to compile the relevant documentation.

3. Transcripts: You’ll need your most recent grade reports, whether you’re a high school senior or an adult returning to college. Your grades will be evaluated about the degree you are pursuing. As White points out, if you never did well in high school science subjects, you could have trouble applying as a chemistry major.

White didn’t believe he’d be eligible for help because of his “unpleasant” medical issues. 

This kind of financial aid may have the same influence on you as it did on White. His parents’ income was too high for need-based financial help while he was in college — they stopped supporting him after he dropped out of a computer science program — and his grades weren’t nearly strong enough for merit-based scholarships. He assumed he’d have to borrow his way back to school until he discovered medical-based financial assistance.

“It was the loophole that saved me from a pile of student loan debt,” White recalls, estimating that some of his law school classmates built up a debt of $200,000 or more. “Too many students expect that by filling out a FAFSA, they would be informed of all the financial assistance opportunities available to them.”

How can you apply for medically-based financial assistance?

When families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Help, there is no mention of medical-based financial aid (FAFSA). In most cases, you’ll have to look for it.

Here are four options for medical-related financial assistance:

  1. Make contact with the higher education authorities in your state.
  2. Contact the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies in your state.
  3. Talk to the institutions on your college list and inquire about financial aid.
  4. Check out the list of grant and scholarship opportunities below.

Finding the proper individual at the correct agency and completing all of the required documentation is easier said than done.

“I’m sure some people will roll their eyes and say, ‘Why don’t I simply obtain a student loan?'” says the author. White declares.

While applying for the VR program and other medical-based financial assistance may be more demanding than completing the FAFSA, keep in mind that it is a gift.

Avoid the most frequent medical-based financial assistance application blunder.

Many Vocational Rehabilitation candidates, according to White, are refused assistance due to a checkbox on application forms. You’re asked whether your illness will make it difficult for you to find work. You could click “No” without understanding that it might exclude you from the program if you don’t want to confess to a restriction.

White applied to a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program that has been operating for a long time. VR was created by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and supported by both the federal and state governments. White, now an attorney with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, believes the program’s secrecy is due to its lousy name.

According to White’s study, around 100,000 students apply for this scholarship. He claims that this is a paltry sum, given that 2.4 million students with qualifying requirements take out student loans each year.

Unfortunately, additional medical-related financial assistance programs are similarly under-recognized. Here are some national prizes to be aware of (but keep an eye out for more chances in your area or region).

What are the benefits of receiving financial assistance based on medical necessity?

White received enough medical-based financial assistance to complete his undergraduate and law degrees, despite taking out student loans to meet living costs while in law school.

He’s not alone, according to the statistics. California paid roughly 24,000 students a total of $53 million in 2019-2020, the most recent year for which figures are available from the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Whether they were pursuing a degree, a professional program, or anything in between, each student was charged $2,166.

Receiving medical-based financial help has significant benefits. For example, if you’re a Vocational Rehabilitation recipient:

If you have ADHD, for example, you may be eligible for “reasonable accommodations,” such as a free laptop for school or a private examination room.

After school: You might apply for jobs with a handicap on your record and get assistance while looking for work.

White considers medical-based financial help a “godsend” after receiving over $60,000 in aid.

“I don’t know whether I would have been ready to take the risk of law school if it hadn’t been for [the Vocational Rehabilitation program], since it [was] such an expensive venture,” White adds. “It aided me in taking the risk of furthering my education, which is a huge element for many people.” They may be more eager to perform better and more extraordinary things if money is removed from the mix.”

If you have a proven health problem and need money for school, look into your choices for medical-based financial assistance and, perhaps, enjoy the benefits.

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