Assisting Oregonians With Physical Disabilities Since 1981
Frequently Asked Questions--FAQs
Below is a list of most Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not see your question listed, please contact us.
Who is eligible to apply for assistance from Blanche Fischer Foundation?
Any Oregonian, regardless of age, who has a verifiable physical disability, is eligible to apply.
Do I make too much money to apply?
We serve people who can demonstrate financial need. You may use the Income Worksheet to learn if you meet the financial need criteria.
I meet the financial criteria. What do you mean by “verifiable physical disability”?
Along with your application, you must submit proof of disability. Because we are responsive to the potential expense of getting a physician’s statement, we will accept other health professionals’ statements regarding your disability.
What types of “other professionals”?
A State of Oregon DHS employee who helps you with your Oregon Trail Card. Your Center for Independent Living (CIL) counselor, your minister, your school counselor. Be aware that we may check with the party about their statement(s) concerning your unique situation. For this reason, we appreciate it if you sign a Release of Information with the professional you use.
Okay, so I meet all the criteria for assistance from Blanche. Now what?
Send us your application! Be certain that you have filled it out completely and
1. Enclose verification of your disability.
2. Enclose an invoice with the precise cost of the device or service for which you are applying.
3. Be certain that you have sought help from other resources. This is to say that the more you can help with the purchase, the more people we can help!
4. Make sure the application is signed and dated.
5. Remember that meeting all the criteria does not ensure you of a positive result.
You say that “The aid may relate directly to the disability or toward fostering personal independence.” What does that mean?
Quite simply, we mean that the woman who uses a wheelchair may have the best Quickie in the world, but she has steps into her house. She needs a ramp to get in/out. She may have the ramp, but she needs glasses so she can see the TV. Similarly, the woman who has TBI is going to need snow tires for her car or the electrician needs boots for his job.
Okay, so how long does it take to get a Blanche Fischer Foundation grant?
It takes 180 days and even longer. The Foundation does not have an Emergency Fund.
What are the most common problems people have with your application process?
1. They forget to sign the application.
2. The Income Worksheet is missing from the application packet.
3. They fail to send verification of physical disability. Especially in cases of intellectual disability, this is very important (and often overlooked).
4. They fail to send an invoice detailing the EXACT COST of the product or service they are seeking. If we do not have the precise amount requested, we cannot act on your request. A web page is acceptable proof.
5. They forget to send us proof of Oregon residency.
6. Applications exceeding the $1200 cap with no indication of how they are going to make up the difference. "Anything you can give will help" is not an acceptable way to fill out the application.
I have a need for a product that is much more than your $1200 cap. What do I do?
1. Use our Suggested Resources to locate other sources of funding.
2. Involve your friends, family members, church and local community members in fund-raising for the product or service you need.
3. Contact the Foundation with your request for our max and describe how you are raising funds.
4. In your fundraising efforts, you may reference the Foundation as a potential funder of your request, but this does not mean that we will be. The sheer volume of requests we receive means that the grant requests go through exhaustive contemplation by our Grant Review Team. As much as they would like to grant every request, they are aware of the Foundation's budgetary constraints and find themselves turning down requests.
5. Keep Faith in yourself and loved ones that you will raise the necessary funds.
Every winter, I seem to fall behind on my heating bill. I get Low Income Energy Assistance, but it is never enough. What do I do for emergency assistance?
Contact your local Center for Independent Living and ask them to work alongside you as you learn ways to conserve energy. You may ask them to help you develop a plan toward sustaining yourself and being more energy independent. Also, you may ask your local provider; it is likely that they will send an energy conservation specialist to your home to give you feedback on your individual living situation.
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