Back in December 2016, I wrote an article about various perks available to people living with a disability (http://nationalpainreport.com/perks-for-chronic-illness-disability-8832305.html). Many of these discounts and freebies aren’t advertised, so those who benefit either learn of them via word of mouth or by sheer luck. As many of us living with chronic pain or illness have come to know, paying for your medical necessities – and oftentimes being unable to work – finances can be tight. So, any place you can cut a corner is welcome!
In addition to the items listed in the previous article, here are a few more you might want to look into:
- While the Library of Congress’ National Library Service (https://www.loc.gov/nls/) is primarily geared toward those with blindness or low vision, readers with a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding a standard print book are also welcome to borrow materials. The NLS offers both Braille and audio books and magazines sent through the U.S. mail, as well as downloadable materials. If you visit the main website, you can find the network library nearest you.(And if you want to borrow e-books, NLS welcomes everyone, with or without disabilities, to create an account! You can borrow up to 5 books at a time, for a period of 14 days.)
- While Amazon Prime doesn’t officially offer a discount to those who are disabled, they do offer a $5.99 monthly membership for people who receive Medicaid or EBT benefits – often people who are also on disability. Under Prime, members can get free two-day shipping, discounts on groceries and other items, as well as a wide variety of downloadable/streamable content, from TV shows and movies to books to music. Learn more here: https://www.amazon.com/amazonprime
- clubGO is a discount club for travelers with disabilities, providing hotel, attraction and other deals that are not available to the general public. You can sign up for free if you have a handicapped parking tag or plate, or are a member of one of their many nonprofit partners (which include Ms. Wheelchair USA, U.S. Pain Foundation, and numerous others). For more information, go to https://clubgo.accessiblego.com/
- Airbnb’s OpenHomes program offers free short-term accommodations to people who need lodging as they pursue medical treatment or respite vacations such as those provided via Make-A-Wish. Check it out at https://www.airbnb.com/openhomes/medical
- There are numerous programs across the U.S. that loan out iPads to people with disabilities, as they are great assistive devices. Your best bet is to do an online search for “disabled iPad loan program” and your geographical area, as many of the programs are specific to a geographical area.
- The IRS offers free basic tax preparation assistance for individuals with disabilities, thanks to its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Find more information here: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers
- TEDPA – Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program Association – provides a list of programs in each state that offer free devices for those with hearing impairment or trouble holding/using a standard telephone: http://tedpa.org/resources/
- Best Friends Animal Society, the largest U.S.sanctuary for homeless animals, has assembled a wonderfully comprehensive list of resources for those who cannot afford their pet’s medical care. Some are specific to people with disabilities or serious illness; some simply strive to help anyone struggling to pay the veterinarian. The list is organized by state, as well as by type of animal, breed and even type of medical care needed: https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/financial-aid-pets
Know of any discounts or perks you’d like to share with others? Please let us know!