Step 10: Appeal if your request is denied
If you are denied funding upon your initial request for assistive technology, realize that denial is not an endpoint.
In fact, appealing funding decisions is quite common. Often, denial for funding is not because the device was unimportant or unnecessary, but rather because of a lack of understanding or knowledge by the reviewers at the funding sources.
Nearly every funding source has an established appeal process to which you can turn for reevaluation of your case. Many appeals for assistive technology are successful. These appeal processes invariably demand extensive written evidence to support your claims.
From the beginning of your search for funding, keep copies of all correspondence and written notes from all phone calls related to your case.
When you begin an appeal, find out whether your request was denied because of a lack of funds or because of a lack of information.
If your request was denied because of a lack of information:
- Find out what additional information is needed,
- Submit it directly to the person handling your request. Don’t leave it to chance that the right person will get it, make certain of it.
Assistive technology products and devices are becoming available at a must faster rate than are the funds to pay for them. New and innovative technology can be very costly, and the need for it may be questioned by funding sources, increasing the likelihood of receiving a denial.
Insert Checklist for Appeals
Don’t Give Up
The more you know about assistive technology and its benefits, the more frustrated you may become when a lack of funding prevents you from getting the device or service you need.
Be prepared to advocate for your needs and do not give up because an agency, insurance company or other traditional funding source refuses to fund your request.
Finding funding is rarely quick or easy. And, it may be necessary to challenge a funding decision. Remember we all have the right to legally and ethically advocate for ourselves. Be persistent! Your persistence and self-advocacy may very well result in policy change.
Funding strategy checklist
Try to answer the following questions to check your progress in securing your best assistive technology device.
1. What are the difficulties I encounter and what are my needs? – Step 1
2. What type of assistive technology devices or services can help me? - Step 2
3. What are the necessary documents to gather? - Step 3
4. What is the cost of the equipment? - Step 4
5. What are other options available to me? - Step 5
6. What funding sources would help me? - Step 6
7. What type of documents would I need? - Step 7
8. What is the next step to take after request for funding? - Step 8
9. What are other funding options available to me? - Step 9
10. What to do after denial? - Step 10
Various agencies to help with appeal
Group Health Insurance
Worker's Compensation Claims
Specific Programs for Appeals