Frequently Asked Questions
2013 has been a very successful year of providing support to families financially, emotionally and spiritually. At this time, we are choosing to suspend financial support for the months of October and November to preserve our ability to stand in the gap for cardiac families long term. We regret being unable to meet practical needs at this time. Our desire now more than ever remains to come alongside families in crisis, providing support emotionally and spiritually. We will continue to accept applications from families interested in receiving emotional and spiritual support. Please use our modified application for the months of October and November. Thank you.
1. What sort of documentation must families submit in order to apply for financial assistance from EKHA?
Generally, families are asked to do four things:
Submit a completed application.
Submit a brief letter of hardship providing supplemental information related to their current needs.
Provide copies of supportive documentation (i.e. receipts, statements, account information, etc.) that may be required to process a payment to a third party.
Provide contact information of a social worker familiar with the child’s case and family’s situation. Families are asked to authorize a social worker to confirm general facts related to circumstances relevant to the application for assistance.
2. What are the current limits as to the amount of financial assistance a family can receive?
Each situation is evaluated on circumstances specific to the location where care is delivered, the existing needs of the family, and the resources available to help meet those needs.
3. Are there certain religious or demographic requirements for receiving financial assistance?
No. Families must be in the midst of a hardship due to a cardiac-related medical crisis with their child. There should also be evidence of a relative lack of alternative resources available to meet the current needs, and evidence or verification that local resources have been exhausted. EKHA reserves the right to evaluate individual applications on the merits of prevailing circumstances when contemplating and awarding grants to families.
4. Does EKHA help families impacted by other types of life-threatening diseases?
Though one day we hope to expand the offering to any child/family impacted by any type of a life-threatening disease, we are currently focused on helping families of children with cardiac disease.
5. What type of expenses qualify for reimbursement or assistance?
Typically, any non-medical expenses incurred while getting the child the care they require are eligible. This commonly includes transportation, lodging, and food expenses encountered in pursuit of a higher level of care at a large metropolitan medical facility. Often, parents will be unable to work to pay the bills at home while their child is in the hospital. The Erika Kate Hope Alliance is willing to help with these expenses as well, during a prolonged medical crisis.
Special consideration will be given to parents seeking help in getting a ’second opinion’ about their child’s disease process and recommended course of therapy. We will work with families to facilitate this in whatever way we can.
6. Are there any expenses EKHA will not help with?
The EKHA Board of Directors has determined that no financial assistance will be rendered for consumer debt payments.
7. How quickly can I obtain the financial assistance I need?
Generally speaking, once the need for financial assistance has been substantiated by a medical social worker involved with your child’s care, and once we’ve received verifiable documentation of the actual expenses, we can usually intervene within 48 hours. Whenever possible, the Erika Kate Hope Alliance prefers to make payments directly to the third party to whom the debt is due.
8. What if I’m already getting help from another source?
No problem. Many of the families we help are linked up with organizations like the Ronald McDonald House or various local charitable foundations. These organizations usually charge a small fee in exchange for use of their facilities or services. The Erika Kate Hope Alliance may be able to cover any remaining balance due for services received from other foundations or offer assistance in other areas where resources are scarce.
9. Who is eligible to receive financial assistance?
The Alliance was established to provide assistance to parents or guardians of children with serious or life-threatening heart conditions. This might include children with severe congenital heart defects or some type of advanced and progressive cardiomyopathy. Our goal is to provide this assistance during an acute illness or hospitalization related to one of these disease processes. Financial assistance may also be rendered on an ongoing basis before or after such a hospitalization, however preference will be given to those families whose child is in the midst of an ongoing medical crisis or emergency.
10. What is the average grant?
Amounts vary widely and are based on need. Currently, the average grant is $500. Special consideration is given to parents seeking help in getting a second opinion about their child's disease and recommended course of therapy.