Accessibility for all: Helping people connect with who and what matters most
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Learn how much a spinal cord injury costs, which expenses you may have to cover, and how to get financial help.
A catastrophic spinal cord injury results in an extensive financial challenge for injured individuals and their families. From initial hospitalization to rehabilitation to ongoing equipment needs and beyond, the costs associated with a spinal cord injury represent a significant burden. Financial assistance options do exist, and fundraising can be a viable solution to help a spinal cord injury survivor build independence, mobility, and health.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), about 17,810 new spinal cord injuries occur each year. Costs associated with hospitalization, rehabilitation, and ongoing care vary depending on the type of spinal cord injury. An NSCISC data sheet reports that:
The average yearly expenses (health care costs and living expenses) and the estimated lifetime costs that are directly attributable to SCI vary greatly based on education, neurological impairment, and pre-injury employment history. The below estimates do not include any indirect costs such as losses in wages, fringe benefits, and productivity (indirect costs averaged $78,633 per year in 2020 dollars).
Understanding the full extent of the costs associated with a spinal cord injury is a daunting process, particularly for families who are during the initial recovery process. Knowing what to expect is the first step in facing and overcoming the financial burden of a spinal cord injury.
A simplified list of the costs involved with a spinal cord injury includes:
The unfortunate reality is that medical insurance DOES NOT provide 100% coverage for spinal cord injuries and subsequent care.
Fundraising offers hope to individuals living with a spinal cord injury. As a trusted national nonprofit, Help Hope Live is dedicated to helping individuals address the staggering costs associated with spinal cord injury through caring and compassionate community-based fundraising.
Fundraising with our nonprofit works as follows:
Here are a few Help Hope Live fundraising success stories:
Just before he planned to retire, Paul Buckman fell in his own bedroom and became a quadriplegic. Help Hope Live provided a tax-deductible, secure, and medically verified way for his community to provide financial assistance. In 2018, his family purchased an accessible van.
Stephany A Golden was injured in an ATV accident in 2015. His family was left with countless out-of-pocket costs from daily caregiving to physical therapy and home medical supplies. With fundraisers including an online auction and a poker tournament, his campaign raised enough to cover a game-cs wife Katrina is now a Help Hope Live Brand Ambassador.
Eileen Reedy became paralyzed from the waist down when she fell down the stairs. She faced $200,000 in annual out-of-pocket medical costs to manage the care needs associated with her level of injury. Unique fundraising pathways from golf tournaments to online gaming events have brought critical care within reach for Eileen year after year.
Contractor Bill Stefansic sustained a life-changing spinal cord injury while doing the work that he loved. Accessible travel alone cost his family $800 to $1000 per month. Fundraising brought essential equipment within reach to ease the burden, including a standing chair and an accessible van.
If you choose to fundraise with our nonprofit, here’s how the process will look:
1. APPLY for assistance
2. YOU’LL BE PAIRED with a Client Services Coordinator
3. YOUR COORDINATOR will provide you with one-on-one fundraising help, including personalized fundraising materials and guidance on how to rally your community, share your story on social media, reach out to the press, plan in-person or virtual fundraising events, and more.
Need Other Financial Help Options?
For alternatives to fundraising, you can find information on a variety of financial assistance options for spinal cord injuries in our Resource Directory for catastrophic injury patients, family members, and caregivers.