Join us on Friday, April 24th at our Highland Park, New Jersey location for a special Grand Opening Savings Event!
We invite you to come out, meet our staff and see the wide range of mobility products available to you!
The event will be held from 11:00 AM-7:00 PM at 211 Woodbridge Avenue, and will include lunch as well as demonstrations. You can also enter our raffle for a chance to win a grand prize of a $1,000 gift card!
In addition, we will be offering some amazing one-day only pricing specials!
For more information, or to RSVP for this amazing one-day event, please call 732-640-5342! We hope to see you on April 24th!
Veterans Administration Changes the Use of Net Worth as a Determining Factor for Healthcare Program Eligibility
190,000 Veterans estimated to become eligible for reduced healthcare costs over a 5-year period.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more Veterans having access to healthcare program benefits they’ve earned and deserve.
Instead of combining the sum of Veterans’ income with their assets to determine eligibility for medical care and co-payment obligations, VA will now only consider a Veteran’s gross household income and deductible expenses from the previous year. Elimination of the consideration of net worth for VA health care enrollment means that certain lower-income, non-service-connected Veterans will have less out-of-pocket costs.
In March 2014, the VA eliminated its annual requirement for updated financial information. The VA now uses information from the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration to automatically match individual Veterans’ income information which reduces the burden on Veterans to keep their healthcare eligibility up to date.
Veterans may submit updated income information at https://www.1010ez.med.va.gov/#main-content, or by visiting their nearby VA health care facility. For more information, visit http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/ or call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).
The Sesame smartphone is an Android device which was designed specifically for people with spinal cord injuries, ALS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and other mobility impairments.
The Sesame smartphone is activated through the clever voice command; “Open Sesame” and is then operated entirely through head movements and voice control.
The smartphone has a front-facing camera that searches for your face in the frame. Once the system finds your face, you control a cursor by moving your head up, down or sideways. When you rest in one position for a few seconds, a navigation icon appears asking you if you want to click, swipe, see more options or exit by moving the cursor to hover over one of four circles that appear on the screen like a compass.
The Sesame smartphone allows users touch-free capability.
Sesame was developed by Oded Ben Dov, an Israeli entrepreneur, app developer and computer expert and Giora Livne, who served as a naval commander in the Israeli Defense Forces and then worked as an electrical power engineer in the private sector. Dov became a quadriplegic after an accident approximately 10 years ago.
One day, Livne spotted Dov on a television program in which Dov was showcasing a mobile video game he had created that was controlled via head gestures. Livne reached out to Dov and inquired as to whether he was up to the challenge of working with him to create a touch-free phone.
The company the two men created; Sesame Enable, was named a winner of Verizon’s Powerful Answers Award for 2014.
MobilityWorks is often asked to endorse, support and promote an individual or family’s fundraising efforts. In many cases, they have a created a crowdfunding page on a website such as GoFundMe. Friends and organizations will also create crowdfunding pages on behalf of a family in need. These crowdfunding websites are getting more popular by the day – and we have witnessed several recent success stories for people specifically needing a wheelchair van and other equipment to help with their mobility needs. Below is one example of a brother and sister that came to our attention.
Travis & Lily
We were recently sent a YouCaring.com post by Nick Cortino, our Plainfield Illinois General Manager, for Travis and Lily Whitman of Kaneville, IL. Travis became ill at about 6 months old, and he was placed on a ventilator. He uses a power wheelchair for mobility and is now 4 years old. He became a big brother to Lily in November, 2014. Now 3 months old, Lily has also been placed on a ventilator. The van Robert and Emma have will no longer be spacious enough to transport both kids, medical equipment for both kids, and Travis's chair. To date, they have raised $8,000 of their $35,000 goal.
If you would like to learn more about Travis and Lily – or would like to donate to their cause, please visit the Travis & Lily YouCaring.com page here.
Crowdfunding Websites Currently Available
Below are some of the crowdfunding websites that can be utilized for raising funds for a particular cause. Each has its own features and benefits that should be researched thoroughly before using. Not all are designed for those with a medical need so please do your homework before making any decisions. FAIR WARNING! These websites typically collect a percentage of the funds being raised, which can be anywhere from 2% to 5%, however the results may be well worth trying. MobilityWorks does not endorse nor imply that any one site is better than any other.
Crowdfunding and the Able Act
The ABLE Act stands for “A Better Life Experience”. For many people with disabilities, and specifically for those who have children with a disability, it’s a major change in the IRS tax code that affects how individuals, caregivers, parents and friends can collect and save money for the future -- without having to worry about its effect on other benefits, such as the Medicaid program. Tax-free savings accounts are now available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation (incl. wheelchair accessible vans). For more information about the ABLE ACT, go to the National Disability Institute website at www.realeconomicimpact.org.
Ted Pence of Youngwood, PA was born with Spina Bifida, a condition which causes vertebrae to form improperly around part of the spinal cord. Ted’s condition has resulted in his needing to walk on braces with crutches under his arms. Ted’s girlfriend, Wendy Garofalo, was also born with Spina Bifida. Her case is a little more severe and as a result she relies on the use of a wheelchair to get around. Yet, no matter what, Ted and Wendy enjoy going out, being active, social and involved in their community.
When Ted and Wendy’s vehicle was totaled in an accident, they were unable to purchase a replacement; which made their lives quite difficult….until Kraisinger Family Dentistry stepped in to help.
Dr. Paul Kraisinger and Ted Pence were classmates who reunited at a 25th class reunion event. When he heard his story, Kraisinger was moved to help his former classmate. As a result, he began the “Smiles for Ted” campaign to raise money to help Pence and his girlfriend purchase a new vehicle.
In order to raise money for “Smiles for Ted”, Kraisinger Family Dentistry offers teeth whitening services at a discount, with 100% of the proceeds of each service going to the fundraiser.
MobilityWorks of Pittsburgh’s own General Manager; Lynne Sefchik is a patient of Kraisinger Family Dentistry. She knew of a vehicle that would be coming in to her store; a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan with 32,000 miles, that she felt would work for Pence and Garofalo.
Since Garafolo uses a wheelchair full-time, the vehicle would need to be upgraded to include a power pull mechanism which would enable her to access it. To help finance the vehicle, Sefchik worked through the MobilityWorks Foundation. The MobilityWorks Foundation agreed to cover the cost of the upgrades to the vehicle. In addition, Dr. Kraisinger worked to secure an interest-free loan to cover the remaining costs of the vehicle.
To-date, Pence and Garafolo still need to raise approximately $9,000, so Kraisinger is continuing to conduct the “Smiles for Ted” fundraiser. The Mt. Pleasant and Greensburg Kraisinger Family Dentistry offices both offer a $350 teeth whitening procedure for $175. The practices use materials donated by Ultradent Products Inc.
If you live in the area and are interested in the procedure and in helping the “Smiles for Ted” campaign, please call 724-836- DENT (3368).