State Assistance for Home Medical Equipment and Assistive Technology

Page Reviewed / Updated - Feb. 2014

Introduction

State-based assistance for durable medical equipment can come from one of three types of program (excluding Medicaid). There are Assistive Technology Projects, Protection and Advocacy Programs and non-Medicaid nursing home diversion programs.

 

Assistive Technology Projects

The federal Assistive Technology Act funds projects in all 50 states, Washington DC and 5 US territories with the objective of increasing aging individuals’ and /or disabled persons’ access to assistive technology. According to the Act, assistive technology (or “AT)” is defined as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” This is a rather broad definition and fortunately most home medical equipment can be included in it.

Each State AT Project is run independently and provides varying services and supports. However, there are components which are common to nearly every state AT project.

Device / Equipment Loan Programs

These programs lend durable medical equipment and assistive technology devices to individuals on a temporary basis with the primary objective of allowing persons who are looking to purchase to try out the devices first. However they also lend to individuals whose equipment is being replaced, repaired or that have a short term need for whatever reason. Loans can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, but the majority of loans are made for less than a month. Some states make exceptions and lend for longer periods to those individuals with terminal illnesses.

Each state has different quantities and types of items available but generally speaking the following categories of equipment are available for loan.

  • Daily Living Aids
  • Augmentative Communication / Sensory Aids
  • Computer Hardware and Software
  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
  • Environmental Controls
  • Mobility Devices


The Device Loan Programs also provide expertise in the areas of fitting the equipment and training individuals and caregivers to use the assistive technologies. Most loan programs do not charge individuals for a loan or if they do, the fees are extremely small, perhaps a few dollars.

Device Recycling / Exchange Programs

These programs solicit donations of used medical equipment and assistive devices. They refurbish, sterilize and test the devices to make sure they are functioning properly and then re-sell the devices at extremely deep discounts. Another component of these programs are their classified ads and matching services. They maintain lists of equipment for sale locally as well as equipment which is needed. They provide a matching service with no fees to the buyer or seller.

Low Interest Loans and Grants

Most states also have funding available to help individuals purchase assistive devices or medical equipment. They may distribute those funds in the form of low interest loans or outright grants. It is worth noting that these organizations may not publically discuss these programs because they have such limited funds available. One might need to request assistance or meet certain undisclosed eligibility criteria.

Contact Information

Contact information for each state’s assistive technology project is provided in the table below. Click on the program name to go to their websites.

 

Assistive Technology Programs

Telephone

Alabama Assistive Technology Access and Response Program

800-782-7656 or 334-293-7012

Alaska Statewide AT Program

800-478-2815 or 907-465-6969

American Samoa Assistive Technology Services Project

011-684-699-1529 or 011-684-699-1373

Arizona Technology Access Program (AzTAP)

800-477-9921 or 602-728-9534

Arkansas ICAN (Increasing Capabilities Access Network)

800-828-2799 or 501-683-3000

California Assistive Technology Systems

800-390-2699 or 916-558-5786

Colorado Assistive Technology Program

800-255-3477 or 303-315-1280

Connecticut Assistive Technology Program

800-537-2549 or 860-424-4881

Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative

800-870-3284 or 302-831-1589

Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology

850-487-3278

Georgia Tools for Life Program

800-497-8665 or 404-638-0384

Guam System for Assistive Technology

671-735-2490

Hawaii Assistive Technology Resource Centers

800-645-3007 or 808-532-7110

Idaho Assistive Technology Project

800-432-8324 or 208-885-3557

Illinois Assistive Technology Program

800-852-5110 or 217-522-7985

Indiana Assistive Technology Act Project (INDATA)

888-466-1314 or 317-466-2013

Iowa Program for Assistive Technology

800-331-3027 or 319-356-0550

Kansas Assistive Technology Program

800-526-3648 or 620-421-8367

Kentucky Assistive Technology Services Network

800-327-5287 or 502-429-4484

Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network

800-270-6185 or 225-925-9500

Maine Consumer Information and Technology Training

207-621-3195

Mariana Islands Technology-Related Assistance for Disabled

670-664-7000

Maryland Technology Assistance Program

800-832-4827 or 410-554-9230

Massachusetts Assistive Technology in Consumer's Hands (MATCH)

800-245-6543 or 617-204-3600

Michigan's Assistive Technology Program

800-760-4600 or 517-333-2477

Minnesota STAR Program

888-234-1267 or 651-296-9964

Mississippi Project START - Success Through Assistive/Rehabilitative Technology

800-852-8328 or 601-987-4872

Missouri Assistive Technology Project

800-647-8557 or 816-655-6700

Montana MonTECH

877-243-5511 or 406-243-5676

Nebraska Assistive Technology Partnership

888-806-6287 or 402-471-0734

Nevada Assistive Technology Act Program

775-687-4452

New Hampshire Assistive Technology in NH (ATinNH)

603-224-0630

New Jersey Assistive Technology Advocacy Center

800-922-7233 or 609-292-9742

New Mexico Technology Assistance Program

800-866-2253 or 505-954-8533

New York Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.

716-847-0650

New York TRAID Project

800-624-4143 or 518-388-2888

North Carolina Assistive Technology Program

919-233-7075

North Dakota Interagency Program for Assistive Technology

800-265-4728 or 701-365-4729

Ohio Assistive Technology of Ohio

800-784-3425

Oklahoma ABLE Tech

800-257-1705 or 405-744-9748

Oregon Technology Access for Life Needs Project (TALN)

800-677-7512 or 503-361-1201

Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology

800-204-7428 or 215-204-3330

Puerto Rico Assistive Technology Program

800-981-6033 or 787-764-6035

Rhode Island's Assistive Technology Partnership

401-421-7005 ext 421

South Carolina Assistive Technology Program

800-915-4522 or 803-935-5263

South Dakota Assistive Technology Program - DakotaLink

800-645-0673 or 605-394-6742

Tennessee Technology Access Program

800-732-5059 or 615-313-5183

Texas Technology Access Project

800-828-7839 or 512-232-0740

Utah Assistive Technology Program

800-524-5152 or 435-797-7681

Utah Center for Assistive Technology

888-866-5550 or 801-887-9500

Vermont Assistive Technology Program

800-750-6355 or 802-241-2620

Virgin Islands Technology-Related Assistance

340-693-1322 or 340-692-1919

Virginia Assistive Technology System

800-552-5019

Washington Assistive Technology Act Program

800-841-8345 or 206-685-4181

Washington D.C. Assistive Technology Program

202-547-0198

West Virginia Assistive Technology System

800-841-8436 or 304-293-4692

Wisconsin's Assistive Technology Program WisTech

608-266-8905

Wyoming WIND Assistive Technology Resources Project

800-861-4312 or 307-766-2764

 

 

Protection and Advocacy Programs (P&A)

State Protection and Advocacy Programs provide a wide range of services to disabled individuals in all 50 states. Each state has a lead agency which manages a variety of sub-programs. Most relevant of these sub- programs are the Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) Program and Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR) Program.

Each state’s program is different and some may provide a degree of financial assistance to purchase durable medical equipment or assistive technology. However, it is much more likely for individuals to use their free legal services to contest a claim for durable medical equipment or assistive technology that has been denied by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

The PAAT Program has been most successful overturning denied claims for durable medical equipment such as power wheelchairs and their associated ramps and lifts as well as for assistive technology such as adaptive computer equipment and sensory aids for persons with reduced sight or hearing. Click here for contact information for your state’s Protection and Advocacy Program.

 

 

Non-Medicaid Programs for the Elderly

A few states also have programs for Medicaid-ineligible seniors that provide a variety of financial supports with the objective of keeping the individuals off of Medicaid. These programs vary quite a bit from state to state but we’ve identified the following programs as having a broad enough charter or specific enough objective where their benefits can apply to individuals in need of home medical equipment and assistive technology. Click on the program names to learn more.