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Frequently Asked Questions
To assist those who are interested in applying for disbursements from the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund, the following questions may help you decide whether to apply and what you can expect if you apply. The Commission strongly encourages all readers to review the Distribution Policies in their entirety. In the event of any conflict between the responses to these Frequently Asked Questions and the actual published Commission policies, the policies shall control. The Commission encourages anyone who receives this document to share it with others who might be interested in applying for grants.
Can an individual apply directly to the Commission for a grant?
Yes. Individual consumers may apply for a grant. Anyone interested in receiving a grant must fill out an application and submit it and other required documents to the Commission. Be aware that 75% of eligible applicants that complete the application process receive a grant from the Commission.
What if I am not able to complete the application?
You may have someone complete the application on your behalf. It may be a family member, a friend, or a guardian.
Is there a deadline to submit the application?
No. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
Is the Trust Fund an entitlement?
No. A grant from the Trust Fund is not a permanent source of funding for an individual. An eligible application is not a guarantee of receiving funds.
How long will it take to review my application?
If your application is complete, we anticipate that this process will take ten or more weeks from the date of receipt of your application. If your application is incomplete, it may be necessary to contact you to gather additional information, which may delay this process.
The final step of the process is for the Commission to send their recommendations for funding to the Governor's office for final approval. This is required by our legislation.
If I am approved for a disbursement, when will I receive the funds?
Once you have been approved for a disbursement, you will receive a one-page document that you must fill out and send back to us. This form indicates the provider you have chosen. The provider you have chosen will then receive an authorization to provide the good or service. The provider must submit an invoice to us for the good or service rendered. Upon receipt, it will take approximately 2 to 3 weeks to issue a check for the funds.
The length of the process will depend on how quickly the paperwork is returned to us, and how quickly you and the provider you've chosen are able to coordinate. The Commission staff is happy to assist you with this process.
How much money will be available for disbursement from the Trust Fund?
The amount available depends on appropriations from the Trust Fund made by the Georgia General Assembly.
How much money can I apply for?
Goods and services applied for in an application may come from different categories and combined cannot exceed the maximum cap of $10,000 (except modified vans). There will be no distribution of funds of more than the lifetime maximum of $10,000 per qualified applicant. Modified van grants are up to $15,000 for those with paralysis. This lifetime maximum is retroactive and applies to all recipients of previous distributions. Applicants are able to request the following amounts for the following categories:
- Medical, Rehabilitative, Therapeutic services - up to $10,000 per qualified applicant, per fiscal year
- Home Modifications - up to $10,000 per fiscal year - This program is administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). DCA's home modification program rules and regulations including income eligibility apply to all Trust Fund referred applicants.
- Modified Van - up to $15,000 (a single purchase)
- Non-modified vehicle - up to $10,000 (a single purchase)
- Alternative Transportation - up to $5,000 in a twelve-month period
- Personal Support Services - up to $10,000 in a twelve-month period
- Recreation requests - up to $2,500 in a twelve-month period
- Computers - up to $750 per fiscal year
- Dental - up to $1,000 per fiscal year
- All other requests - up to $5,000 per fiscal year
Will the check be made out to me or to the provider?
Unless otherwise approved by Commission staff, the check will be made out to the provider. Should you receive the funding directly, you will need to determine the legal effects of receipt of a disbursement from the Trust Fund on other benefits. The Trust Fund can not pay for any type of sales tax or fees. Sales tax payment is the responsibility of the applicant.
Can the Trust Fund reimburse me for past expenses?
No. The Trust Fund cannot pay for goods and services that have already been rendered or delivered at the time of the application. Do not purchase an item before a BSITFC award letter has been received.
If I have applied before and want to apply again, do I have to complete the entire application again?
Yes. You will need to complete a new application with information related to your new request.
Do I have to use a specific provider or can I choose my own?
You can choose your own provider. The Commission may seek basic information about the provider's ability to deliver the good or service.
Can I apply for an award to help cover the hospital costs of my injury?
The legislation that created the Trust Fund Commission does not allow the Commission to act as an insurer, and specifies that our funding is to be used for the "care and rehabilitation" of persons who have sustained a traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injury.
Consistent with the definitions of "care and rehabilitation" used by other agencies and credible organizations that serve persons with a disability, the Trust Fund Commission awards are used to help individuals prevent institutionalization, achieve maximum self-sufficiency, and remain in the community. This may include, but is not limited to, therapeutic services (e.g. speech therapy, physical therapy), durable medical equipment, alterations to one's home or vehicle for wheelchair accessibility, attendant care, mobility devices (e.g. Hoyer lifts), and counseling/therapy.
How many quotes for my item or service do I need to submit with my application?
Applicants must include a minimum of one quote for each item or service requested. Your application will not be considered complete without the quotes from vendors.
Where can I find a Notary Public to help complete my affidavit?
In order to apply for a grant from the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission
(BSITFC), Georgia law requires every applicant to complete an affidavit (sworn written
statement) before a Notary Public that establishes that the applicant is a citizen of the
United States of America. Your application may be withdrawn or an award may be
revoked if it is determined that you have provided false information. Please click here to find a Notary Public near you.