Q.  I submitted an online application but have not heard anything since the automatic acknowledement email. What should I do?

A. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, there are technology problems which mean we may not have received your online grant application even if you did receive an automatic message from us. To be absolutely sure we have received your application, please send an email to info@ssit.org.uk to tell us your name and the date you applied. If your application has not reached us, please accept our apologies and we will arrange with you about resubmission.

Q.  Can I apply for a mechanical item without being assessed by a Physio or OT?

A. No. If you want to apply for an item like this (eg: a wheelchair, powerdrive, adjustable bed or other items) but do not have a physio or OT who can help you select the right item, please contact us for help before you fill in an application form. Please also note: your physio or OT should make an assessment of your need for the item, and will expect you to try out the item if at all possible. This is to help ensure you select equipment that is properly suited to you and will help you do what you want to do.

Q.  What areas do you cover?

A. This map indicates the area usually served by the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre. We have chosen to match this as our main area for grants. However, if you received treatment at DOCSTC or are currently an outpatient there, even if you no longer live in the area, we may still be able to help you. Please contact us to enquire.

Q.  What is the timescale for an application?

A. The timescale for applications depends on the size of our waiting list. When we have a long waiting list, it will take us longer to process applications and confirm grants. When we receive your application, we will try to give you an indication of current waiting times. Sometimes, to help us work through the applications we have already received, we close our waiting list to new applications – if we do this, we will put information on the website at the “Apply for a Grant” page.

Q.  Can I make more than one application?

A. Yes. Each application will be considered individually. Whether or not we can help you will depend on our waiting list and available funds; we might also prioritise people that we have not helped before or recently if we feel this is a fair approach based on need.

Q.  Who makes the decision about my application?

A. The Board of Trustees at SSIT has established a subcommittee to consider and decide about grant applications. The subcommittee takes advice from relevant professionals where necessary, and always seeks to ensure that applicants have received suitable advice about the equipment they want to purchase, from their own health professionals or other relevant experts.

Q.  Can I apply for help to buy a wheelchair without first trying to get funding from my local NHS Wheelchair Services?

A. No. We want to spend SSIT funds where they’re really needed so it is vital that you apply for funding from Wheelchair Services first. If help is declined, you must attach a copy of the letter to your application. SSIT will always ask you what the position is about wheelchair services and will probably be unable to consider your application without clear information about this, ideally including a letter from your Wheelchair Service.

Q.  Will you carry out a financial assessment before deciding if I am eligible for help?

A. SSIT does not have the resources to carry out full formal means testing for all our grant applicants; we rely on your honesty. Please be truthful about whether you can afford to contribute towards the cost of an item. This includes telling us about any compensation or insurance claims you may have or be planning. We want our charity funds to help as many people as possible, focusing on those who really need us and have no other financial resources to call upon. If you do have a compensation claim in progress, we may still be able to help you depending on the circumstances – please discuss with us.

Q.  Can I apply to other charities to spread the cost of a needed item?

A. Yes! SSIT is a small, regional charity with limited funds. We are always grateful if we can share the cost of an item:
• Ask your local health professionals if they know of any local funds in the area you live
• Large employers or ex-employers (including employers of members of your close family) may have charities that you can apply to
• Some trades and professions have benevolent funds; ask them if they can help
• If you are a member of a club or sports association, that could be another route for help
• Sometimes, local groups like the Lions or Rotary Clubs may have a grant scheme you can apply to:
• use Google and internet searches to help you look
• Talk to other people with SCI and see if they have found any other charities that can help
• Ask SSIT too; we may have come across recent cases that are relevant to your situation

Q.  What part of IVF treatment does SSIT fund?

A. 2016: SSIT may consider funding the sperm retrieval process which is either electro-ejaculation or surgical sperm retrieval. In accordance with NICE guidelines, SSIT may fund a maximum of three IVF attempts.


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