Financial assistance for amputees

11th June 2021

Here at Open Bionics, we work with people from all around the world and all walks of life. Our Hero Arm enhances the human body and allows individuals to reach their goals. One thing we constantly get asked is the financial assistance for amputees there is available to cover medical devices and rehabilitation costs.

Our Customer Success Manager, Sarah Lockey, works with people daily to help them reach their goals of getting a Hero Arm. Mum to Tilly Lockey, who lost both of her hands to meningitis when she was 15 months old, Sarah has dedicated her life to trying to fund Tilly’s prostheses. When Sarah first started researching for financial assistance for amputees, there was minimal support available. From fundraising to applying to charitable trusts trialling technology for prosthetic companies, and putting Tilly forward as an exceptional case for support for the NHS. You name a funding route, she has tried it. This is why Sarah’s job is funding support at Open Bionics and this is what she had to say about ways arm amputees can secure the funding they need.

I hear all the time ‘you have to be rich to be disabled’ and I can totally understand why. Adaptations to homes and choosing to wear a decent prosthesis can be very expensive for an arm amputee, especially if it’s costs you haven’t envisaged on incurring.

Here at Open Bionics, we are on a mission to make devices that enhance the human body as accessible as possible and we don’t want people to feel too daunted by the process. If you can’t self-fund for your Hero Arm, crowdfunding does seem to be the most popular second option, so to give some financial assistance for amputees, we created a free service which, upon application, can support you in taking those first steps to starting your bionic journey. If you want to find out more about how we help people fund for their Hero Arm, see our partnership with the Open Bionics Foundation.

How to successfully crowdfund for a Hero Arm

People often think they just have to set up a GoFundMe page and then that should be all that they need to do to secure the funds needed for a Hero Arm. There is so much more to crowdfunding than just creating a campaign page. You have to proactively run the campaign once it’s launched.

Remember, the word FUN is in FUNdraising and you don’t have to do it alone.

Crowdfunding is all about making a special ask for support and keeping everything personal and authentic to let people get to know the real you. After all, we hope that your network will share your campaign far and wide and we want to help you make your campaign strong, so even a stranger wants to donate.  As part of our free crowdfunding support service we offer to make a short video with you that shares your story and why you are crowdfunding so that you can share not only on your crowdfunding page but on all of your social media platforms, to local businesses, charitable trusts, local press and EVERYWHERE you can think of to get your campaign out there. 

The key to crowdfunding success is:

If you choose a strong team of people with different talents who will support you on this campaign, it won’t feel like you are doing it all on your own.

In your team, break down your target into manageable chunks. Set deadlines and plan how together you will bring in the funds needed. Doing things together can be so much fun. Remember, the word FUN is in FUNdraising and you don’t have to do it alone.

We will be with you every step of the way as a cheerleader for your team. We will celebrate your successes and try to help you come up with ideas and a plan to get you over any bumps in the road. Your local press loves a good story of a community pulling together to help someone out. We can help you create a press release, contact local media and see if they can run your story and push your campaign further.  

Crowdfunding is all about teamwork, appreciating your network and showing your gratitude. If you make people feel valued and important, they will want to do more for you. So if you would like to take those first steps in crowdfunding for your Hero Arm, contact us today and we will support you on your road to becoming bionic.

Other funding sources to try

If you are not ready to commit to a crowdfunding campaign, there are other ways to secure funds needed to cover costs of a Hero Arm. We work with a lot of charitable trusts and private organisations who fundraise and donate fees to cover costs of a Hero Arm. If you would like to apply for a grant to cover costs for a Hero Arm, please register and we will be happy to share full application details.

If you are based in the US, we know insurance will sometimes cover costs of a Hero Arm, but it might require a few application attempts to highlight how essential a multi-grip prosthesis is. Richard Slusher recently highlighted his experience of trying to acquire a Hero Arm through insurance, which gives really good insight into the industry.

Author – Sarah Lockey, Customer Success Manager at Open Bionics

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The Hero Arm uses myoelectric sensors which detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in the arm. These are then amplified and converted into intuitive and proportional bionic hand movements.


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