My Companion is Ill and I Cannot Afford the Vet Bills

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 29th Dec 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/z-3354pa/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Tips & Advice

Jacki, the founder of IMOM believes that “Companion animals shouldn't have to suffer or die simply because their caretakers are financially challenged.” Jacki formed IMOM to help the sick and the injured companion animal by helping their caretakers meet their medical needs.

In Memory of Magic

Jacki founded IMOM in 1998 as a tribute to her beloved Magic Cat who had gone to Rainbow Bridge. Since its inception, IMOM has helped meet the medical needs of over 1800 companion animals at a cost of over $1.5 million. It is Jacki desire to use IMOM to help all companion animals in need, but because of the downturn in the economy and the decline in donations, IMOM has to restrict their assistance to companion animals with life threatening illnesses.

If your beloved companion is suffering from a life-threatening illness, you can go to the IMOM site and apply for emergency assistance online. The steps that you will need to follow when applying for aid are clearly outlined on the IMOM site, but I will cover each step briefly in this article.

Before applying for financial aid

A life threatening illness is an illness leading to death or to the animal being humanely euthanized if not treated within 10 days of the diagnosis. This fact must be confirmed in writing by your veterinarian.

Join the IMOM community

In order to receive financial aid, you need to become a member of the IMOM community. To join the community simply click on the image at the bottom of page, the IMOM Community page will open in a new window. If you need help in registering, there are tutorials available on the IMOM Community page. Once you have registered for free, introduce yourself to the community, this will alert the other members that you and your pet have needs. Most of IMOM's donations come from the members of this community.

If your pet is in immediate danger of death or humane euthanization, you can skip this step until after you complete the rest of the application process.

Does your veterinarian accept Care Credit?

Because IMOM's funds are extremely limited, Jacki asks that you apply for Care Credit before applying for financial aid from IMOM. This is the second step in applying for financial aid through IMOM. Care Credit is not affiliated with IMOM but an independent organization. If your veterinarian accepts care credit, you can apply for it through your veterinarian or online using the Care Credit website. If your veterinarian does not accept Care Credit, you can skip this step and continue applying for financial aid from IMOM.

Do you qualify for financial aid from IMOM?

Jacki and the IMOM community does not like to refuse help to any companion animal, but they have to turn away some. IMOM cannot supply you and your companion with financial aid if any of the following conditions apply.

You do not qualify if your pet has already been treated, but you have an outstanding bill with the veterinarian. You companion is no longer suffering a life threatening illness or facing imminent humane euthanization.

You do not qualify if you do not have daily access to the Internet and email. Having daily access to the Internet is essential to qualifying for aid because IMOM is 100 percent Internet based. The Internet is the only way they have to communicate with you.

You do not qualify if you have applied for Care Credit and have been approved for the full amount needed.

You do not qualify if you could have your pet treated and then pay the bill yourself. If paying the bill put a financial strain on you does not qualify you.

You do not qualify
if you are seeking financial aid for routine medical care.

You do not qualify if your pet has already been treated, but the vet will not release your pet until the bill is paid.

You do not qualify if you have already paid the bill but want IMOM to reimburse you
.
You do not qualify if your veterinarian is not willing to be paid by check from IMOM after your pet has been treated. Your vet must submit an itemized bill to IMOM before a check is sent.

You do not qualify
if your veterinarian requires a deposit from IMOM before your pet is treated.

You do not qualify
if your veterinarian thinks that your pet may need this non-routine care but is not certain.

You do not qualify
if your veterinarian is willing to work out a payment plan with you.

You do not qualify if your pet is not spayed or neutered and you do not agree to have your companion spayed or neutered.

You do not qualify if you have received financial aid from IMOM in the past.

You do not qualify
if you already have a companion animal receiving financial aid from IMOM.

You do not qualify if you breed animals.

You do not qualify if you refuse to supply IMOM with proof of income and any other documents they may request from you.

You do not qualify
if you are requesting aid for elective surgery.

You do not qualify if expensive testing is required before the diagnosis can be made.

You do not qualify if your pet has been diagnosed with cancer.

You do not qualify if you are applying for financial aid to cover orthopedic surgery unless the need arises as the result of an accident.

You do not qualify if your pet has been diagnosed with a chronic disease that will require ongoing treatment.

IMOM documents for your veterinarian

IMOM provides three documents for your veterinarian that you need to download and print out for your veterinarian. The first document is a letter of introduction that explains who IMOM is and what they do. The second document is the IMOM payment policy that explains to the veterinarian how he is to be paid. The third document is the Veterinarian's Pet Information (VPI) form the veterinarian must complete and fax to IMOM. You cannot complete the actual financial aid application until IMOM has the completed VPI Form.

Documents that IMOM requires from you.

Documents that IMOM requires from you if you are required to file a tax return

IMOM needs as the first proof of income a completed copy of your latest income tax return. If you are married but file separately, IMOM requires a copy of your and your spouses returns.

IMOM requires as second proof of income, the last two bank statements from all banks with whom you and your spouse have accounts.

IMOM requires proof that you applied for Care Credit and proof that you were accepted or denied. You can blank out bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc before sending letters to IMOM.

IMOM requires a completed VPI Form from the veterinarian.

IMOM requires a written estimate on the veterinarian's letterhead. The written estimate must contain the following information: (a) Your name and the name of your pet (b) a complete breakdown of costs for one-time treatment (c) if your pet are not spayed or neutered that cost should also be included in the written estimate.

Documents that IMOM requires from you if you are not required to file a tax return

IMOM needs as the first proof of income the last two bank statements from all banks with whom you and your spouse have accounts. If neither you or your spouse have a bank account, go to the next item.

IMOM requires as second proof of income any one of the following items from both you and your spouse: A copy of your most recent pay stub, a copy of your SSI benefits letter, a copy of your unemployment benefits letter or copies of your W-2 or 1099 from an employer. IMOM requires that you blank out all account numbers, social security numbers etc before sending the forms to IMOM.

IMOM require
s proof that you applied for Care Credit and proof that you were accepted or denied. You can blank out bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc before sending letters to IMOM.

IMOM requires
a completed VPI Form from the veterinarian.

IMOM requires a written estimate on the veterinarian's letterhead. The written estimate must contain the following information: (a) Your name and the name of your pet (b) a complete breakdown of costs for one-time treatment (c) if your pet are not spayed or neutered that cost should also be included in the written estimate.

Read the IMOM policy statements and request confirmation.

After reading the IMOM policy statements request confirmation from IMOM that all documents have been received. Use this form to request confirmation.

Fill out the online application form

After IMOM receives the documents and your request for confirmation, IMOM will email you a password to access the online application form. Once you have completed the application and submitted it, stay close to your computer. The financial aid committee will respond within a couple of hours. They will also contact you if they have questions about your application or need additional information.

Related article
IMOM: In Memory of Magic, My Magic Cat

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Tags

Care Credit, Cat, Cat Owners, Catcare, Cats, Dog, Dogs, Financial Aid, Help With Vet Bills, Imom, Veterinarian, Veterinarian Bills, Veterinarian Housecalls

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 70 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
29th Dec 2010 (#)

Wonderfully put together my friend. I just love this lady so much. On my wall.
Thank you Jerry.:)

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author avatar Denise O
29th Dec 2010 (#)

Darn it! Okay Jerry I will try to post it later.
My puter is still messed up.:(

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author avatar Retired
29th Dec 2010 (#)

thanks for the share.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
29th Dec 2010 (#)

Jerry this is great! I hope others can support this charity.
You should also write about Care Credit too.
If you want I would suggest tagging with "United States, America" as this will also get to the people in need from those areas.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
30th Dec 2010 (#)

Thanks Mark. I will use those tags in the future. As far as I know this financial aid isn't limited to the US so I don't want to give the impression that it is.

I plan to do an article on Care Credit because that is available for human medical needs as well as for companion animals. I plan to write that one at some point in the near future.

Have a happy, safe and prosperous New Years Mark.

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author avatar Denise O
31st Dec 2010 (#)

Okay, I finally was able to post this on my facebook.
Once again, great work Jerry.
May you and lady have a wonderful New year.
Thank you.:)

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author avatar Paul Lines
31st Dec 2010 (#)

A very important subject well explained Jerry. Best wishes to you and all my friends on Wikinut for the New Year

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author avatar Jerry Walch
31st Dec 2010 (#)

Thank you Paul. A very happy, safe and prosperous New Year to you and yours too.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
31st Dec 2010 (#)

Beautiful presentation on this, old buddy. Quite informative!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
31st Dec 2010 (#)

Thank you good Buddy.

Happy New Year!

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author avatar Greenfaol
3rd Jan 2011 (#)

Another wonderful article, filled with amazingly useful information. I really hope this reaches the people who need this information the most. You're a star and a true friend ot animals :D

Reply to this comment

author avatar Greenfaol
3rd Jan 2011 (#)

Another wonderful article, filled with amazingly useful information. I really hope this reaches the people who need this information the most. You're a star and a true friend ot animals :D

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks Norma. I hope so too.

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author avatar lucia anna
5th Jan 2011 (#)

Yes, wonderful

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author avatar krrymarie
7th Jan 2011 (#)

Great article and Charity but I always say if you can not afford vet bills then don't get a pet, as at some point or other they will need to go to the vets. I get fed up with ppl complaining about how much their vet bills were ect simple don't get a pet if you can not afford them!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Jan 2011 (#)

I agree with you in principle, Krrymarie. The problem isn't the routine vet bills, it's the unexpected ones that put a strain on the budget of most people. One serious accident or illness could set the pet parent back $2000 or even more.

People who consider the animal a mere pet usually surrender the animal to a shelter when faced with that situation where they are either treated and then put up for adoption or humanely euthanized. It's a heart rendering situation for the pet parent who considers the "pet" to be a member of the family, a four-legged child.

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author avatar Retired
15th Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks for sharing,good article Jerry

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