Helping Hands Grant Program

Funding Support for

Individuals with Disabilities

Helping Hands is intended to provide emergency and supplemental funding to individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities in the WNY area, for a variety of needs that these individuals and/or their families cannot afford. Applicants must be eligible for services with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), demonstrate financial hardship and all other funding resources must be exhausted before applying for funding.

Emergency Request Review

All emergency requests submitted to Helping Hands will be reviewed by the committee as they are received (please see below for what constitutes an emergency request). All non-emergency (supplemental) requests will be collected and reviewed by the committee on a quarterly basis. These supplemental grants will be awarded at the committee’s discretion based on the information submitted.

Emergencies that will be considered by the committee are those that put an individual’s immediate health and safety at risk. Marking application as emergency does not guarantee emergency priority. More documentation may be requested by the committee.

Non-emergency (supplemental) requests include all requests for respite reimbursement, recreational activities, equipment, or any other requests that do not fit emergency criteria.

Eligibility & Applying for Funding

In order to be eligible for funding through Helping Hands, applicants must:

  • Have been deemed eligible for services with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and are able to produce letter of determination for eligibility (In order for application to be considered, eligibility letter must be included with application).
  • Live in the community independently or with family/relatives. Individuals living in certified settings will only be considered when submitter can demonstrate that there are extenuating circumstances that require additional assistance.

The Helping Hands application and program guidelines are available to download below. To submit an application for funding or if you have additional questions, please email us at