Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?
Anyone living in the United States with health insurance may apply. If you are under the age of 18, you will need your parent or legal guardian’s signature. If you are a parent of a minor or hold the status of Power of Attorney for an adult, you may apply on their behalf.

What if I don’t have insurance?
Generally speaking, we ask grant applicants to have some type—any type—of health insurance before applying. However, we understand that not everyone has access to health insurance. If that is your situation, please complete this form and email scholarship@theprojectheal.org. We will certainly consider your application after you speak with someone on our team.

What if my health insurance plan lacks coverage for eating disorder treatment?
If your plan does not cover ED treatment, or if there are no ED providers in your plan’s network, then we want to hear from you. First, do us a solid and file a complaint about that nonsense. All you have to do is complete this super quick form, which tracks denials of coverage for mental health services. Second, roll up your sleeves, get comfortable, and thoughtfully complete a Project HEAL grant application. Make yourself a cup of tea while you’re at it.

What do I do if I have Medicaid but there are no ED providers in my network? Please apply for a treatment grant.  If approved, our team will try to get a single case agreement between medicaid and the provider, we will place the grant recipient with one of our HEALers (our provider partners who give Project HEAL in-kind treatment for our recipients), or we will directly fund out-patient treatment.

What levels of treatment do your grants cover?
We help connect patients to all levels of care: residential, inpatient, intensive family treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, or outpatient sessions with therapists, nutritionists, dietitians and psychiatrists.

Which eating disorders are considered?

  • Anorexia Nervosa

  • Bulimia Nervosa

  • Binge Eating Disorder

  • Purging Disorder

  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

  • Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder

How do the grants work?
If selected for a grant to cover residential, inpatient, IOP, or PHP treatment, Project HEAL will place the grant recipient with one of our HEALers Circle treatment partners. If the treatment partner is out of state, Project HEAL will pay for your travel expenses. If selected for a grant to cover outpatient treatment, you may keep your current providers. If you do not have an eating disorder outpatient provider, we can help you find a qualified one. 

How often may I apply for a grant?
Please wait at least one year from the date of your last submission before applying for another grant. If you are not sure when you last applied, please contact scholarship@theprojectheal.org. If you started an application, but could not complete it, then you may submit a complete one.

What if I have received a Project HEAL grant in the past? May I apply again?
Sure!

What are the deadlines?
Applications are reviewed monthly and are due on the 1st of every month at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

When will I be notified?
Applicants will be notified in the third week of each month.

What makes a compelling grant application?
Project HEAL’s primary criteria for selecting recipients is motivation. We assist applicants who want to recover from their eating disorders and are ready to do the hard work required. Because of the online format of this application, we rely heavily on the amount of effort that you put into your application, and on how compelling a case you make to us about desire to recover and willingness to work hard, to assess motivation.  

Additionally, we prioritize applicants who are likely to do well in treatment based upon research regarding the predictors of sustained recovery from eating disorders such as shorter length of illness, fewer past treatment stays, fewer co-morbid conditions, and well thought out supports and motivators for after treatment care (school, career, family support, future plans, etc). If you have had the illness for a longer time and multiple stays in treatment, you may still apply, but will need to strongly articulate why you want to get better now, why this time is different, and how you plan to tackle future challenges.

Finally, financial need is taken into account. In the event that our consulting clinicians evaluate multiple applications from equally appropriate candidates for treatment assistance, a lottery system will be used.

What kinds of expenses can be covered with a grant award?
Project HEAL awards treatment access grants for applicants who want to recover from eating disorders but cannot access treatment through their health insurance. Our grants cover the following eating disorder treatment expenses:

  • Inpatient and residential treatment. Grant includes travel and lodging expenses.

  • Partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment

  • Outpatient treatment (i.e., eating disorder therapist, dietitian/nutritionist, psychiatrist)

  • One-week Intensive Family Treatment (IFT) program at University of California or The Center for Balanced Living. Grant includes travel and lodging expenses.

  • Health insurance costs related to eating disorder treatment, such as deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, and copayments


    We Do Not Fund:

  • Reimbursement for treatment expenses already incurred

  • Living expenses while in treatment

  • Lodging while in PHP or IOP treatment

  • Clothing

  • Food

  • Education

  • Labs or medications unless administered as part of a Project HEAL grant for residential or inpatient treatment

  • Travel expenses unless it is part of a grant award for IFT, residential, or inpatient treatment

  • Visits with primary care physicians

  • Dental procedures

  • Cosmetic procedures

  • Providers who do not specialize in eating disorders

  • Emergency awards in between grant deadlines

What documents are required?

  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably from your therapist, dietitian, psychiatrist, or primary care doctor. Letters should state how long the author has known you and in what capacity; your motivation; and the level of treatment that is recommended. We will also accept letters from your support group leader, case manager, teacher, family member, supervisor, or friend.

  • Two complete recent bank statements, which you can find on your bank’s website. Please blackout the account number.

  • One recent tax return. We need only the first one or two pages where it states your household income. Please blackout your social security number. If you do not file taxes, please upload a statement explaining why you do not file taxes.

  • Benefits statement if you receive monthly benefits like food stamps, SSI/SSDI, WIC, Veterans’ benefits, etc.

  • Proof of Health Insurance. We need photos of the front and back of your health insurance card.

  • Health insurance benefits booklet if you have access to a PDF version of it. This can often be found on your insurer’s website. If you cannot locate a PDF benefits booklet, you can submit the application without it. However, you will be asked to submit one at a later time if selected for a grant.

How do I get PDFs of these documents?
There are free “scanner” apps for smartphones, which take photos of your documents and email them to you. If you do not have a smartphone or need technical assistance, you might seek help from your local library. You can also email scholarship@theprojectheal.org.

What if I don’t pay taxes and cannot submit a tax return to you?
Please upload a statement instead explaining why you do not file taxes.  

What is household income?
This means your income, if you have one, plus your spouse or parents’ income if you share a home with them. This includes any benefits that you, your spouse, or your parents receive. Please do not include your boyfriend’s, girlfriend’s, or roommate’s income.

Can I save the application and come back to it later?
Sadly, no. Survey Monkey does not have a “save and continue” feature. However, if you leave the application open on your browser, you can keep working on it over the course of several days. Each time you proceed to the next page, it saves the last page you completed. As long as you don’t submit the application, you can take as long as you like. Some people draft thoughtful responses to the essay questions in a Word or Pages document and then copy and paste them into the application, but you do you.

Help! The Survey Monkey application does not appear to be saving my answers!
Please be sure that you have completed all required questions and uploaded all required documents. If that does not fix the problem, please contact scholarship@theprojectheal.org.