Are You an Artist? You May Qualify for Free Healthcare by This Grant

The "starving artist" persona is very real, unfortunately. Many people who dedicate their lives to the arts don't end up rich. It's a matter of choosing between what makes one truly happy versus what earns the most money. The most jarring examples occur in wealthy cities, where there's plenty of art but little housing that artists themselves can afford.

While Wall St. brokers enjoy murals and art around the city, they don't need to worry about being able to pay rent on time and whether they'll be able to afford their next medical bill. Fortunately, there's a major foundation that plans to offer a good amount of grants to artists with unexpected or large medical bills to encourage them to stay in the arts and not join a corporate job for health benefits.

This news comes at the same time that Donald Trump has proposed eliminating the payroll tax for the rest of the year, so artists could get both this grant and avoid the dreaded "self-employment tax" that is paid by anyone who doesn't work for a corporation!

What Is the Grant?

The grant is offered by the founder of the popular website, which is owned by an organization founded in 1970 called Change, Inc. The main grant, offered under the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, is focused on providing nearly immediate fiscal relief for artists.

At "only" $5,000, some criticize this grant as too little to make much of an impact. However, the foundation opens up the grant to any artist, which it defines as any visual media creator, writer, choreographer, actor, and several other professions. If an artist has a medical issue that requires medical treatment and ends up with a swath of copays if insured, or just a huge bill if uninsured, this grant is there to help.

It may only be used one time per person ever. This is to prevent habitual use or using it as a replacement for permanent health coverage. However, once the artist can furnish proof to the foundation, the artist will be able to collect the full cost he or she paid towards medical care, all the way up to the full $5,000. It covers a huge array of medical costs, not only emergency ones.

How Do Those Who Qualify Apply?

If you're an artist or know an artist who may benefit from this grant, the good news is that applying isn't difficult. First, the artist will need to get verifiable medical proof ready. It's irrelevant whether he or she has already paid the copays or not. He or she will also need a verifiable form of yearly income; this is to ensure that those who have an abundant amount of wealth don't abuse the program.

Once the artist can furnish this proof, all they have to do is follow the instructions contained in the foundation's press release, located here. It's quite easy to apply, and the grant is essentially bringing back a historical program. It began in the 1970s but slowly shrank because there wasn't anyone around the manage it. Now that the original founder has passed away, members of the artist's sizable trust committee have determined that the best way to honor his legacy is to do exactly what his main goal was: provide struggling artists with the means they need to succeed, or at least to be able to continue pursuing their life needs without being consumed by financial burden.

Do I Need to Live in NYC?

You may have noticed that the grant's headquarters is in New York City. Unlike many grants located within the city, applicants don't need to be a resident of NYC to qualify. They do, however, need to be United States citizens and be able to prove this status to qualify. In short, if you have a clear medical need and U.S. citizenship, you're good to go in terms of this grant.

Should I Apply?

Before applying, ensure you understand the full terms of the grant. Make sure that the medical services you sought are covered by the grant and will not be paid by any third party. After you've verified the numbers and gotten your various proofs already, follow each instruction on the form completely.

Not many artists who meet all the criteria are denied, so this gives you a great chance at getting rid of a potential $5,000 debt!

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