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AAPCCA Hardship Scholarship Program Information

Important Note

When applying for a Hardship Scholarship all sections of the form MUST be filled out completely. Of particular importance is the section marked "Reason For Request/Financial Hardship" This narrative tells the personal story of your need, gives specifics of your hardship, and discusses what other steps you have taken to otherwise meet your need. As it states, complete the section "IN DETAIL". This section provides an opportunity for a personal appeal to the committee; the importance of the contents of this section cannot be over stressed.

General Questions:

Q: What is the purpose of the AAPCCA Hardship Scholarship Fund?
A: Developed and overseen by the AAPCCA Board of Directors (BOD), it is a financial aid program created with the intent of assisting AAPC members with membership and certification in times of financial difficulty due to an unexpected hardship.

Q: Why was the fund created?
A: The BOD developed this program with the intent of:

  • Helping AAPC members retain their membership and certification
  • Encouraging participation in AAPC’s local chapters
  • Promoting leadership in AAPC’s local chapters

Q: Who can apply for financial help through this fund?
A: Any AAPC member who:

  • Is in good standing with AAPC
  • Has been a member of AAPC for at least 9 months
  • Can demonstrate a financial hardship
  • Has exhausted other avenues of assistance

Q: Do I have to be involved with my local chapter to apply?
A: No, but local chapter involvement carries merit in the decision making process.

Q: Who decides which applications receive scholarship funds?
A: The AAPCCA Hardship Scholarship Committee (HSC).

Q: Who serves on the HSC?
A: Past members of the AAPCCA Board of Directors (BOD).

Q: Who is currently on the HSC?
A: The identity of those who serve is protected and is not published, thereby ensuring no pressure is placed on individual committee members.

Q: If I don't have a financial hardship can I apply?
A: No, the program is not intended to be used for non-hardship cases.

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Award Questions:

Q: Do I have to pay back the money awarded to me?
A: No, but we do encourage paying it forward and make a donation to the fund when your financial situation changes.

Q: If awarded, how will I receive the goods?
A: The HSC will notify AAPC, who will process the scholarship award. AAPC will then notify the member by email that the goods/services are available. No money will exchange hands.

Q: If I receive a scholarship award, is there a time limit for initiating or using the award?
A: Applicants who are awarded a scholarship must initiate or use the award within 3 months (90 days) from the date of the award letter. Membership dues and books are purchased immediately by AAPC on behalf of the HSC.

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Fund Coverage Questions:

Q: What are awards generally used for?
A: The fund was created to assist members with maintaining annual membership dues and/or certification.

Q: What else could the scholarship fund cover?
A: Requests may be made for assistance with payment of AAPC branded goods and/or services that include, but are not limited to, the following possibilities:

  • National membership renewal dues
  • Exam registration fees for an initial certification
  • Exam prep tools, such as study guides or practice exams
  • Current year or older coding books
  • Required unattainable specialty CEUs
  • Registration for national or regional conferences
  • Certain local chapter events
  • ICD-10-CM Proficiency Assessment
  • Other special requests (within the guidelines and on a case-by-case basis)

Q: What types of items are not considered for scholarship award?
A: The following items will not be covered:

  • Non-AAPC branded or sponsored events
  • Initial AAPC dues
  • Corporate membership renewals
  • Additional certifications for AAPC members
  • Reimbursement for items previously purchased
  • Memberships or certifications from organizations other than AAPC

Q: Is ICD-10 education and training covered by this fund?
A: The ICD-10-CM Proficiency Assessment is covered by this fund.

Q: It would be such a benefit to my chapter if I obtained an additional certification, such as auditing, practice management or a specialty credential. I could share this information with the members. Would this fund cover one of these certifications?
A: Additional certification, for any reason, are not covered by this fund at this time.

Q: Additional certifications would greatly enhance my skills and allow me to seek higher employment which would result in higher wages enabling me to better provide for my family. Can this fund help me?
A: The purpose of this fund is to assist members who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship and who are in jeopardy of losing their membership, certification or who are financially unable to obtain an initial certification. Job enhancement certifications are not covered by this fund.

Q: Can I request payment for my AAPC membership?
A: Renewal of membership is covered by this fund, however initial membership with AAPC is excluded from this fund. You must be a current member of the AAPC to apply.

Q: Are there partial scholarships awarded?
A: Occasionally partial scholarships are awarded where the recipients will be required to pay for the balance of the goods/services. Applicants who are awarded a partial scholarship will receive written confirmation from the HSC along with a voucher that must be submitted to AAPC along with the partial payment.

Q: Can I receive a partial award for my AAPC renewal?
A: Yes. If the HSC awards a portion of your dues, that amount will be applied when you pay the remaining portion. This must be done within 60 days of the award. However, if the member is using a payment plan for the dues, there is no way for the HSC to be a part of that process.

Q: I would like to attend a conference. Can I apply for assistance with registration, lodging and travel?
A: Applications are valid for AAPC-sponsored events and products; therefore, housing, travel and other related expenses are not covered. You may apply for assistance with an AAPC conference registration but you should include with your application how you plan to cover the related expenses of travel, lodging and meals.

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Non-Awarded Applicant Question:

Q: If I want information on why I wasn't awarded a scholarship who can I ask?
A: You are encouraged to review these qualifying guidelines and FAQs.

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Application Process Questions:

Q: How do I demonstrate financial hardship?
A: Describe your immediate circumstances and how you are experiencing difficulties maintaining your membership and/or certification. Also explain how being granted this financial aid will help you maintain membership and/or certification. Include other funding sources you have tried, information about your ability to contribute, any contributions your employer has made, information about your local chapter's scholarship resources, etc.

Q: How many times can I apply or be awarded?
A: At the present time, there are no restrictions on number of applications, however it is requested that a member wait at least one year before reapplying. If you find yourself in an additional financial hardship before the year is up, you may apply again.

Q: How will I be notified?
A: All applicants will receive a letter from the HSC.

Q: How long after I submit my application should I expect to be notified by the HSC?
A: The process can take up to 6 weeks although the committee strives for a much quicker turn around. If it has been 6 weeks since your application was submitted, and you have received no communication from the HSC or AAPC, you may send an email to scholarship@aapcca.org. This email must be sent from the same address used when the application was submitted. Please put the date of your application in the subject line along with your name. DO NOT RESUBMIT your initial application unless specifically requested to do so by the HSC or AAPC.

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Keeping the Funds Going:

Q: What happens if the fund runs out?
A: Applications will be suspended until the fund is back to a sustainable level.

Q: Who can donate to keep this fund going?
A: Every member and every local chapter! No amount is too small!

Q: Are donations tax deductible?
A: No. Although the AAPCCA is a non-profit organization, it is not considered tax-exempt with 501C3 tax status.

Q: How can I donate to the AAPCCA Hardship Scholarship Program?
A: Checks may be made payable to the AAPCCA Hardship Scholarship Program and sent to:
AAPCCA Hardship Scholarship Program
2480 South 3850 West, Suite B
Salt Lake City, UT 84120

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Helpful Hints for Members:

  • Get involved with your local chapter!
  • Attend chapter meetings.
  • Participate in chapter meetings.
  • Network at chapter meetings.
  • Volunteer at chapter meetings.
  • Volunteer to proctor an exam.
  • Volunteer to serve as an officer.
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Helpful Hints for Local Chapter Officers:

  • When possible, consider reduced registration fees to local chapter events for members experiencing a proven hardship. Also consider asking the member to volunteer at chapter events to offset the registration fee, (i.e. work registration at the event or a local chapter meeting, serve as second proctor for an exam, assist with check in and book checks at an exam, secure a speaker for a chapter meeting, speak at a chapter meeting).
  • Ask for donations of coding books from previous years for members to study by and practice with.
  • Provide a resource list for chapter members for low to no cost CEUs.
  • Reminder: local chapters cannot charge members to attend general local chapter meetings. Members should only be charged the amount necessary to cover the meeting costs.
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