Hardship Mail Delivery for Disabled Persons
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In this cold winter, one of the most miserable trips you or your caregiver must make is that trip to the mailbox each day. If your mailbox is at the street, then that means you have to take a walk in the cold, perhaps crossing slippery, ice covered surfaces to get to the mailbox. You may qualify for Hardship Mail Delivery.
If you face slippery porch steps, snowy sidewalks, and uneven muddy surfaces on the driveway or street to get to the mailbox, you are taking a risk that you might fall and seriously hurt yourself. This is particularly true of you who use a cane, or walker, and have mobility problems. Driving to your mailbox might be a better choice for you if you have mobility problems when going on foot. But, what if you don’t own a car, or can’t drive a car because of your disability?
Accessible mail delivery for disabled persons is possible, so you don’t have to take those risks.
The U.S. Post Office has a process to request delivery to a mailbox that is accessible to you. The Post Office’s term for this is “hardship mail delivery.”
To qualify for hardship mail delivery so your mailbox so it is more accessible, you must be a disabled person who lives alone at your address, or there must be no other able-bodied adult occupant at your house who could get your mail for you.
In other words, if all the people at your address are disabled adults, and cannot walk or drive to your present mailbox daily, then you can probably qualify for “hardship mail delivery.”
You will need to ask your doctor to write a letter on letterhead stationery stating that you have a disability that makes access to your current mailbox difficult or impossible. You will need to have this letter sent to the postmaster of your local post office. The postmaster will probably send it on to their superior at the district or regional office to get approval, though many postmasters on the local level have discretion to approve or disapprove hardship requests.
The postmaster may call you and talk to you about better locations for your mailbox. There are some regulations about how high or low it can be placed on a post or a wall. There are regulations about cluster mailboxes, and slots in a front door.
See what your postmaster suggests about locations which would be best for your mailbox, and what kind of mailbox would work best for you.
Get more from your mailbox when your trip there is much easier for you. Check out the process of hardship mail delivery with your post office.
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