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Hardship Mail Delivery

Hardship Mail Delivery

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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10 thoughts on “Hardship Mail Delivery

  1. Does a statement from Social Security establishing disability suffice as a doctors statement?

  2. I believe that you will have to have a letter from the doctor on letterhead stationery saying what your medical condition is and why you need to change the delivery location. Call your postmaster to be sure. I believe there is a form available from the postmaster that is an official way of making the request and telling what is preventing you from using the mail delivery location you have. I asked about door delivery for a friend and the local postmaster was very nice about it. The postmaster will also come over to see your present location and how it can be changed to help you, and then set the date for making the change to a new location so the regular postman will be informed. Having mail delivered to a door receptacle rather than a cluster mailbox down the street or a mailbox at the curb is a big help in bad weather.

  3. I spoke to Leslie at the Brandon, FL PO , today (2-2-17), about delivering my mail, since I had a hip & knee replacement. She said she would speak to the new mail person. I haven’t gotten permission to drive the mail box.

  4. I hope you are on the mend now. I think that even without the paperwork process, the mail deliverer will be considerate of your situation, and try to accommodate your needs. It would probably
    take at least a week or so to go through the paperwork process. but you want your mail now immediately. If there is another person in your household who could get your mail for you then you are not actually eligible for permanent hardship mail delivery service. However, since your surgeries, I believe you can work something out to get your mail to a place where you can directly and easily get it.
    Maybe that place could be in a box on your porch or by your front door. I think most postal workers really do try to help the residents they serve. Glad we could help with a little info.

  5. I’m nearly 51 and require a walker to get around. My mother whom I live with is 85 and not in the best of health. Our driveway is incredibly steep. We both fear falls terribly. Would we be able to move our mailbox from the edge of the road to the front of the house?

  6. I think that is certainly a reasonably request. The first thing to do is call you local postmaster. They’ll be able to explain the type of aid available for you and the necessary requirements for you to receive it. I believe it will involve a form from the P.O. and some type of verification from your doctor. Your postmaster will have all the answers.

  7. I’m handicapped, walk with a Walker. My driveway is on an incliné So I can’t get to my current mailbox at the curb. How can I get the form to apply for a hardship case? Thank you,

  8. I have late stage cancer, I’ve been sick a long time, and getting to the post office to get my mail is now harder than ever. I have no vehicle, and they don’t deliver to my side of town. Also, the employees at the post office are getting really mad at me because I don’t get up there more than once every couple weeks. It’s getting so bad that I’m embarrassed when I do go in there. Theres 2 employees who are being very rude when I ask for my mail. I have a spouse, but he won’t go get the mail. Any suggestions please?

  9. Ohhhh, and I don’t get ALL of my mail when I do walk up there. I went Friday, and asked for the mail. The man gave me some. I went again today (Monday) and got a big pile of mail older than what I got on Friday! I’m tired of dealing with them.

  10. I am sorry to hear about your situation. I would like to send some suggestions to you in a private email later.
    I am thinking there could be ways to get cooperation from the post office and ways to lighten your paper mail load.
    Thanks for contacting us.

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