The Pokagon Fund Vision Program
The Pokagon Fund has been committed since 2011 to provide free vision care to youth and seniors in Harbor Country®. Over the past eight years close to a half million dollars has been awarded in grants for vision care previously administered by the New Buffalo Lions Club. The Vision Program is currently administered directly by The Pokagon Fund. The service provider for the program is Smoke Vision Care of New Buffalo.
The Pokagon Fund Vision Program will provide free routine vision examinations and prescription glasses to the youth in Harbor Country from the age of 9 months through their 19th birthday or the last day in August in the year that she or he has graduated from high school, whichever is earlier, subject to certain limits described below. Eligibility for participation by youth in the Vision Program requires only permanent residency in Harbor Country, regardless of income.
In addition, seniors age 50 and above who are permanent residents of Harbor Country will receive a free routine vision examination and prescription glasses, subject to certain limits described below and subject to income eligibility based primarily on 250% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines for 2022. For example, the annual income of a senior applicant in a one-person household could not be higher than $33,975. For a senior applicant in a two-person household, the annual income could not exceed $45,775.
Any medical diagnosis could result in fees for additional services, which are not covered by this program.
For purposes of the Vision Program, income is calculated by adding the total of the following for each member of a senior’s household who is required to file a tax return:
•Adjusted gross income (AGI) on each person’s federal tax return
•Nontaxable Social Security benefits
Proof of income may be requested by The Pokagon Fund, including tax returns.
Definition of Residency in Harbor Country
Applicants are residents of Harbor Country if they live in New Buffalo Township, the City of New Buffalo, Chikaming Township, Three Oaks Township, the Village of Three Oaks, the Village of Michiana, or the Village of Grand Beach.
Frequency of Vision Care Eligibility
For Youth - An applicant who is a youth and has received vision care services through The Pokagon Fund Vision Program shall be ineligible for such services for a period of one year from the time that the last service was provided.
For Seniors - An applicant who is a senior and has received vision care services through The Pokagon Fund Vision Program shall be ineligible for such services for a period of two years from the time that the last service was provided.
Vision Insurance and Medical Insurance
An applicant is required to disclose Vision Insurance and Medical Insurance that may provide benefits that cover the cost of the vision care provided through The Pokagon Fund Vision Program. The benefits provided by insurance shall be applied to the cost of the vision care authorized by the Vision Program.
What is Provided by The Pokagon Fund Vision Program
The Pokagon Fund Vision Program pays the cost of a routine eye examination at an approved local vision service provider for negotiated rates.
The Pokagon Fund Vision Program also pays the cost for a single pair of prescription glasses, if needed, with a standard frame and lenses at an approved local vision service provider for negotiated rates.
What is Not Provided by The Pokagon Fund Vision Program
The Pokagon Fund Vision Program will not pay the additional costs involved in upgrades from the standard frames and glasses provided free to youth and seniors. Such additional costs, if any, will be the responsibility of the recipient.
The Pokagon Fund Vision Program will not pay for additional products or services such as a second pair of prescription glasses, contacts, sunglasses or surgeries.
Application for Vision Care
An application for vision care can be printed directly from this website by clicking HERE or on the green button above labeled Vision Program Application.
Applicants can also call The Pokagon Fund Office and ask to have an application mailed directly to their home. The number to call is: (269) 469-9322.
Applications are also available for pickup at the following locations:
River Valley Senior Center
(13321 Red Arrow Hwy, Harbert)
The Pokagon Fund
(821 E. Buffalo St., New Buffalo)
Once completed, an application, including the required proof of Harbor Country residency, must be mailed or delivered for approval to:
The Pokagon Fund Vision Program
821 E. Buffalo St.
New Buffalo, MI 49117
An application will ordinarily be reviewed upon receipt and either approved or denied within 30 days, provided that the application is complete when delivered and does not require additional information.
Smoke Vision Care of New Buffalo, MI is the provider for The Pokagon Fund Vision Program.