Sadly, many people end up in a difficult position of needing a mobility scooter but not being able to afford one. This can be a debilitating situation to be in. Fortunately, there are some answers for people who find themselves needing a scooter. We’ve explained how to get a free mobility scooter in this post, with multiple different approaches to finding help when it comes to paying for your mobility equipment.
We don’t think that people should be without a mobility scooter if they truly need one, and plenty of charities and other systems in the USA agree, which is why there are often options for finding mobility equipment that doesn’t require you to pay for it. If you’ve suddenly developed a need for a mobility scooter, you might not have the thousands of dollars often required.
Conditions that require mobility scooters
What are some of the conditions that might need a mobility scooter? As we age, a lot of people find that they have constant aches and pains as a result of walking, and a mobility scooter might be a way to avoid this. Some elderly people simply use the scooter outdoors, and a frame or other mobility product indoors.
Some scooters allow people with leg conditions, or who have lost the use of their legs altogether, to still be able to get around relatively quickly. You’ll still need some upper body strength to use most mobility scooters.
There are so many conditions that can eventually lead to requiring mobility scooters, neurodegenerative diseases, injuries, hip replacement problems and more can all be helped by a scooter. These problems are so flexible now, you can even get a brilliant folding scooter. In fact, there are multiple folding scooter options explored here, that can do a great job and often be found free of charge.
How to get mobility scooter for free
So how to get a mobility scooter for free? There are multiple ways you can approach this. It isn’t always possible for everyone, but it is a good option for a lot of people who are looking for mobility help. Often, you can find a program, foundation or even a charity that can help, especially if you are from a deprived area.
Below, we explore some of the ways people are successful in getting mobility products such as electric wheelchairs for free, either as a donation or even as part of an insurance policy.
If you have a health insurance policy then this is the first thing to try. You might have a health insurance policy through work, or maybe you have paid into one yourself. In many states, employers who meet certain conditions are legally required to offer an insurance policy, so make sure you have thought about your insurer and whether this could be a route to get a free scooter.
Insurance companies all have their own policies when it comes to giving out mobility scooters, so you need to look at what your policy says. You might need to provide certain proof of a medical condition or get a doctor to state that you do need a mobility scooter. Some policies also have a deductible, so this is something else to be aware of. Even if your insurance policy doesn’t cover the most expensive scooters, you can get some great affordable options, such as the Drive Medical Scout Compact.
There are numerous charities out there, but these often operate in a local area so you might have to do some research to see which of the charities will be suitable for your own needs. As an example, many churches and religious organizations have programs that donate mobility products to the people who are most in need. One church with such a program is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You don’t necessarily have to share the beliefs of the churches to get help, either. They should be running the programs because they want to help people with disabilities.
In the US, the Medicare program can be a big help to seniors who need assistance getting their hands on mobility equipment. Part B of the Medicare program covers things like medical equipment.
The Medicare program itself usually only reimburses you 80% of the cost of your scooter, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use this to get a mobility scooter for free. Your Medicaid office might be able to point you to companies and charities who may be able to help you. Alternatively, you might be able to tap into the Medicare Savings Program. This can cover the final 20%. For veterans, there are many charities and funding programs to take advantage of to pay for your mobility scooter, or just the 20% not covered by Medicare.
American Outreach Foundation
This is a good backup option for people who have been rejected elsewhere.
The American Outreach Foundation can help veterans or those with low incomes. The foundation is all about helping those who have struggled to fund their needs elsewhere.
It’s also a simple process. To get started, you can fill out a form on their site. From here, you may have to prove your income or veteran status. You might also be asked to provide rejection letters from insurers.
Social Security Agency
If you are eligible for social security, it is worth going to the disability benefits office for your state and asking if they can help you to find the funding for your mobility scooter. It’s a challenge, as the process might take a long time. This agency is pretty busy and suffers with backlog.
It’s possible that you could look to a second-hand option as a way to save some money, or even to get the product totally free. Perhaps you have something of value that you could trade. Mobility scooters that aren’t needed anymore are often reconditioned and sold at a lower price.
If you’re looking to get some help with your mobility, we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay if you can’t afford it. Luckily, there are plenty of other organizations with the same outlook, offering products for free or financial assistance. Our guide to how to get a free mobility scooter should help you to find something suitable for you. If you are a veteran of the US military, or married to one, you might find there are more plans that can help. Other backgrounds and low-income families can also rely on the charity and assistance programs that have been created to try and give access to the desperately needed mobility products.