America’s veterans have made many sacrifices for our country, and one of the most important is their health. Unfortunately, many veterans returning from service have new injuries and find they aren’t as capable of the daily tasks they were used to. That’s where mobility scooters come in. If you’re a disabled veteran struggling to adapt and get by, we’ll explain here how to apply for a free mobility scooter through VA and what the eligibility requirements are. Keep reading to learn more!
Can a Disabled Veteran Get a Free Mobility Scooter?
A disabled veteran can apply for a free mobility scooter through Veteran’s Affairs, though not every veteran will be accepted. In general, a veteran must meet one or more of the criteria listed below in order to qualify for the Benefits for Veterans program:
- Loss of at least one foot or hand;
- Permanent loss of use of at least one foot or hand;
- Permanent impairment of vision in both eyes; or:
- Severe burn injuries that limit motion in one or more extremities.
In addition to meeting one or more of these criteria, these injuries and disabilities must have either been incurred while you were serving active duty, or have been aggravated during active service.
You’ll need to provide documentation supporting your claim, such as proof that you sustained the injury that makes you eligible. A doctor’s prescription or your hospital records are among the documents you will need to collect. After you have gathered the necessary documents and filed your claim, it may take a long time — often several months — before you receive your verdict, as Veteran’s Affairs is often busy sorting through similar claims.
Should your claim be accepted, you will receive a one-time grant from Veteran’s Affairs to be used for purchasing your mobility scooter. If you do meet these criteria and can thus apply for a free mobility scooter, you may even be entitled to receive a bigger grant to pay for adaptive equipment as well, such as a wheelchair lift to get into your vehicle.
Organizations that help veterans get a free mobility scooter
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for a free mobility scooter through Veteran’s Affairs, don’t worry! There are other ways for veterans to get a mobility scooter covered.
Medicare will generally cover 80% of the cost of a mobility scooter through the Medicare plan B program. While Medicare is not a veteran-specific program, sometimes the department of Veteran’s Affairs will cover the remaining 20% through different funding programs such as TRICARE, CHAMPVA for Life, and Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS). Review your state’s Medicare eligibility requirements first to see how much you could qualify for.
The American Outreach Foundation donates free mobility scooters and power chairs to persons in need. The Foundation was established to provide mobility assistance to veterans and people from lower-income families who do not have the financial means to purchase the necessary devices. If you have been denied a mobility chair after asking through another program and you are unable to afford to purchase one yourself, get in touch with the Foundation to figure out what your next steps are. They may even be able to point you in the direction of another program that could help you get the scooter that you need.
Other ways to get a free mobility scooter
If none of the above methods work out in your favor, there are still other channels through which to get a mobility scooter.
It is possible to receive coverage for a mobility scooter through your insurance company. A doctor’s prescription is often needed when asking your insurance company to cover your mobility scooter — if your mobility impacts your everyday life and a walker would not be enough for you to live well, your doctor can prescribe a mobility scooter. To find out if your insurance company offers a mobility device program, you can either call them directly or check their website.
Many more programs are also in place to provide grants to people with disabilities who require devices like mobility scooters for their everyday lives. The programs that are offered may vary from state to state, but there are a multitude of organizations that care deeply about people who need mobility devices and can’t afford to pay for them on their own. You can browse our directory of free wheelchair programs across the US. While many of the programs focus on seniors, younger veterans may still be able to benefit, depending on the program.
Another organization that seeks to give disabled people free mobility devices is The Numotion Foundation. Created by the Numotion company, the Foundation is an initiative that seeks to provide financial assistance to those in need of mobility scooters or wheelchairs, in the form of both grants and sponsorships. This initiative benefits people of all ages in need of assistance, so there’s no need to wonder whether or not you can apply.
Is it possible to get a free mobility scooter through Veteran’s Affairs, then? Not only is the answer yes in many cases, but it’s also possible to obtain a free mobility scooter through other means. A doctor’s prescription or some other form of proof that you have a medical need for a scooter is required, but beyond this, the process of applying for any of these programs is not very difficult. Contact Veteran’s Affairs to see if you qualify for a free mobility scooter today.