Veterans often have a very difficult life and paying for even the bare necessities can become challenging. If they have disabilities or trouble walking around due to medical problems, their lives can become even tougher.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost. There are ways for veterans to get free wheelchairs, which will greatly improve their lives and give them the freedom to move around freely again.
This article aims to teach veterans and their loved ones how they can get free wheelchairs without feeling like they need to humiliate themselves and beg for people’s charity and pity.
Will Veterans Affairs (VA) Pay for a Wheelchair?
Fortunately, Veterans Affairs are willing to help with mobility assistance. They might not pay for a brand new wheelchair, but the chances are very high that they will help veterans out by giving them a free wheelchair or perhaps a power scooter.
In addition to this, veterans are also entitled to a VA grant, which can help cover the costs of adaptive equipment such as wheelchair lifts. In some cases, the grant can even cover the cost of a vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair user. Also, veterans can take part in a driving rehab program that will help them get used to driving and using these vehicles.
Sometimes, veterans can also receive financial assistance that will pay for home modifications like access ramps, widening interior doorways, and installing grab bars throughout their home. Veterans can get up to $60,000 in grants to help them out.
Do keep in mind, though, that this process can be a bit confusing, so it’s a good idea to get someone from Veterans Affairs or Department of Veterans' Services Central Office to explain it all clearly.
What Veterans Programs Pay for a Wheelchair in the US?
There are several programs that are proud to help veterans out and assist them in getting free mobility assistance. Here are some of the best veterans programs that are currently helping veterans get free wheelchairs:
If a veteran has suffered illness or injury in the line of duty while actively serving the military, air or naval service, they are eligible for service-connected programs. There are two main programs, the Auto Allowance Grant and the Automobile Adaptive Equipment Program.
To be eligible for the programs, the veteran has to be within the Veterans Health Administration system. Veterans who are already getting help from the VA may also apply for these benefits.
Non-Service Connected Programs
If the Veteran Health Administration finds that a veteran doesn’t have a service-related condition, they can still apply for non-service-connected programs.
The veteran must have served in the military for at least three months and must have been honorably discharged to get these benefits. Part of the benefits could include receiving a free wheelchair.
How Else Can a Veteran Get a Free Wheelchair in the US?
In addition to the above-mentioned programs, there are also other ways for veterans to receive assistance and free wheelchairs.
Here are some of the options available to them:
Government Assistance Programs (Medicare & Medicaid)
Veterans can check if they’re eligible for free wheelchairs as part of Medicare Part B. In some cases, the veterans can even receive free DME electric wheelchairs too.
Although there are certain requirements that have to be met, most veterans should be able to qualify. Should the veteran not qualify for a free wheelchair, they may still receive financial assistance in the form of a big discount.
A doctor’s note detailing the extent of the veteran’s mobility difficulties and problems. If it is determined that the veteran needs a wheelchair to function normally, one will most likely be given for free.
The Wheelchair Foundation
This foundation is focused solely on helping veterans (and others) who have mobility problems get access to free wheelchairs. Since it was founded in the year 2000, it has delivered more than 750,000 wheelchairs to people who need them. They operate all over the world and even provide free wheelchairs for children and teenagers.
The Wheelchair Foundation works with The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Goodwill Industries, and other similar organizations to give people who need wheelchairs easy and free access.
The Free Wheelchair Mission
As the name of this charity mission suggests, the focus is on giving people free wheelchairs. The organization accepts donated wheelchairs and then hands them out to those who need them. It is a big charity, so veterans are likely to be successful when they apply for assistance.
However, since this charity is currently focusing on non-US countries, if you’re living in America, you may not receive the help you want. It might be a great idea for US citizens who are not currently living in the country though, and who are having difficulty getting assistance from organizations within the US.
Lifenets Wheelchair Project
Although this organization isn’t as big as the others mentioned above, it’s still a good option for veterans who need a free wheelchair. It only exists online but lets people easily apply for a wheelchair.
The site also accepts donations online, and uses their platform to match the suppliers with those who are asking for free wheelchairs.
Veterans can feel like they’re lost if they don’t find a free wheelchair from the first organization they approach, but there are many options available. Hopefully, this article was able to direct you in the right direction so you can find the perfect free wheelchair for yourself or a loved one as quickly as possible.