How to Get a Free Wheelchair – Most Useful Services

This article will provide you with several ways of getting a free wheelchair - from insurance services to local and international charities
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Last updatedLast updated: January 12, 2022
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Wheelchairs can be expensive and inaccessible to individuals with mobility issues and limited budget since most of them cost several hundred dollars. Fortunately, there are various ways you can use to get a wheelchair at little to no cost. In this article, we have explained how to get a free wheelchair through charities and government programs to be able to carry out daily functions and to improve your quality of life. We have provided links to some of these websites that offer mobile aids if you qualify for one. Some of these organizations have national programs and others operate on a state or local level. With the information in this guide, you should be able to establish the programs that apply to you and what you need to be eligible for their assistance on acquiring an affordable wheelchair.

What Types of Wheelchairs are Given for Free?

There are various types of wheelchairs that are offered for free to accommodate the different user demands.

Transport

How to Get a Free Wheelchair - Most Useful ServicesTo get a free wheelchair from government, one of the prerequisites is proof that you or a second party can operate the wheelchair. For a transport wheelchair such as Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair, you will need a caregiver to steer you from behind because the rear wheels are too small for you to self-propel.

Manual

How to Get a Free Wheelchair - Most Useful ServicesManual mobile aids make the best lightweight wheelchairs that are robust and weigh 15 to 60 pounds. They are also the most easily available free wheelchairs for the disabled.

Motorized

How to Get a Free Wheelchair - Most Useful ServicesIt is possible to get a free motorized wheelchair like the 50-pound Porto Mobility Ranger D09 with high weight limit of 400 pounds. All you need is a doctor’s note confirming why it would be a medical necessity.

Electric

How to Get a Free Wheelchair - Most Useful ServicesIt is harder to get an electric wheelchair for free unless it is a cheaper model or one that is not fully functional. This is because electric models tend to be expensive. So you must cover part of the cost to get a free wheelchair with Medicare and similar organizations with programs for the disabled.

How to Get a Free Wheelchair

Free wheelchairs for the disabled are available through a variety of organizations that cover or subsidize the cost of wheelchairs to make them more accessible to users who need but cannot afford them.

Medicare or Medicaid

Medicare

How to Get a Free Wheelchair - Most Useful ServicesIf you are wondering how to get an electric wheelchair for free, consider Medicare which offers free or discounted wheelchairs and scooters, and may also provide durable medical equipment (DME) coverage for electric wheelchairs. To be eligible for an electric model such as a wheelchair for amputees, you will need a doctor’s note detailing the extent of your mobility issues, prove that you need the wheelchair to carry out normal activities such as bathing and using the bathroom, and fulfill all the requirements listed for Medicare application.

Medicare mainly offers discounted wheelchairs which they buy or lease for 10 months. These are typically manual wheelchairs but they make exceptions for electric wheelchairs as long as you can prove why you need one. The Company covers 80% of the cost although it may pay the full price if you have Medicaid or supplementary medical insurance.

Medicaid

How to Get a Free Wheelchair - Most Useful ServicesWe have explained how to get a free wheelchair with Medicare. The criteria used by Medicare part B to cover the cost of wheelchairs are the same ones used by Medicaid and the latter can cover the remaining 20% of the cost that Medicare does not normally cover.

Since Medicaid is not a federal program, you should consult your local agency to check eligibility because it varies from one state to another. If you qualify for this state-run program that is mainly geared towards the handicapped, the elderly, kids and other people with lower income, Medicaid will provide you with a free scooter or a manual or battery powered wheelchair.

Free Wheelchair Mission

If you cannot access a free wheelchair from government, you might benefit from Free Wheelchair Mission which has distributed more than one million wheelchairs in the past 20 years.

The Christian non-profit organization is based in California although it focuses on developing countries. It has delivered wheelchairs in at least 93 developing countries where it aims to give hope, freedom and dignity to individuals with mobile impairment.

The donated wheelchairs include foldable and adjustable models that are available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes for custom fit by recipients.

The charity organization has rightfully received several awards including a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by the US House of Representatives for their humanitarian activities. You can find out more about this faith-based organization here Trusted Source Welcome to Free Wheelchair Mission 75 million people are in need of a wheelchair but cannot afford one. Be part of the solution. Donate Now Get Breaking News, Updates, and Inspiring Stories Our Mission Providing the transforming gift of mobility to people with a disability living in developing nations, as motivated by Jesus Christ. www.freewheelchairmission.org .

Free Wheelchairs for the Disabled program

There are support groups that feature programs designed to offer free mobile aids to users who need them. This can either be through linking wheelchair users with other users who no longer require wheelchairs or through raising funds to buy new wheelchairs for local recipients.

The Wheelchair Foundation

The Wheelchair Foundation is a charity organization that offers free wheelchairs for the disabled. Since it was founded more than two decades ago, the organization has donated brand new and restored wheelchairs to over one million individuals in at least 20 countries.

The Wheelchair Foundation partners with governments, corporations, religious organizations, other relief groups, and volunteers who deliver the wheelchairs to the recipients. You can contact these organizations or visit their website Trusted Source Wheelchair Foundation The Wheelchair Foundation has a goal to provide a free wheelchair to every child, teen and adult worldwide who needs one but has no means to acquire one. www.wheelchairfoundation.org to learn more.

The Foundation has an ongoing program for Nevadans Trusted Source Wheelchair Foundation to give people in need new wheelchairs Thousands of Nevadans could receive a new wheelchair thanks to a nonprofit with the goal of increasing mobility for an often-expensive necessity. www.reviewjournal.com with mobility issues. To qualify for a free wheelchair in this program, you must be a Nevada resident who cannot afford a wheelchair but needs one for permanent use.

If you donate $150 to the organization, you will receive masks and a beautiful folder, a personalized certificate for the gift of mobility and a chance to put a smile on someone’s face this holiday season by sharing hope, mobility and independence.

Local insurance company

You can get a free wheelchair with Medicare or with a local insurance company depending on your provider or policy. If it is deemed medically necessary to have a wheelchair, most health insurance plans will cover part of the cost instead of offering you a free wheelchair.

Lifenets Wheelchair Project

Looking for used wheelchairs for free? Try Lifenets Wheelchair Project on their website Trusted Source Welcome to LifeNets The Wheelchair Project The goal of LifeNet’s Wheelchair Project is to put wheelchairs that are not currently being used into the hands of someone who can benefit from them. www.lifenetswheelchairproject.org . This is an online charity organization that provides a linking platform for residents in the United States who wish to request and donate wheelchairs.

It was started in 1999 and it has been successful in matching wheelchair donors with recipients who require mobile aids.

Second-hand options

One of the easiest ways to get an electric wheelchair electric wheelchair for free is through second-hand options. Electric wheelchairs cost a lot but you can get one for free or at a subsidized cost from a previous owner who is either upgrading to a new one or no longer requires a wheelchair.

However, you must confirm that the wheelchair is in good condition with no missing or broken parts that may pose a risk to you.

According to The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Trusted Source Battery-Powered Wheelchair and
Mobility Aid Guidance Document
Transport of Battery-Powered Wheelchair and Mobility Aid Carried by Passengers www.iata.org
, a good method of ensuring proper storage of a battery-powered wheelchair when travelling is to place any loose components in a suitable container.

Other charity missions

The requirements on how to get a free motorized wheelchair are stricter because your doctor must prove why a manual wheelchair would not be able to serve you as well. However, you might be lucky if you find a local charity mission such as a church organization that offers free wheelchairs bought through fundraising drives for seniors and individuals with impaired mobility.

Final Thoughts

Wheelchairs have been used several times, such as to scale a skyscraper Trusted Source Lai Chi-Wai raises HK$5.2m for charity climbing Nina Towers A man has scaled a Hong Kong skyscraper in his wheelchair to raise money for spinal cord patients. www.bbc.com or to push it for 21 miles Trusted Source Fraser Lamb to push wheelchair 2021 miles in 2021 for hospital A man whose life was saved by Sheffield Children’s Hospital is fundraising by pushing his wheelchair 2021 miles in 2021. www.bbc.com to bring light and raise money for a good cause. This is why we appreciate the organizations we have featured in this guide for allowing people with mobile impairment to access wheelchairs for free or at a discount. We have explained multiple ways of how to get a free chair through government and state programs as well as local and international charity organizations. You can link to the websites we have included to find out how you can get a model such as the portable Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair if your doctor recommends it to maintain a relatively normal life.

References

1.
Welcome to Free Wheelchair Mission
75 million people are in need of a wheelchair but cannot afford one. Be part of the solution. Donate Now Get Breaking News, Updates, and Inspiring Stories Our Mission Providing the transforming gift of mobility to people with a disability living in developing nations, as motivated by Jesus Christ.
2.
Wheelchair Foundation
The Wheelchair Foundation has a goal to provide a free wheelchair to every child, teen and adult worldwide who needs one but has no means to acquire one.
3.
Wheelchair Foundation to give people in need new wheelchairs
Thousands of Nevadans could receive a new wheelchair thanks to a nonprofit with the goal of increasing mobility for an often-expensive necessity.
4.
Welcome to LifeNets The Wheelchair Project
The goal of LifeNet’s Wheelchair Project is to put wheelchairs that are not currently being used into the hands of someone who can benefit from them.
5.
Battery-Powered Wheelchair and
Mobility Aid Guidance Document
Transport of Battery-Powered Wheelchair and Mobility Aid Carried by Passengers
6.
Lai Chi-Wai raises HK$5.2m for charity climbing Nina Towers
A man has scaled a Hong Kong skyscraper in his wheelchair to raise money for spinal cord patients.
7.
Fraser Lamb to push wheelchair 2021 miles in 2021 for hospital
A man whose life was saved by Sheffield Children’s Hospital is fundraising by pushing his wheelchair 2021 miles in 2021.
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