Post written by: Mary Carol Peterson
If you are a veteran and were injured during a conflict, or if you are getting older and have trouble getting around, you may be eligible for help from the Veteran’s Administration. To get help for new equipment, here’s how it works:
- First, start by making an appointment with your primary care physician, at your local VA Center. He/she will refer you to a VA clinician, who will determine the kind of mobility device you qualify for. This decision is based on an evaluation of your mobility needs.
- After the equipment evaluation is complete, the clinician will research mobility products. He/she will then determine the most appropriate option for you. His/her choices will maximize your independence, and will be discussed with you. Many times, the clinician will work with a manufacturer’s representative, who has products that are available for you to try at a wheelchair clinic.
- Once the decision is made, the equipment will be ordered. This entire process could take between 3-6 months.
- After the equipment is received, you will recieve instructions on proper use of the equipment. Afterward, you’ll return to the VA for any additional, follow-up care. In the Tampa Bay Area, the VA will ask Custom Mobility to deliver the product to you. At this time, we’ll send one of our specialists, who will complete the delivery and demonstrate the set-up process.
What mobility equipment is typically covered?
In most cases, the VA will either give you a wheelchair or a power scooter. There are some instances where you might be entitled to a VA grant that will cover other equipment. This includes a lift for your car, so that you can transport your wheelchair or scooter. If a lift is recommended for you, the Prosthetics Department will order it, and refer the installation to a qualified contractor. Custom Mobility is a local, installation contractor for the Tampa Bay Area, and can complete the work in about two hours. After we have completed the installation process, we’ll provide instruction on using your new lift.
In some situations, an adaptive vehicle may also be considered. Once you have received this kind of grant, driving rehab. programs will train and get you accustomed to entering, exiting, and driving your vehicle. To increase your safety and independence at home , modification grants may also be available. These grants could cover: adding a ramp, widening interior doorways, and/or installing grab bars in the bathroom. All of these examples can make a huge difference to your life. Veterans, who meet these qualifications, may receive as much as $60,000 to make their homes more accessible.
How is the product serviced and/or repaired after delivery?
If you need repairs, parts, and/or service for your equipment, the process is similar. First, you would call your primary care physician, who will write a script for a consult. If you are local to the Tampa Bay Area, a Custom Mobility representative can evaluate your equipment. If you specifically request this service,we can send a quote to the VA for authorization . Why? Custom Mobility has a full-service team of on- staff, repair experts , a full inventory of parts, and a designated work area, to complete the work in a timely manner.
To obtain mobility equipment, financial assistance can be challenging to figure out. Here are some additional resources to help you along this journey:
VA WHEELCHAIRS AND SPECIAL MOBILITY AIDS HANDBOOK