Helping you to afford a wheelchair and other mobility products
As we all continue to feel the financial squeeze, being able to own the ideal wheelchair or powerchair for your needs may seem a distant possibility. However, there are many organisations ready to help you with contributions, discounts and grants.
This month we look at ways to signpost you towards financial help. Here at Recare, we are always available to offer guidance through our decades of experience, especially as we work with charities on an ongoing basis. As the saying goes, ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’, so grasp the opportunity and always reach out to as many organisations as possible to ensure you achieve the funding you need.
NHS Personal Wheelchair Budgets
Local Wheelchair Services have eligibility criteria to meet, and they will provide a basic wheelchair free of charge under your wheelchair budget allowance. An NHS therapist will assess your clinical needs and prescribe a product that meets your minimum requirements.
However, if you prefer a more bespoke or advanced option, you can transfer the assigned budget via a voucher to a third-party supplier like us. You also have the opportunity to contribute to the cost – giving you more choice.
Your Recare Rehabilitation Consultant will assess you and recommend an appropriate solution for everyday mobility. Wheelchair Services will require our product specification to reaffirm it meets your individual needs – they will appraise our findings and then issue a voucher. The value of this will contribute to, or cover the cost, of your mobility product which we will supply. The NHS will supply us directly with the funding. Vouchers are valid for four months.
As these budgets are under immense pressure, which may affect the value of your voucher, it is always worthwhile seeking additional funds elsewhere. From personal contributions and grant applications to charity contributions, there are always alternatives to help finance the right wheelchair.
Charities helping adults
Many UK charities provide grants and funding towards specialist equipment and services for adults. Specifically, if you are seeking assistance with the cost of equipment and home adaptations, the following charitable organisations may be worth contacting:
- Parkinson’s UK. People with Parkinson’s and unpaid carers can apply for a grant of up to £1,500 towards specialist equipment.
- Masonic Charitable Foundation. One of the largest grant providing charities in the country.
- British Legion Fund. If you are serving or ex-serving military personnel, the British Legion fund may be able to help.
- Macmillan. This cancer support charity provides grants as a one-off payment of £350.
- The Headley Trust. This trust supports older people to live independently, supports older people’s carers, and helps disadvantaged families and young people.
Charity funding for children
Paediatric charities provide funding support towards mobility equipment for young people aged up to 18. If you’re looking to apply for help, contact us, as our team has vast experience of working with charities. A selection of children’s charities to approach for funding:
- Newlife – the charity for disabled children
- Caudwell Children
- Variety the Children’s Charity
- Sullivan’s Heroes
- The Hospital Saturday Fund
- Family Fund
Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)
A Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is provided by your local authority to help install stairlifts, ramps, accessible baths/showers and other accessible adaptations. These enable disabled adults and children to lead more independent lives whilst supporting families and carers. You can apply for support with a DFG grant through your Occupational Therapist. They apply to your local council and advise you on what is available to improve your access in and around your home. You can apply for a DFG in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (in Scotland, its equivalent is an equipment and adaptations grant).
Other Funding Sources
With the Motability Scheme you can simply exchange part, or all of your mobility allowance, to lease a new scooter or powered wheelchair.
Tree of Hope. A crowdfunding charity that specifically helps children and young people with a disability or illnesses. Tel: 01892 535525.
Create a crowdfunding campaign online to raise funds. Before you start, compare crowdfunding sites and see what each offer. There are many crowdfunding platforms for individuals to choose from, such as:
If you have a disability, you can benefit from VAT relief on our assistive products. Currently, this means you receive a 20% discount on the cost.
To qualify, you must be defined as ‘long-term sick or disabled’. The equipment must be designed for disabilities and purchased privately for individual use. Our Rehabilitation Consultants can guide you in completing your Exemption Form with the correct information. Once signed, this declares your eligibility for VAT relief – HMRC or GP permission is not required to be eligible for VAT exemption. If you have any doubts, speak to your consultant.
Due to the nature of our products, the published and provided pricing is VAT-exempt where VAT exemption is applicable for that product.