Paying for a Wheelchair

When you don’t have deep pockets for adaptive devices, check these sources for help

The range of costs for wheelchairs and other assistive devices can be dramatic. Repair and maintenance expenses add to the basic cost.

Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans may pay for assistive devices if they are a medical necessity. Ask your doctor to write a prescription for these items.

Other possible sources of help in paying for equipment are:

• The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

• State vocational rehabilitation departments, depending on their budget and time of budget cycle

• Your employer’s charitable giving program

• Religious groups

• Civic organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, Shriners, Elks, etc.

Also check your state’s assistive technology project. These are available in most states and may offer monetary and/or equipment loans, and equipment exchanges and/or recycling.

For information about the assistive technology project in your state, contact the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Catalyst Project, which is funded to provide assistance to AT Act grantees to assist them in increasing awareness, access, acquisition and advocacy to assistive technology (AT) devices and services for consumers with disabilities of all ages. The project works with the 56 statewide AT programs, the 57 protection and advocacy for AT programs, and the 33 alternative financing programs.

Visit and click on “Find A State Program” or “Program Directory,” call 703-524-6686 or write to


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