Tony, one of our members, has found freedom through his new mobility scooter which was paid for with help from the RAF Benevolent Fund. Tony said ‘after a long process going through my GP, Occupational therapists and the RAF Benevolent Fund I am now reasonably mobile again, charged up overnight and off for a quick test run!' You can see Tony's scooter in the picture below.
Inspired by Tony’s story, I thought I would share some other ways in which you could get help to pay for mobility aids.
Finding the right mobility aid
There are lots of different types of mobility aids, some of which are available through the NHS. You can ask your GP for an assessment with a physiotherapist or occupational therapist to see what mobility aids might help you. You could also ask for people’s experiences of different mobility aids on our Sheffield ME and Fibromyalgia Group Facebook Page or our members’ forum.
Paying for mobility aids
Aids like walking sticks, walking frames and wheelchairs can often be provided by the NHS. If you are prescribed a wheelchair through the wheelchair service, but you want to choose a higher spec chair, or add features to it, you can contribute financially to make these additions. For more information about this option, contact the wheelchair services for your Clinical Commissioning Group. The Sheffield contact number is 0114 27 15807.
Mobility scooters are not usually available on the NHS, and can be expensive. You could opt for buying a second hand mobility scooter to keep the cost down. Here are some other options for helping to pay for a mobility scooter.
The Motability Scheme
The Motability Scheme allows people claiming certain benefits to use part of their benefit to lease a car, scooter, powered wheelchair or wheelchair accessible vehicle.
To be eligible, you need to be claiming one of the following benefits, with at least 12 months left on your award:
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with the enhanced rate of the mobility component
War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
Armed Forces Independence Payment
You can search the different products available through the Motability Scheme here.
Access to Work
Access to Work is a Government scheme to help disabled people manage at work. If your mobility affects your ability to do your job, you might be able to get financial assistance to pay for a mobility aid through Access to Work. You can also get help from Access to Work if you’re self-employed.
Better Mobility has a list of charities which help fund mobility equipment. Turn2Us also has a grants search. Some grants accept applications from individuals, and for some an application needs to be submitted by an occupational therapist, support worker or from a relevant charity. For help applying for a charity grant email us at email@example.com. Check the ‘who is eligible?’ section to see whether the grant is suitable.
If you can’t get help through Government schemes or charity grants, you could set up your own fundraiser. Here is an example of a fundraiser for a power wheelchair by the writer Jessica Taylor-Bearman, who has ME. GoFundMe is a good platform to use as it’s free.