Wheelchair Funding Question?

Hello all, when I was in hospital this most recent time I was assessed by the physios again for an electric wheelchair (I can't manage a self propelling one as it's the equivalent of walking and I haven't got the breath). She thought that I would greatly benefit from one and spoke to the OTs. They said that they could see that it would be of great use to me but that I didn't qualify for one on the NHS as their electric wheelchairs are for people who cannot walk at all - the difficulty being that I can walk but get very breathless and wheezy, especially when I'm building up for a bad attack or recovering from one (most of the time). Anyway, the physios told me this and yet advised me that I should get an electric wheelchair anyway, but that it would have to be self-funded. They average at about £2 500, which is a fairly impossible sum for me to come up with since my income is solely from benefits. So my question is, does anyone know of anywhere that might be able to help me with funding for this? All I want is a bit of my independence back, the ability to get all the way round the supermarket, or even to my GP practice. Any ideas of places that could help would be very much appreciated.



8 Replies

  • I'm not 100% sure of this but I seem to remember from when I worked in rehab that the Motability Scheme can help to fund electric wheelchairs and/or scooters if you get DLA. I believe it works in a similar way to the car funding scheme, in that they will not actually buy you one but will help by either loaning you the money at a fair interest rate or with some sort of hiring or hire-purchase agreement.

    Can anyone who actually has DLA confirm? Otherwise you should be able to find the Motability web site fairly easily if you google it.

    The only other thing I can think of is to approach various charities to see if they are prepared to help you out with a grant.

    Hope you find an answer

    Em H

  • Yes EmilyH you right. Becky I assume you get higher rate DLA in which case check out motability.co.uk for more info.


  • Hi Bex, yes, I do get DLA but have just had the most almighty wrangling with them. Back in February I had a review and they turned me down for everything(!) but I had my tribunal last Tuesday and they have reinstated it to what it was before. However, I've only had low rate mobility in the past (which is just plain stupid really) so the tribunal panel said that that was all they could grant me. They did though say that I could put a claim in for high rate mobility, suggesting that I would get it. Am I fight in thinking that you can only get motability if you're on the high rate level of mobility? As soon as I get my DLA back-payment through I'm going to put a claim in for high rate mobility but until then I'm guessing that I'm not able to get anything through motability.


  • Becky, it is hard to judge from a distence but if the physios say you need an electric chair then get them to do a report for your mobility claim . You can just get mobility at high or low rate without care so call the physios and ask them to support your claim, the sooner you claim the better.


  • Thanks Bex, I'll do that. I'm going to have to call the ward anyway because I'm having real troubles today so I may as well try to speak to the physios then too if they're around. I do get care component of DLA at high rate again now but the mobility at high rate would be so liberating. I'll get on to it ... once I work out how to apply just for the mobility bit of DLA without affecting the care. Any clues?


  • There is a DLA helpline number 08457 123 456 and one of the options is for if your condition has changed it might be worth calling them


  • Hey Becky,

    I got assessed for an electric wheelchair a while ago. It was going to be funded by my local wheelchair service at my local hospital to get funding passed it does help to be on higher rate mobility. I had the assessment and was told I fitted to criteria to have one. As my house isn't very big I told them the house just isn't big enough to use a wheelchair in and I wouldn't need to use it in the house anyway they wouldn't fund it. They said for them to fund it I would have to have my house adapted with ramps etc to use it indoors if I didn't want that thats what I get mobility for and to buy a scooter!

  • thanks again bex and tmba, i thinnk i will call the dla helpline/infoline, especially as i need to find out how to go about making a claim for high rate mobility. i've just got through a 6 month battle with dwp as they somehow decided that i was no longer disabled and didn't qualify for any dla. thankfully this got sorted at tribunal last week, with a very suppotive panel and a rather ashamed dwp rep. the panel said they diddn't have the power to award me more than my previous claim but that i could now put in a new claim for high rate mobility. i need to make sure this wouldn't start the whole dla mess off again. might also call welfare rights for advice.

    Anyway, i'm thinking 'out loud' now, but thanks again.


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