Wheelchair User

Useful information for wheelchair users

How to fund a wheelchair

Figuring out where the money is coming from to pay for your wheelchair can be worrying and confusing. Will you have to pay for your wheelchair, or will it be fully funded by the NHS? In this article, we’ll guide you through the different options to hopefully make the decision less daunting.

A wheelchair user in a town waiting to cross the road

What options are there to pay for my wheelchair?

Fully funded by the NHS

Many people choose to get a wheelchair fully-funded through the NHS. If you do this, the wheelchair will not belong to you – technically, you’ll be loaning it from the NHS (if it s a manual, self-propelled or powered wheelchair). If you go down this route, you’ll need to have an assessment so they can understand your mobility needs.  Your GP or other health professional will refer you to the local wheelchair service for an assessment. Unfortunately, there are waiting lists for NHS wheelchairs, so you might have to wait a few weeks for your assessment.  There is a target that the majority of wheelchairs should be provided within 18 weeks of the wheelchair service receiving the referral.

Personal wheelchair budget

Personal wheelchair budgets are provided through the NHS, but can help you purchase a wheelchair yourself. The NHS will guide you through the options and funding available to you so you make the right choice. 

Access to Work

The Access to Work scheme provides grants to help you pay for equipment needed for you to work. The scheme can help if you have just started a new job, need help getting to job interviews, or if you’re self-employed. 

Charity support

If you need additional help to fund a wheelchair, reach out to charities that are linked to your condition or situation. They may have grants available to fund either part or all of the cost of a wheelchair.

Motability Scheme

If you’re looking for a powered, electric wheelchair or mobility scooter, the Motability Scheme can help you. They have advice on their website for choosing a wheelchair and also offer grants to help fund your electric wheelchair.

Are there any other costs associated with a wheelchair?

You’re not required to have insurance for a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but it’s something you should consider, especially when you self-fund your wheelchair. In these circumstances, you own it, so you’ll need to budget for routine servicing and maintenance. 

Insurance will help cover the cost of repairs, which is especially important if you have a specialised wheelchair for sport or if you have purchased your own wheelchair, rather than loaning from the NHS. 

Wheelchair insurance policies all differ, so do your research carefully. In particular, you may want to check if your policy covers theft, accidental damage, or your transport back home if your wheelchair breaks down. 

Our top tips

  • Do your research carefully
  • Reach out to charities related to your condition or situation
  • If you’ve purchased your chair, take out insurance to help with the cost of any future repairs or maintenance