If you’re having trouble getting around and crave a little more independence, you may be looking at getting a mobility scooter. Regardless of whether you need extra help because you’re elderly, or you are living with a disability and want to gain a little more freedom, having access to a scooter can make life a lot easier.
Unfortunately, mobility scooters can be quite expensive. If you’re not able to buy one from personal finance, you’ll need to look for other finance options such as the mobility scheme or help from a charitable organisation.
Luckily, many organisations recognise both the need for mobility scooters and the fact that they can be unaffordable for a lot of people. So, if you’re desperate to gain some extra independence but simply cannot afford to buy or rent a scooter, don’t despair; there are several options available to you.
Mobility Scooter Scheme
One of the best places to seek help if you need to cover the cost of a scooter is via the Motability scheme. This initiative was set up to help cover the expense of wheelchairs, scooters and cars for people with disabilities and to provide people with more independence. If you’re eligible, it means that you won’t have to pay anything from your personal funds for a scooter and can rely on financial help from Motability.
To qualify for the scheme you need to be receiving one of the following benefits.
- The Armed Forces Independent Payment
- The War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- The Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of PIP
- The Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance
You also need to ensure you have at least 12 months of benefit awards remaining; otherwise any application through the Motability scheme is likely to be turned down.
Though the scheme doesn’t give grants for mobility scooters per se, you can use your benefits to lease scooter equipment for three years at a time. The cost includes breakdown cover, insurance, maintenance and servicing (including cover for new tyres), so you can have peace of mind that if something goes wrong, you won’t be hit with a surprise bill. In addition, scooter hire costs are often less than mobility allowance payments, so you’ll get anything left over paid directly to you.
Access to Work Scheme
Electric mobility scooters for adults can be a great help if you’re trying to lead a normal working life but are held back by accessibility issues. It’s here that the government could help as it has an initiative to cover scooter leasing costs. If you’re over 16 and self-employed, on a work trial, starting a new job, or even just want to attend an interview, the Access to Work scheme might be able to pay for a mobility scooter.
Payouts are assessed on an individual basis, and you can discuss options with your local Jobcentre Plus or by visiting the official online government website. If you qualify, you could get long-term help with paying for a mobility scooter as a way to get to and from work.
If you’re not able to get direct help from the government, you still might be able to get mobility help from a charity. There are many not-for-profit organisations across the UK who use donations to help people in vulnerable circumstances. This includes those finding it difficult to get around due to a disability, illness or old age.
- Royal British Legion
If you or a member of your family has served in the Armed Forces, then the Royal British Legion might be able to offer financial support. The charity uses Immediate Needs Grants to help people on an individual basis, and this includes funding for mobility scooters.
This charity supports both those currently serving in the Armed Forces and veterans. As with the Royal British Legion, cases are assessed on an individual basis so it’s best to use the SSAFA website to find your local office and contact details.
Turn2us is an online service that’s free to use and provides a simple way to search for charities that could help you. Their website includes information on various methods to gain funding in the form of grants and welfare benefits, as well as support and advice to help your individual circumstances. If you need help with funding for a mobility scooter, Turn2us is certainly a good place to start looking.
Mobility scooters can be extremely expensive, and at first glance, you might think there’s no way you’ll be ever able to afford one. However, if this is the case, then don’t worry because there are other avenues you can try for finance. The Motability scheme is your best bet, especially if you’re in receipt of the right benefits, but other charitable organisations may also offer support. This can help you access essential transport to give you increased freedom and independence for years to come.