- Ask for a referral to an occupational or physical therapist (OT or PT) and for the names of reputable local vendors, preferably with CRTS staff (certified rehab technology supplier).
- Shop at a medical equipment provider, sometimes called a rehabilitation technology or assistive technology supplier.
- Ask if the vendor participates in Medicare or Medicaid if you are a beneficiary.
- Be sure the vendor is accredited by RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America.
Paying for it
- Check insurance coverage and restrictions, including required paperwork, such as a doctor’s prescription and pre-approval.
- Organize the information required for reimbursement, such as the nature and onset of your disability, employment history, family gross income and monthly expenses.
- Prepare a justification statement if required. Tell your health-care professional to ask the Society for a CD titled Appeal Letters for Insurance. This disc contains model letters that meet standard requirements for insurance claims.
- Check Medicare coverage. You can maximize your benefits by using a medical supplier (vendor) who agrees to accept the Medicare-approved amount as payment in full. You generally pay your 20% co-pay and any remaining Medicare Part B deductible. Non-participating suppliers do not have to accept assignment. Their charges may be higher and you will also have to wait for Medicare to reimburse you.
- For Medicaid, check coverage with your state Medicaid office. Find the number in the State Government section of your phone directory, probably under Health Services or Health and Human Services (names vary by state). Or call your Society chapter.
- Check your vendor’s return policy and your insurance claims appeal process. Keep meticulous records. Save all letters and notes of phone conversations. If it comes to it, follow the appeals process, and complete all the steps on time.
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Buying used equipment
- Start your search through a good medical equipment vendor.
- See if your chapter newsletter has any classified ads for used items.
- Check the classified ads of publications for people with disabilities.
- Look for online offers at craigslist or eBay.
- Get the word out—ask people if they know of any used equipment for sale.
Check with a physical or occupational therapist who can measure used equipment to ensure it fits you. An experienced therapist can also help you pick the less problematic of two compromise choices.
Other sources of funding
- If mobility will help you find or keep paid employment, you may be eligible for a grant from your state’s vocational rehabilitation agency.
- Call your Society chapter and ask for referrals to foundations or agencies, such as Easter Seals.
- You might also consider a loan tailored for people with disabilities. The Digital Federal Credit Union offers special Mobility Vehicle and Access loans to members of the American Association for People with Disabilities.
Tax credit help
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