Power Chair Repairs

Questions

Answers

What is the difference between a scooter and a power chair?

A scooter is a mobility device with either three or four wheels that is maneuvered by a tiller steering column.  A power chair is heavier and more stable than a scooter. It will not tilt from side to side. It has a shorter turning radius and more stable seating.

Which is better for me: a scooter or a power wheelchair?

A scooter is lighter and easier to transport.  It is a good choice if your device is to be used outside.  However, a scooter is difficult to turn in small spaces.  You must have trunk stability to operate the steering mechanism in a scooter.
A power wheelchair is best if you will be using the chair in a home with narrow hallways and narrow doors.  A power chair has a small turning radius, so it can turn around at the end of a hallway.  A power chair is easier to operate and the seat gives more support.  It is usually easier to get in and out of a power wheelchair than a scooter.

If I want a power chair or scooter, will Medicare pay for it?

Medicare requires that you have a face-to-face visit with your doctor. Your doctor must decide if it is in your best interest to get a power wheelchair.  Your doctor must decide if you need a wheelchair in your home so that you can do the basic activities of life such as getting meals, getting to the bathroom, and grooming.  You must have trouble walking, and you must have some weakness in your arms so that you can’t operate a manual type wheelchair.  Your medical records must clearly document why you cannot walk, and why you cannot use a regular manual wheelchair. If you qualify by Medicare’s stringent criteria, Medicare will pay 80% of the cost of the chair.  If you have another insurance, your second insurance may pay the rest of the cost. Medicare will rent the chair for a total of 13 months, and then, you will own the chair.

Why should I consider getting a power wheelchair from a dealer in my hometown instead of from a company I saw on television?

A power chair is like any piece of equipment. Sometimes it will need repair. Obtaining repairs from a company whose location is miles away will take time, and you may have to be without your chair until they can get to you.
If you use a local company, you can call for help, and we will be in your home usually the same day.  We are on call 24 hours per day. We have chairs we will loan to you while your chair is being repaired. You will never have to go without the use of a power chair.

I obtained a power chair years ago from another company. Now that company has gone out of business. What do I do if my power chair needs repair?

This is a very difficult situation, because Medicare will not pay for repairs on medical equipment unless there is documented proof that the original transaction met Medicare’s criteria.  If the other company is out of business, we cannot obtain the documents to prove the original transaction was valid.  However, we will repair the chair for you.  We will ask for payment from you, but we will file the claim for you.  You will sign a waiver stating that we cannot guarantee Medicare’s payment.  If Medicare pays the claim, they will send the money directly to you.

I know that my power chair runs off batteries. What kind of batteries does it use?

Your power chair uses two 12-volt batteries. They are gel filled and sealed so that they will not leak.

How long will the battery charge last on my power chair?

It always depends on the person using the chair.  If it is used continually, it can last 8 to 12 hours.  If it is used only 2 to 3 times a day, it can last up to three days.

How long does it take to charge my wheelchair batteries?

I tell people to charge their chair while they sleep. A good rule of thumb is 8 hours. Plug in your chair when you go to bed each night.

How many miles can I travel in my power chair before the batteries get low?

On a full charge, your chair can travel 12 to 15 miles before the batteries get low.

What should I use to clean my power chair?

The best thing I have found is a foam type window cleaner. You do not use soap and water, because water can rust and ruin the motor and wiring.

What if I get a flat tire?

All the new model chairs come with flat free tires. If your chair still has the old type tires, we can replace the tires with flat free.