Most people who use power wheelchairs use the wheelchair they were using prior to their current (new) one as a back up when their primary wheelchair is not usable or at the DME vendor for repairs. Having a working back up is essential to maintaining independent functioning in home and community.
You don’t expect your new chair to need repairs but they sometimes do. Having a working back up chair can mean you can get to work, school or even out of bed.
But what if the back up chair needs new batteries or some repairs?
If your chair was purchased by MassHealth funds then MassHealth regulations allow for the repair of the back up wheelchair in many situations. MassHealth regulation 130 CMR 409.418(E) states “MassHealth pays for repairs to medically necessary mobility systems, including back-up systems, when either the member’s primary or back-up systems are customized, etc… as long as the repairs do not exceed the cost of the new chair.
DME vendors may say no but have them call the DME staff at MassHealth if there is any question about repair of a back up chair. Repairs under $1,000 do not even require MassHealth prior authorization.
So if you have a back up wheelchair that is not functional get it repaired so it can be a useable back up when you need it!