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How to Get a Free Wheelchair Van

How to Get a Free Wheelchair Van

Many of our readers have asked how to get a free wheelchair van! Fortunately, we’ve found several ways to get help with an adapted vehicle or with vehicle modification grants.

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Modified vehicles are expensive.

A wheelchair van can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000, according to Consumer Affairs. That’s a lot of money, especially for people who are living with a disability and may be barely getting by on fixed disability benefits.

Fortunately, there are many resources that can help.

Can I get a free wheelchair van from Medicare or Medicaid?

Unfortunately, these programs typically do not provide wheelchair vans or conversions. They both follow Medicare rules and Medicare typically only covers medically necessary durable medical equipment (or DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home.

Can I get a free wheelchair van from Free Charity Cars or Ways to Work?

Although I love these organizations and they do provide free cars, I don’t honestly believe these are your best bet for getting a free wheelchair van. You can always try… but I wouldn’t personally expect it to work. You may have better luck with a GoFundMe

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There are some nationwide organizations that help with wheelchair vans.

These organizations help people across the United States obtain adapted vehicles.

Special Kids Fund

The Special Kids Fund helps adults and children all over the USA with handicap-adapted vehicles. In order to qualify, you must be able to show that you cannot afford a vehicle on your own. Application instructions can be found on their website.

Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans may be able to get help from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA program provides a one-time cash payment to help you purchase a specially adapted vehicle. The payment is $22,355.72 as of October 1, 2021.

Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation

The Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation can provide up to $10,000 toward a van purchase or conversion. However, you must have all other payments in place in order to receive funding. On their website, the organization explains it this way: “If requesting $7,000 toward a $30,000 van, you must have already obtained $23,000 to complete the transaction.”

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation

The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation offers an Assistive Technology Program that may be able to assist you with vehicle modifications if you have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Details can be found on their website.

Some manufacturers offer rebates as well.

If you don’t qualify for any of these programs, you may be interested to know about the manufacturer rebates for wheelchair vans. The rebates from Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota are typically worth about $1,000. 

There are many local organizations that may help with wheelchair vans.

There are several agencies that exist to help people with disabilities. Many of those agencies can assist with the cost of modified vehicles, and we’ve included a list of these agencies below.

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However, it’s important to note that these agencies and programs vary widely across America so we cannot guarantee that these agencies will offer free wheelchair vans or vehicle modification grants. You’ll need to contact your local organizations for details.

Centers for Independent Living

There are Centers for Independent Living all over the United States. These organizations are designed to help people with disabilities live as independently as possible. Even if they can’t give you a free wheelchair van themselves, they’ll likely know about any organizations in your area that can assist with this.

Vocational Rehabilitation Programs

In some states, you may be able to receive a grant for a wheelchair van or conversion if it is necessary for you to find and maintain employment. For example, “transportation evaluations” and “vehicle modifications” are listed in Washington State’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Assistive Technology Services list. 

Department of Rehabilitation Services

Most states have a Department of Rehabilitation Services that can help you find referrals and connect with state disability resources. If you need help with a wheelchair van, then this is a great place to start.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers

Most states have Aging and Disability Resource Centers. These organizations usually receive federal funding to help seniors and disabled people in their communities, but not all organizations offer the same services. If you’re looking for help with a wheelchair van, this organization may be able to help you or provide a referral.

Americans with Disabilities Act Center

Many states have an Americans with Disabilities Act Center. Since this organization works closely with the disabled community, they may have additional resources and referrals that can help.

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Assisted Technology Exchanges

Many states have Assisted Technology Exchanges that assist with Durable Medical Equipment. These exchanges may be able to help you locate free or low-cost wheelchair vans in your area.

Aundrea Thomas

Sunday 28th of January 2024

I'm in need for a wheelchair van I'm disable in wheelchair and have a son with autism help me please

Catherine Marucci

Monday 29th of January 2024

Hi. If the resources above aren't helpful, it may be worth calling 211 to see if there is anything else they can suggest.

Catherine Marucci

Saturday 2nd of September 2023

Hi Tanya. If you contact the Centers for Independent Living, they should know of any resources that may be available.

Marie French

Monday 21st of August 2023

I have a 99 year old church member. And is in strong need of a free wheelchair van. She still travel around with the church. But in a small car with her wheel chair. Hardly have any room in the small car for all her personal belongings. She will be 100 years old November 25, 2023. I was praying that someone can help me help her with a wheelchair van. Thank you and God Bless🙌🙏❤

Catherine Marucci

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

Hi. If the resources above are not helpful where you are, it may be worth calling 211 to see if they know of anything in your area.

Pat Rodecap

Saturday 19th of August 2023

I was hit by a van at a school crosswalk I was the crossing guy when I got hit for the last five years I’ve been in electric wheelchair I can’t walk anymore or stand and we are real in bad deth I have no credit at all

Catherine Marucci

Saturday 19th of August 2023

Hi. It might be worth calling 211 to see if they know of any programs in your area.

Catherine Marucci

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

Hi. If the information above isn't helpful, it may be worth calling 211 to see if there is anything else they know of. You can also try using an appointment transportation service so you can all go together: https://lowincomerelief.com/assistance-with-transportation/