Navigating the funding system for assistive devices can be both intimidating and frustrating. The following blog series will break down funding options and processes. A great resource for Canadian people who use wheelchairs or other assistive technology is this AGEWELL-NCE report on Access to Assistive Technology in Canada, which provides a summary of many government and charity organisations that have funding available for assistive technology (Wang & Wilson, 2017).
This blog is not written or endorsed by any funding organisation, and all information is subject to change. Always use the information available from the organisation itself in the event of conflicting information.
If you are a served in active duty in the U.S. military and were discharged for any reason other than dishonourable, you may be eligible for V.A health benefits. Veterans of the National Guard or Reserves may also be eligible if they were called to active duty by a federal order. Click here for more information on eligibility. To determine which health benefits you qualify for, use the VA health benefits explorer, available here.
Applying for V.A. benefits
You can apply for a benefit card via mail, in person, over the phone or online. Click here for more information on how to apply for VA benefits.
Veterans with Spinal Cord Injuries
The VA has the largest system of care for spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) in the United States. There are 24 SCI/D centers in the country, which provide care specifically for people with SCI. Each Center has highly trained and experienced providers including doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, psychologists, and others who can deal with the unique problems that can affect people with a spinal cord injury or disorder. Centers also have ATPs and Rehabilitation Engineers qualified to ensure that you are provided the care that you need, and are prescribed the equipment that is best for you. A list of the SCI/D Centers can be found here.
Braze Mobility and Veterans Affairs U.S.A
Braze Mobility products are being used by numerous Veterans throughout the country, and have been funded by the V.A.
In order to get funding for Braze Mobility products through the Veterans Affairs, the unit must first be trialed on the Veteran’s chair to ensure that it is appropriate equipment for that client. In order to trial the unit, there are multiple options.
- Some SCI/D clinics have purchased a training kit, and Veterans are able to trial a demo unit from that kit. Ask to your Rehab Engineer or Physical or Occupational Therapist if they have an available training kit unit
- Some V.A clinics have successfully been granted funds to purchase a training kit for their facility. If you would like more information about how other clinics were able to gain funding, please contact us!
- For clinics that are hoping to obtain a demo unit to trial temporarily, you can get in touch with us to order a 1-month demo unit!
If you are a Therapist or Rehabilitation Engineer who works with Veterans and would like more information about our products, we offer free in-services to provide an explanation and demonstration of our blind spot sensor systems for people who use wheelchairs. We are located in Canada, but could either do a virtual inservice, or could travel to you if required. We often travel throughout North America, so feel free to reach out and ask us if we are able to stop by your clinic. To book an inservice, contact Maddie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ordering a Unit
To purchase an Assistive Technology Device, all transactions must be made through a VA approved vendor. Braze Mobility products cannot be purchased directly by VA clients at this time, but you can order through Cadan AT, a VA approved vendor.
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