Does the Essential Medical Equipment Payment Cover Wheelchairs and Scooters?

A yellow stethoscope on a light background, highlighting essential medical equipment.

Does the Essential Medical Equipment Payment (EMEP) help pay for mobility equipment? In particular, does this government funding include cover for wheelchairs and mobility scooters in Australia?

As anyone who owns a wheelchair or scooter knows, these items are costly. For many Australians, one or both these mobility items are also essential. Having them funded in part, or in whole can be a huge financial relief.

In this article, Blue Badge Insurance explores what the Essential Medical Equipment Payment is, who can get it and what it covers. Are wheelchairs and mobility scooters on the list? Find out here.

A woman uses a nebuliser daily and as a result, has it subsidised via the Essential Medical Equipment Payment

What is the Essential Medical Equipment Payment?

The Essential Medical Equipment Payment is a government subsidy to help pay for certain types of medical equipment and the costs of running them. This includes the costs of heating or cooling home environments to help support a medical condition.

For example, people living with a spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, chronic erythroderma or muscular dystrophy may need their living space to warmed or cooled to help with their medical conditions.

The cost of heating and cooling can be significant, so the Essential Medical Equipment Payment helps pay for this along with several important medical equipment items.

Does it cover funding for wheelchairs in Australia?

Does the Essential Medical Equipment Payment cover funding for wheelchairs in Australia? The answer is yes. Depending on your medical criteria, you may be able to get electric wheelchair funding.

As someone using a wheelchair, there are several other items on the list of what’s covered you may also need for day-to-day living. For example, positive airways pressure devices or oxygen concentrators are also listed. More on this further below.

First, let’s take a look at whether this government funding also covers mobility scooters.

A red scooter with a black seat and basket is not eligible for government funding under Essential Medical Equipment Payment in Australia.

Does this government funding cover mobility scooters?

Unfortunately, this government funding doesn’t cover mobility scooters.

Generally speaking, Essential Medical Equipment Payment covers items that you need at home. While wheelchairs are designed for home use as well as out and about, mobility scooters tend to be used more regularly outside the home in public spaces.

Mobility scooter funding

That said, there are several other government funding opportunities for mobility scooters, such as the NDIS and Medicare. Find out more about mobility scooter and wheelchair funding options in Australia.

We’ve also rounded up some helpful information on choosing and buying mobility scooters:

Choosing and buying a mobility scooter

  1. 5 tips for buying mobility scooters
  2. How to buy, hire or repair mobility scooters
  3. 4 vs 3 wheel mobility scooters
  4. How long do mobility scooter batteries last
  5. A guide to mobility scooter batteries and gadgets
  6. Why we love folding scooters
  7. Do I need mobility scooter registration?
  8. Scooters and mobility health considerations

Now that we’ve covered off funding for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, let’s look at what the eligibility criteria is for the Essential Medical Equipment Payment.

How much is the Essential Medical Equipment Payment?

The Essential Medical Equipment Payment is an annual government subsidy. Once you get approved you won’t need to reapply to continue receiving it. The only time this changes, or you need to apply again, is if you move house, your condition changes or you require added funding.

The amount paid yearly is $183 per item, and/or per heating / cooling requirements.

For example, if you need to stabilise your health condition through heating your home and you use an electric wheelchair then you’ll could get $183 plus another $183. This covers the heating and the single item of mobility equipment.

Or let’s say you use three items then you’ll get $183 X 3 which equals $549.

A female doctor is examining a patient with a stethoscope, during an examination to check whether the person is eligible for an Essential Medical Equipment Payment (EMEP)

Who can get Essential Medical Equipment Payment?

If you found this blog article while looking for government funding for wheelchairs and mobility scooters in Australia then, hopefully you’ve got some useful tips. But perhaps you’re still wandering if you’re eligible to apply, in which case, we’ve rounded up the criteria here:

Eligibility criteria

To get the Essential Medical Equipment Payment, you’ll need to submit documentation showing your medical equipment needs. This includes a doctor’s letter and bills to show your energy expenses and proof that you medically require heating/cooling and/or an item from the list of eligible equipment.

When you apply, you may need to share additional documents as requested. These could be proof of eligibility for aid from a state or territory government scheme. Or evidence that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs supplied the medical equipment through the Rehabilitation Appliances Program. Find out more here.

While you can’t get your mobility scooter funded through this payment, it’s good to know you could get an electric wheelchair funded.

Insurance for your essential mobility equipment

Regardless of whether your mobility equipment is funded or you paid for it yourself, we know it’s vital to your independence.

That’s why Blue Badge Insurance offers wheelchair insurance and mobility scooter insurance. We also offer  car insurance for wheelchair accessible vehicles and disability converted cars. Our car insurance can also cover mobility equipment you travel with in your car.

Our insurance helps protect you financially by contributing towards the payment of costs if your wheelchair, scooter or car is accidentally damaged, or even stolen. In the case of theft or a complete write-off, we help cover the costs to replace your car or mobility equipment.

Learn about getting up to 25% off disability car insurance with your disability parking permit.

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