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I have been living with and caring for an 82 year old woman who receives VA survivor benefits. She is on limited income and on the verge of bankruptcy.

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Look around your area to see what resources are available. Ask everyone doctor, hospitals, churches, Rec centers, etc. you never know what is available until you do some research. Unfortunately many of the resources are busy and can't get to you immediately. I used RV ramps until my church put in a ramp. They are not perfect but they worked and they only cost me $40. Medicare will not pay for a ramp even with a doctors note but they will pay for wheelchairs. You will technically be renting them for two years and then they are yours. Just be careful and make sure you get what you need. Don't rely on the company to get you the right size or style make sure you double and triple check with both your doctors and therapists.
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Telephone Pioneers still operates in some locations too.
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One of the former DME suppliers provided some interesting insight into the DME issues and why Medicare cut back. I vaguely recall it arose from a specific statute but don't recall the issues offhand. I'll try to skim through my phone logs and find the post, because it was quite interesting how the whole cutback issue of DME supplies was implemented.
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Garden and Jessie: Thanks for the additional research. It certainly should help the original poster. My mom is now deceased.
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Jessie: Wow, in this case the old days were just 2 years ago when we purchased a Rollator walker for my mom on a tip from her 95 y.o. cousin. What the cousin omitted was that I was supposed to get an RX from the doc first before I had ordered it on Amazon. I should have known better and checked it out first myself before ordering it, but I was living out of state from my home in Maryland with my mother in her home in Massachusetts, but I was the one-woman show. Thank you.
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BTW, she got the chair long before I came home, so I take on none of the guilt for it. I would have never allowed the purchase, since the chair can't be used inside, my mother can't operate it, and the sidewalks are too uneven to use it outside.
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I never did find a clear answer on the chairs, GA. Maybe it is considered case by case. I understand why they would pull back on them. My mother got a chair on Medicare that was not suitable to use in her small house. She rode it once, then parked it. I used to keep it charged until the batteries died. What a waste of Medicare money that was! I imagine that Medicare doesn't want to buy everyone a power chair toward the end of their lives, since they may not be used long, if at all.

I am rather miffed at the people who sold the chair to my mother. They could see the chair was not suitable and wouldn't be useful in the house. They provided a ramp that couldn't be used, because her door sill was an inch too high for it. They were just interested in the sale and all my mother saw was that it was "free." I bet this happens a lot, so I understand the Medicare changes.
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And Jessie, thanks for the research. It really helps to know that someone's researching an issue to provide a valid answer.

I guess it's good that we got our wheelchairs years ago and kept them all these years.
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There have been other, perhaps more serious changes in Medicare DME coverage, specifically oxygen, as I'm finding out. This is sad but also irresponsible; people who need oxygen REALLY need it. There's no other option. It's not as if anyone wears oxygen for the fun of it.

Yet movement to the competitive bidding process (and I understand some other factors arising from legislation), have apparently been the impetus for changes that don't benefit the users.
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I read through this, as well as the Medicare publication specific to wheelchairs. The wording was rather non-committal if the chairs would be purchased or need to be rented, but said that the Medicare-approved dealer would know. No where do I see that ramps are covered under DME. I guess one would have to pay out of pocket. Portable ramps aren't terribly expensive. I know money can be scarce for many, though, so it could be a burden.
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I am checking now with the Medicare 2016 publication. I does cover items like walkers, wheelchairs, and beds when prescribed, but mentioned some items must be rented. The items are used indoors only from what is written. I'm checking online to see if I can get some more detailed information.
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I just look and am finding conflicting information about power chairs. The Medicare newsgroup has that yes, they are covered under Section B, but only for use in the home. Mobility use outside the home is not covered.
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Llamalover, that was apparently back in the old days of a few years back. I checked what Garden wrote and found the same thing. Medicare also won't pay for the purchase of wheelchairs anymore from what is written. They will only pay for rental. If you can find where it says differently for 2015 it would be most helpful to know.
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Garden: You've got TO GET DOC TO WRITE AN RX FOR IT AND THEN MEDICARE COVERS IT.
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Liz, I think when we got my grandpa's wheelchair from the VA, they were willing to put in a ramp. If not, your Area Agency on Aging might have a handyman service affiliated with them that will put one in at a low-cost.

Also is your person receiving the Housebound benefit or Aid and Attendance benefit from the VA? If not, she might qualify. It can be daunting to apply for the Aid and Attendance, but once the paperwork is done, it is a very helpful benefit.

Good luck!
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You can check to see if you have a local Boy Scout troop. The boys that are trying for their Eagle Scout rank need community projects as part of their qualifications. The cost is taken care of usually by the troop as they seek donations to fund them. Check it out, both of my sons earned their Eagle Scout rank and ramps are a common project.
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I happened to be on the phone with Medicare today, and asked that very question since it would help if we could get Medicare's assistance for the expensive ramp installation.

The Medicare rep researched the question and advised that Medicare would not pay for a ramp.

Liz, I believe but don't recall for sure that the VA does pay for some equipment, but I'm not sure if a ramp would be considered a DME. It seems like it would.

I would contact the VA, but if the elderly woman can't communicate her situation, you'll need to have a VA specific POA authorization.

Some communities have "loan closets", if you could use a temporary ramp. If you need a permanent one, Habitat for Humanity might be able to help.
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Yes, only if you go through her doc will Medicare cover it.
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Office of the aging helped a friend of mine. Also, try Dept of disabilities.
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Another member just pointed out to me that Medicare won't cover ramps. I checked and that is right. I was surprised to see that Medicare also won't pay now for the purchase of manual or power wheelchairs, but will help pay for rental.
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Her doctor can write a prescription for a ramp. Medicare should help cover the claim. If you go this route, find a company that will submit the insurance claim for you to make it go easier.
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Every state has an assistive technology project that works with individuals with disabilities to help them find the right products to help them live independently. Most of them have information and resources for financing, borrowing, or renting equipment. I can't post the link here, but if you head to your favorite search engine and look for "assistive technology project" and your state, you should find it. Resnaprojects also maintains a list of these centers, as well as the alternative financing programs available in some states. Finally, look for the Pass It On Center, a nationwide assistive technology re-use program.
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Check to see if you have an organization called "Faith in Action" in your area. They have volunteers who will bring a portable ramp as long as you need it, and then come back to pick it up when you are finsihed with it.
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