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3 Things You Need to Know About Scooter & Wheelchair Lifts

In the U.S., there are about 1.7 million people who use a wheelchair or scooter in order to have mobility in their daily life. And close to 80% of that group says they either use a public transportation network without a lift, or they have access to one but it’s tedious to operate. Another option, and perhaps a better one, is to have a lift installed on your own vehicle.

If you decide to go with the latter route, here are three things you should know before buying a scooter or wheelchair lift.

1. How Does a Scooter or Wheelchair Lift Work?

Each type of lift operates a bit differently. For instance, a platform lift, which is the easiest type to operate, involves driving the scooter or wheelchair onto the platform, securing it in place, and then raising it up and into the vehicle via a motorized system. A platform lift can be operated easily but it consumes a lot of space.

Other types of lifts include crane-style and hitch-style, each one having its own pros and cons. Hitch-style scooter lifts, for instance, involve a more complex installation, with specialized wiring and vehicle capacity requirements, but they easily accommodate the newer power wheelchairs and scooters.

2. Is the Lift Compatible With Your Car?

Not all lifts are compatible with all cars, SUVs or vans. The lift should always be installed by a mobility technician who thoroughly understands the requirements of the lift and how the attachment point connects the lift securely to your vehicle. This way, you can ensure your own safety or the safety of your loved one. 

In addition to lifts, there are other mobility products available, such as transfer seats and various driving aids to assist in personal transportation. A mobility specialist, working with a driver rehabilitation specialist when needed, can help you determine the best fit for your needs and your vehicle.

3. Are Lift Costs Covered by Your Health Insurance Provider?

The team at Bussani Mobility works day in and day out with health insurance providers on behalf of our customers. We’ll help guide you in understanding what your healthcare plan will cover for both the product and the installation fees. Typically, these expenses are covered for people living with a disability, as they are a necessity in order to remain mobile in daily life.

Whether it’s a scooter or wheelchair lift that you need, a new or pre-owned wheelchair accessible vehicle, or an update on driving aids, we’re here to help you find the best mobility solution for you. We understand that mobility equals independence for many people. Call us or visit any of our three locations (Bethpage and Smithtown on Long Island, and Mamaroneck in Westchester County) to learn more.

Bussani Mobility-funding-sources-wheelchair-van

Best Funding Sources for Wheelchair Vans

The Most Convenient Ways to Acquire Funds for a Wheelchair Van

If you need an accessible van for yourself or someone you know with a disability, you don’t have to worry about trying to cover the costs alone. Our mobility specialists can help you get financial assistance as you’re planning to purchase a wheelchair van.

State Grants

Different states have different grant programs for people with disabilities looking for a mobility vehicle. New York organizations that award disability grants include the New York DDPC, ACCES-VR, the OTDA, as well as others. We’ll help guide you to the right one for your situation.

Veterans Affairs Auto Assistance Program

The Veterans Affairs Auto Assistance Program was created for former military service members. If you qualify for a one-time grant, you could get up to $20,000 for a wheelchair van. This valuable grant covers installation, replacement, and repair costs. To learn more, contact a regional VA medical center.

PASS Program

Those on Social Security Disability Income (SSI) can and should take advantage of the PASS Program. The PASS Program stands for Plan to Achieve Self Success. This organization is designed to provide resources to help individuals reach a predetermined goal. An example might include setting a goal to buy a mobility vehicle for transportation to work or school. Through the program, the car payment would be paid every month.

Special Financing

At Bussani Mobility, we offer financing options for our accessible vehicle fleet. There are options available for people with various levels of credit. Reach out to us to learn more.

The Special Kids Fund

The Special Kids Fund helps families with a disabled child get an accessible van. However, there are very strict requirements. You are eligible if you can prove that: 1) You have no other way to buy a mobility van; 2) You have insurance; 3) You have no driving violations; and 4) You can legally register a mobility van. If you meet these requirements, you can fill out an application at specialkidsfund.org.

Thanks to state programs, government funds, charitable organizations, and special financing options, you can afford a wheelchair van. If you want to finance an accessible minivan, a full-size mobility vehicle, an accessible SUV, or a wheelchair lift, the mobility specialists at Bussani Mobility can help.

Accessible Vehicle

9 Things to Put in Your Accessible Vehicle Emergency Kit

Emergencies can occur at any time, and there is nothing worse than being unprepared in a time of need. Put yourself in a better position now by creating an emergency vehicle kit for your accessible vehicle. Be sure to include these essentials in case of an emergency.

1. Flashlight

If you experience an emergency at night or on a stormy day, you’ll want ample light to guide you through the situation. You can use a flashlight to flag down passing vehicles or locate important materials like a map or spare tire.

2. Toolbox or Multi-Tool

Be sure to include scissors, a screwdriver, pliers, and a wrench. Consider investing in a multi-tool, which will allow you to have access to multiple tools within the one small device. 

3. First Aid Kit

Make sure your first aid kit has bandages, gauze, antibiotic cream, and any essential prescriptions. 

4. Vehicle Escape Tool

Place a vehicle escape hammer and a box cutter (to cut the seat belt) within arm’s reach of your transfer seat or wheelchair.

5. Bottled Water and Snacks

When you’re stuck in an emergency for an undetermined amount of time, it is essential to stay hydrated, so keep a 12-pack of water in your vehicle, just in case. And a few protein bars to munch on as needed.

6. Jumper Cables

Always keep a pair of jumper cables in your vehicle. Consider purchasing a jump starter box, which will allow you to jump your vehicle’s battery if there are no other vehicles nearby.

7. Cold-Weather Gear

If you live in a region where it snows, you’ll want to keep extra blankets, jackets, and gloves on hand to avoid potential hypothermia. Hand warmers are also a great option for your emergency kit.

8. Carjack, Lug Wrench, and Spare Tire

Keep the needed tools on hand with instructions for changing a tire. If you’re not able to change it yourself, perhaps a passenger with you or a good samaritan who passes by can help out.

9. Compass and Map

You cannot always rely on technology to get instant directions. What if your vehicle stops running or your cell phone battery dies? You’ll need a physical, paper map to orient yourself and find help.

Keep these nine essential items in your accessible vehicle emergency kit so that you can be prepared and safe no matter what happens on the road. And remember that Bussani Mobility provides our customers with a 24/7 emergency service by calling 866-524-8267. Even if our auto shops are closed, we’ll get help to you when you need it out on the road. Travel safe!

Accessible Vehicles

7 Things You Need to Know About Warranties on Accessible Vehicles

When you purchase any kind of vehicle, it’s important to make sure that you have good warranty protection, which can also be called an extended service contract. At Bussani Mobility, we believe this is especially true for accessible vehicles. Here’s what you should know when you’re looking for accessible vehicle warranties.

1. What Does a Warranty Do?

Warranties protect you from unexpected expenses if your vehicle needs replacement parts or other major repairs. There are different levels of coverage available. It’s easy to purchase a warranty through your mobility dealer, and they’ll make sure that you get the best warranty to meet your needs.

2. Do I Need More Than a Standard Warranty?

The standard warranties cover the vehicle but usually not the mobility components of the vehicle. We typically recommend that you consider purchasing a mobility warranty.

3. What Do Mobility Warranties Cover?

This type of vehicle service contract is a good idea for a wheelchair van because it covers the original vehicle equipment as well as all of the mobility components. It will also help you with roadside assistance and rental vehicles while your vehicle is being repaired to make sure you get back on the road as soon as possible. 

Although some of these options are also offered by some OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) warranties, they don’t include the mobility conversion. With a standard warranty, for instance, the rental coverage of a standard warranty typically won’t cover an accessible vehicle rental.

As is the case with standard warranties, mobility warranties have limits, generally three years and 36,000 miles.

4. Why Should I Get a Mobility Dealer Warranty?

One benefit of a mobility warranty is the peace of mind. Knowing that your conversion vehicle’s most important components are covered by your warranty is reassuring. 

By having one in place that helps cover repair work, replacement parts, and the cost of labor, you won’t have to worry about having to pay bills for unforeseen repairs all on your own.

Mobility warranties are also relatively easy to finance, as most of them can be paid through a payment plan.

5. Which Vehicles are Eligible?

Most manufacturers offer warranties on new models. Generally speaking, manufacturers consider a vehicle to be new if it has less than 50,000 miles and it is less than four years old. Before purchasing a warranty, always check the accompanying terms and conditions.

6. Do Warranties Expire?

Yes, the warranty on your conversion vehicle will expire. There is usually a limit on vehicle age or number of miles that dictates when a warranty expires. For instance, you may add a warranty that covers 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Be aware that you can buy a mobility warranty at the end of the standard OEM warranty, but the price will be higher as the vehicle gets older and closer to the factory warranty expiration date.

7. What to Do When a Warranty Expires

If your vehicle warranty expires, you still have other options. Since an accessible vehicle has many moving parts and added components, it is a good idea to invest in an extended warranty.

A mobility specialist at Bussani Mobility will happily provide additional information on warranties, to help you decide what’s best for you and your vehicle. Feel free to contact our team for answers to all of your accessible vehicle questions.