Looking for Wheelchair Ramp Options for My Van

Updated on May 02, 2011
J.R. asks from Big Lake, MN
7 answers

I'm having a hard time figuring out what to get for my van to get my daughter in and out in her wheelchair. I can't believe that insurance doesn't pay for these things. Anyone find any good deals or cheaper ways to get them? We are in MN.
Thanks for you help.
P.S. We don't qualify for any help from the county or social services with equipment. Apparently we make too much money for anything they have like TEFRA or SSI, etc.

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T.

answers from Rochester on

I have been in the field of developmental disabilities for years - I'll ask around for you with our folks in our 16 states where we serve - what state do you live in? Maybe we can find something great in your state!

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L.

answers from Minneapolis on

J. -- if your daughter is disabled she probably qualifies for a program called "birth to three" (that's wisconsin -- I think is it 'to five' in Minnesota). Ask your peds doc for contact information or call the county directly. Along with the therapy services provided there are many programs you can sign up for that will help offset the costs parents of special needs kids incur. We have coverage through Medicaid with a program called 'Katie Beckett' which is a HUGE help to use in term of costs. It cannot be your primary insurance, but covers most of what insurance doesn't. Also -- I know there are many other programs that could help with stuff like ramps, etc.
Good luck!
L.

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S.D.

answers from Milwaukee on

I am originally from MN - to hear this hurts my heart so much!!! Try the Courage Center - they are located in Golden Valley - they may be able to help, or give you numbers to contact for help with this.

God Bless,

S.

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G.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would call your local chapter ARC, Association for Retarded Citizens. They should be able to direct you to many helpful resources available

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.,
I am in a similar situation as you. My son, 5, uses a power chair sometimes but I can't get it into my minivan. I purchased a portable ramp because, in all my research, it said even an elderly person could manage them. Well, they must be elderly people on STERIODS because I bought one ($300+) and it is a monster. My husband can manage it but I wanted to be to take him to Target in it or other everyday places - like school without relying on the bus!

I wanted to get it in the back of the van because I also have a 2 year old that I want to keep in the row behind my seat for until she's bigger. To ride IN the wheelchair in that middle row means you lose both seats. If you can lose the middle row, I would recommend trying/buying a ramp that can go in the side sliding doors. Because that part of the van is lower to the ground, you don't need as long of a ramp. Hopefully, that would make it easier to manage. It's one thing to get them in, but then you have to fold up the ramp and get that in there too.

Good Luck! As a very last resort, you can purchase used already converted vans. Some of them aren't that expensive but you'd have to take what is out there. Since my son rides in a car seat and also is starting to use a manual wheelchair - and I love my van and don't want to give it up- we haven't gotten to that point yet.

If you have any other questions, email me directly at:

[email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.. Funny... I am in MN, too and am just starting to look at ways to help pay for a vehicle that fits my daughter's wheelchair. I've been told that CADI waiver's cover the cost of converting a minivan ($20,000), but where you get money to just buy a larger vehcile in the mean time while I wait the 1-5 years until we can get on this magic waiver is a good question. The conversion dealers sells used converted vans - check out www.cummingsmobility.com. They are still crazy expensive though. Also, our daughter is on TEFRA... parent's income doesn't matter, they only look at the child's which is 0, so you should be able to get that. It took me 9 months and much frustration, but we finally got it. Best of luck to you!

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T.

answers from Minneapolis on

If you are in Minnesota, try calling the University of Minnesota, they have a wonderful research program in child development, as well as programs in disabilities services and shoud be able to direct you to resources. There is also the minnesota therapeutic recreation association for professionals in the feild of therapeutic recreation that may be able to help with resources.

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