Wheelchair Purchase Allowance
The persons with severe motor disabilities who cannot walk at all or are able to walk for very short distances, on level ground, with the use of an assistive device can benefit of financial assistance for purchasing wheelchairs for their own use.
Who Can Benefit of Wheelchair Purchase Allowance?
To be entitled to this type of allowance the applicants need to:
- be Cypriot citizens or European citizens who have been living in the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus for at least 12 consecutive months; and
- have a severe motor disability resulted from a genetic condition, an illness or an accident, to a degree that the use of a wheelchair is consistent and permanent.
How Much is the Amount Granted to Purchase a Wheelchair?
The amount of the allowance depends on the applicant’s needs and the type of wheelchair recommended by a physiotherapist as follows:
- up to €700 is granted for the purchase of a simple/ordinary type of wheelchair (with the weight above 18 kg);
- up to €1,750 is granted for the purchase of a lightweight type of wheelchair (with the weight between 12 to 18 kg);
- up to €2.800 is granted for the purchase of a very lightweight type of wheelchair ( with the weight under 11 kg);
- up to €4,000 is granted for the purchase of a wheelchair – orthostatic;
- up to €13,500 is granted for the purchase of an electric wheelchair (including electric wheelchair – orthostatic).
If due to the type of the disability the cost of the wheelchair and its supplements exceeds the above amounts, then 50% of the additional cost will be granted. Electrical wheelchairs are offered to persons with quadriplegia or in specific cases where it is thought necessary, provided that the beneficiaries are able to use them.
How to Apply for Wheelchair Purchase Allowance?
In order to receive financial assistance for the purchase of a wheelchair the applicant must submit to the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities an application form together with the following documents:
- a copy of the applicant’s identity card in case she/he is a Cypriot citizen;
- a certified copy of their Residence Permit/ Registration Certificate/ Immigration Permit/ Yellow Slip from the Civil Registry and Migration Department, in case the applicant is an European citizen;
- The part of the form that concerns the evaluation and the recommendations shall only be completed by physical therapists of governmental general hospitals and the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.
The beneficiaries are entitled to apply for a second wheelchair depending on the circumstances and the extent of their needs. Employed beneficiaries are entitled to a second wheelchair, provided that it is not an electric wheelchair.
All the applications are examined by an Officer of the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and approved by the Director of the Department or by an authorised Officer of the Department.
If an application is rejected the applicant shall receive an explanatory notification from the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. If the applicant disagrees with the reasons mentioned by the notification, she/he can send an explanatory appeal to the Minister of Labour and Social Insurances within one month from the date of the notification. The Minister has to examine the appeal without delay, make a decision and notify the applicant.
Every 5 years, or every 7 years in case of electrical wheelchairs, the beneficiaries are entitled to apply for a new wheelchair purchase allowance. If the wheelchairs are considered and found unsuitable for use due to extended damages or due to the change on the beneficiaries’ disability and needs, then they may be replaced sooner.
Wheelchairs that have been bought with financial assistance provided by this scheme must be returned to Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities if they are no longer in use or after the beneficiaries’ death, so that it can be given to other beneficiaries according to the Scheme for Wheelchairs Lending.
Wheelchair Purchase Allowance for Under-Aged Beneficiaries
In case that the beneficiary is under eighteenth years old, the allowance will be paid in the bank account of:
- one of the parents of the minor;
- a natural person who can prove that the minor is an orphan from both parents or has been abandoned by his/her parents, and the person is the one who is looking after the child at his/her own expenses;
- any other person, if this is considered for the minor’s benefit.
The Director of the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities reserves his right to investigate each case if any disagreement or doubt arises regarding the person to whom the allowance is paid, and to decide accordingly, always in the best interest of the child.
Note: Upon the implementation of the Scheme for the provision of financial assistance for the purchase of wheelchairs no further assistance will be given from the Lottery Fund (for the electrical wheelchair) or from the Financial Assistance Scheme for the Provision of Technical Means, Instruments or Other Aids for Persons with Disabilities (for other wheelchairs).