9.13 — Mobility devices batteries and repairs
Summary of legislation
Recipients can receive coverage for the cost of batteries and necessary repairs for mobility devices used by a member of the benefit unit if these costs are not otherwise reimbursed.
Summary of directive
All members of a benefit unit are eligible for batteries, replacement batteries and payment of repairs for a mobility device.
An Income Support Specialist can authorize payment for "essential" repairs that are completed without prior authorization if the repairs were necessary after work hours or on a weekend.
Mobility devices include manual or electric wheelchairs, scooters, walkers and lifting devices. There may be circumstances where a member may require a repair to a secondary device. In these circumstances staff should exercise their discretion when approving the necessary repair.
Intent of policy
To provide assistance with the cost of batteries, replacement batteries and necessary repairs to a mobility device for members of the benefit unit.
Application of policy
Items covered under ODSP:
- equipment originally acquired by the recipient through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
- equipment purchased directly by a member of the benefit unit
- equipment purchased on behalf of a recipient by a Community Agency or service club (e.g., March of Dimes)
The following repairs and maintenance may be covered:
- purchase of original battery (usually has six month warranty)
- replacement batteries (not under warranty)
- repairs to the wheelchair/mobility device that are not covered under warranty
After hours/weekend repairs
Ordinarily, clients must obtain advance authorization from the Ministry before proceeding with repairs to a mobility device. The Income Support Specialist can authorize payment for "essential" repairs completed without advance authorization if the repairs were necessary after work hours or on a weekend. In all cases, the Income Support Specialist must ensure that the repair was not covered under warranty.
Examples of "essential" repairs (done without advance authorization) include:
- repairs to a flat tire
- replacement of a deficient battery
- repairs due to a mechanical or structural breakdown of the mobility device
- break down of mobility device occurred outside of the client’s home
These costs should be covered when the break down of the mobility device has occurred at a time MCSS staff was not available, and the secondary back up or loaned replacement was not available.
Excessive or repetitive repairs
Ongoing repairs to a mobility device may indicate that the equipment requires replacement due to the age and condition of the equipment. Consideration should also be given to the client’s activity level. The Income Support Specialist should review the repair history to determine if authorizations for repairs should continue or if the client should be advised to apply for funding to the ADP for a new mobility aid.
Repairs to "high technology" mobility devices
ADP provides several categories of devices through a shared equipment pool administered by a designated agency or vendor on contract with ADP.
All repairs and maintenance on equipment provided by the respective pool must be done by the pool agency/vendor.
The province-wide vendor for the wheelchair pool for "high technology" wheelchairs is Motion Specialties. For information about service, including after hours, caseworkers or clients may contact the Central Equipment Pool (CEP) at
For equipment prescribed after September 1, 1999, repair costs are covered by the pool. However, if the equipment was prescribed before September 1, 1999 recipients may have the repairs covered by ODSP.