About Durable Medical Equipment: Transport Wheelchairs

This information explains what a transport wheelchair is, how to use it, and where to buy it.

Figure 1.

A transport wheelchair (also called a companion chair or roll-about wheelchair) is a wheelchair that’s lighter and easier to manage than a standard wheelchair (see Figure 1). It can be useful for a person who doesn’t need to use a wheelchair all the time, but who would like to use one sometimes. Some people choose to use a transport wheelchair to safely travel to and from their appointments.

Transport wheelchairs aren’t designed for traveling long distances. If you’d like a wheelchair for longer distances, ask your nurse about getting a standard wheelchair.

A standard transport wheelchair can support a person who weighs up to about 300 pounds, and a heavy duty transport wheelchair can support a person who weighs up to 400 pounds. Check with the manufacturer to see how much weight your wheelchair can hold.


How to Use

Transport wheelchairs aren’t designed to be moved by the person sitting in the wheelchair. A caregiver must be available to help push the wheelchair.

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Where to Buy

You can buy a transport wheelchair at the following places:

  • Medical supply stores
  • Medical supply websites (such as Wheelchair.com)
  • Retail drug stores (such as Walgreens or CVS)
  • Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart or Target)
  • Online retailers (such as Amazon)

Transport wheelchairs are sometimes covered by insurance plans, but usually only with a prescription from your doctor. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to find out what your specific plan covers.

If your insurance provider covers transport wheelchairs, ask your doctor for a prescription. You can submit the prescription to your insurance provider after you purchase the transport wheelchair.

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