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Common Wheelchair Terms



The process to acquire new mobility equipment through your insurance can often be daunting. Fortunately, our dedicated team of insurance specialists are available to help make the process as smooth as possible so you can focus on what matters most in life. But what happens during the research process before you team up with our awesome specialists? With so many mobility options out there, we though it might be useful to know some common wheelchair terms to keep you from becoming overwhelmed.


COMMON WHEELCHAIR TERMS

Captain’s Chair – A one or two-piece automotive-style seat with a rigid frame, cushioning material

in both seat and back sections, covered in cloth, vinyl leather, or upholstery, and designed to serve as a complete seating, support, and cushioning system for the user. It may have armrests that can be fixed, swing away, or detachable. It may or may not have a headrest, either integrated or separate.


Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) - These products include medically necessary, individually configured devices that require evaluation, configuration, fitting, adjustment or programming.  These products and services are designed to meet the specific and unique medical, physical, and functional needs of an individual with a primary diagnosis resulting from a congenital disorder, progressive or degenerative neuromuscular disease, or from certain types of injury or trauma. 


Hemi Height – Usually refers to the seat to floor heights less than 19” (17-18”). Less than 17” would be referred to as “Super Hemi Height.”


Multiple Power Option – A category of PWC with the capability to accept and operate more than one power option at a time on the base. A PWC does not have to accommodate all features from the defined list of power options to qualify for this code, but must be capable of having more than one power feature present and operational on the PWC at the same time.


No Power Options – A category of PWCs that is incapable of accommodating any power options

Single Power Option – A category of PWCs with the capability to accept and operate only one power option at a time on the base. A PMD does not have to be able to accommodate all features to qualify for this code. For example, a power wheelchair that can only accommodate a power tilt could qualify for this code.

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Obstacle Climb – Vertical height of a solid obstruction that can be climbed by a POV or PWC.

Seat to Floor Height – Usually refers to the measurement between the floor and the top of the seat pan or seat pan with cushion.


Portable – A category of devices with lightweight construction or ability to dissemble into lightweight components that allows easy placement into a vehicle for use in a distant location.


Power Operated Vehicle (POV) – Chair-like battery powered mobility device for people with difficulty walking due to illness or disability, with integrated seating system, tiller steering, and three or four-wheel non-highway construction.


Power Options – Tilt, recline, elevating leg rests, seat elevators, or standing systems that may be added to a PWC to accommodate a patient’s specific need for seating assistance.


Power Wheelchair (PWC) – chair-like battery powered mobility device for people with difficulty walking due to illness or disability, with integrated or modular seating system, electronic seating, and four or more wheel non-high way construction.


Range – Denotes the distance a given power mobility device can travel on a single charge of the batteries.


Seat Dump – Usually refers to the difference in height between the front of a seat and the back of the seat. Seat dump is often used to help with seating and positioning.


Sling Seat/Back – Flexible cloth, vinyl, leather or equal material designed to serve as the support for buttocks or back of the user respectively. They may or may not have thin padding, but are not intended to provide cushioning or positioning for the user.


Solid Seat/Back (Flat Pan) – Rigid metal or plastic material usually covered with cloth, vinyl, leather, or equal material, with or without some padding material, designed to serve as the support for the buttocks or back of the user respectively. PWCs with an automotive-style back and solid seat pan are considered a solid seat/back system, not a Captain’s Chair.


Turning Radius – The minimal space need to execute a 180 degree “U-turn”.


Feel free to Contact Us to discuss your mobility options and find out how we can help get you or a loved one moving again!





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