Nearly 2000 People Urge CMS To Cover Seat Elevation

Posted by Stephanie Woodward in Life After Paralysis on September 07, 2022 # Advocacy and Policy

As a wheelchair user, I cannot express how much I love the elevation feature on my wheelchair. When I first learned about seat elevation technology on power wheelchairs, I thought it was a cool feature but not necessary. However, after getting a seat elevator in my chair and using it every day for the past seven years, I can easily admit that I was wrong. I use the elevating technology in my wheelchair so frequently that I genuinely do not think that I could function in my house without it anymore. In fact, when my husband challenged me to stop using my seat elevator for 30 minutes, I realized I could not make us dinner because I could not reach our stovetop, open the cupboards, or even reach the shelves I needed in the refrigerator. To say that I depend on my seat elevator to perform basic daily tasks is a huge understatement.

Here’s a list of things I use my seat elevator for every single day:

  • Transferring out of bed
  • Making my coffee
  • Getting my clothes out of the closet
  • Brushing my teeth
  • Doing my hair
  • Doing my makeup
  • Getting dressed
  • Feeding my cats and dogs
  • Taking my dogs for walks (it’s so nice to be tall so cars can see me!)
  • Making my lunch
  • Using my microwave (it’s above the stove!)
  • Doing the dishes
  • Putting away the dishes
  • Washing and drying laundry
  • Putting away the laundry
  • Cleaning my home
  • Taking out the garbage
  • Preparing dinner
  • Cooking on my stovetop
  • Reaching the ice in my freezer
  • Reaching the ice cream in my freezer (also very important!)
  • Transferring into bed

This is an incomplete list. There are many other ways I use my chair that I did not list here, including when I go grocery shopping or when I need to transfer onto an exam table at the doctor’s office.

This sounds like incredible technology, right? It is!

The problem is that Medicare refuses to pay for it. While other insurance companies will at least consider covering this important technology, Medicare outright refuses every single time and will not even take into consideration a person’s individual needs. That means that there are many people with disabilities who are just like me who need this technology, but they cannot get it because Medicare refuses to cover it. This is a huge healthcare disparity, and it needs to change!

For years wheelchair users have been advocating for a rule change that would allow Medicare to cover seat elevators, and our years of advocacy have finally paid off. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened a 30-day comment period where people like you and me can submit comments on why we believe that Medicare should cover seat elevators!

You do not need to be a wheelchair user to submit a comment, and you do not even need to be a Medicare recipient! You just need to be a person who cares about whether or not people with disabilities should have access to the technology we need.

Over 1,800 people have already submitted comments urging Medicare to cover seat elevation technology and the comment period is still open! CMS is accepting comments on this issue until September 14, 2022.

So, if you’re like me and the 1,800 other people who believe that people with disabilities should have access to this life-changing technology, then please submit a comment with your support.

Click here to submit your comment today!

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.