Using a cane for mobility

People who have difficulty in walking or those who are disabled need some walking aids with which to get around. There are a number of aids to assist with mobility. Some of these aids can be used as a temporary support such as a walking cane or a pair of crutches. On the other hand, there are aids that are used for permanent support for people with disabilities. These aids include walkers, wheelchairs, rollators, etc.  

Whether you’re temporarily disabled or your disability is permanent, you need a walking aid to help you move around not only inside your house, but also outside of it. One of the most common walking aids is the cane. 

The Cane 

A cane is a walking device designed to provide support and facilitate the process of walking. It is the oldest and the simplest walking aid ever designed. What it does is shift your body weight from your legs to its shaft through your wristThis provides support and stability.  

Accessories 

Canes sometimes come with bands that wrap around the wrist to prevent the cane from dropping. This is very useful for people who have shaky or unsteady hands. Other than that, there are canes that come with an additional support for the arm so that minimum weight is shifted to the wrist. Folding canes are also available. These canes are perfect for the user who doesn't need continual support.  They can be conveniently folded and packed away when not in use.  Additionally, there are several options for colors of canes and structural materials used such as exotic woods or lightweight material such as aluminum.  Users can now make a fashion statement with their cane! 

Canes are also used by visually impaired people. Normally, a white cane is used by blind people which informs others of the person's vision impairment.  These canes help the user feel things ahead of them. This warns of obstacles they are about to face so they can change their course of travel if needed. 

As mentioned earlier, walking canes come in a variety of sizes, designs, and shapes and can be used by people who need varying amounts of support. With the passage of time, different versions of the cane have been introduced. These newer versions of the cane have increased the functionality by making canes more supportive, mobile, and easy to use. 

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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).