Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are quickly becoming a part of daily living in communities all over America. In areas where public transportation is limited or inaccessible, ridesharing is filling in the gaps. These services also have the potential to make life easier for people with disabilities who are unable to drive.
As one of the two most popular ridesharing services, Uber has acknowledged the importance of providing transportation options for those with disabilities. Uber’s iOS App includes Accessibility features that are meant to accommodate those who are blind, deaf, travel with wheelchairs, or travel with service animals. For transportation to and from medical appointments, Uber also offers Uber Health, a non-emergency service that meets HIPAA regulations.
Lyft, the other most popular ridesharing service, is making efforts to address the needs of the disabled population as well. The Lyft app has a feature called “Access Mode,” which when turned on, allows passengers to request a vehicle that can accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility needs. Many of these services must be requested through the app at least 24 hours in advance, as accessible vehicles in the market are still limited and cannot always be guaranteed.
Paying for Rideshare Services
Lyft permits riders with disabilities to pay for their fares using an ABLE Account, which is a special savings account for individuals with special needs that does not jeopardize access to public benefits. Purchasing a membership for a rideshare service is also a qualified expense that can be paid for out of a disabled individual’s Special Needs Trust.
With technology removing many of the boundaries that individuals with disabilities previously faced in America, the demand for services that improve lives and overcome obstacles will continue to grow. If you have questions about accessing such services for yourself or a loved one or how to use ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts to pay for such services, contact the Law Office of Sheri R. Abrams at (571) 328-5795 to schedule an appointment.