Non-medical transportation is transportation for someone with a disability or medical condition which creates difficulties with getting around. These individuals may need transportation for a variety of non-medical reasons ranging from accessing community events to picking up needed supplies. Some social welfare programs provide non-medical transportation for free to people who qualify, and it is also possible to make arrangements for this type of transportation through a company which provides non-medical transportation services.
People who require non-medical transportation have accessibility needs which may not be met through other forms of transportation. A wheelchair user, for example, cannot simply call a cab if he or she uses a power chair. Likewise, someone who needs to remain in a fully supine position may need stretcher transportation, and someone who uses a ventilator may not be able to take some forms of public transit. These individuals may not be able to use conventional public transit or rely on friends for transportation, creating a need for non-medical transportation.
Non-medical transportation covers things like transport to get groceries, pick up prescriptions, and connect with other community resources. It also includes transportation to social events, the airport, and so forth; essentially, any situation in which someone needs transport for a non-medical reason. The non-medical transportation service provides door to door service in an insured vehicle with competent staff who can include support, if necessary, to keep the person comfortable while in transport.
This type of transportation is not designed for medical transport, especially emergency transport, and does not provide medical support to clients. Non-medical transportation services usually provide transport by appointment only, and people may be required to book several days in advance. For medical transport, a company which handles that type of transport should be contacted, and in an emergency, an ambulance should be called. Some companies offer non-medical, medical, and emergency transport, but one should not assume this in a crisis.
Programs which pay for non-medical transport are generally very restrictive. The programs usually encourage people to seek out alternative methods of transport, and to use services such as delivery and mail order to meet their needs. The programs may also not pay for transport to social events, under the argument that these events are not necessarily related to basic needs. People who are not sure about what will be covered should check ahead with the agency which provides coverage to confirm that their transport will be paid for.