THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides funding for wheelchair accessible vans and adaptive equipment for vehicles to qualified veterans. Benefits vary significantly based on whether you are a service connected veteran or non-service connected veteran. Here is the description of each according to the VA.
A disability that resulted from or was aggravated by an injury or illness while the Veteran was serving on active duty in the military.
NON SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY
A disability that did not result from or aggravated by an injury or illness while the Veteran was serving on active duty in the military.
Service-connected veterans may be eligible for a one-time Automobile Grant to help buy a motor vehicle. The current amount of the automobile grant for FY 2014 is $20,174.68. An approved VA Form 21-4502 showing the veteran is eligible to receive Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) is required. To qualify for the grant, the service-connected veteran or servicemember must have one of the following disabilities:
• loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet
• loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands, or
• permanent impairment of vision in both eyes to a certain degree
For more information about the automobile grant visit the VA Prosthetic & Sensory Aids Service website at http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/psas/
The Automobile Adaptive Equipment program pays for adaptive equipment to make vehicles accessible.
For Service-connected veterans, the program pays for the equipment or modifications to assist the eligible person into or out of the automobile and/or to safely operate the motor vehicle. According to the VA Website “The VA also provides necessary equipment such as platform wheelchair lifts, UVLs (under vehicle lifts), power door openers, lowered floors/raised roofs, raised doors, hand controls, left foot gas pedals, reduced effort and zero effort steering and braking, and digital driving systems. Additionally, VA's program provides reimbursements for standard equipment including, but not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and other special equipment necessary for the safe operation of an approved vehicle." This can include the modifications for wheelchair accessible minivans such as the BraunAbility Entervan.
AAE will pay to modify 2 vehicles within each 4 year period. Exceptions to this rule would include theft, fire, accident or other qualifying events.
For non service-connected veterans, the program pays for the equipment or modifications to assist the eligible person into or out of the automobile, called ingress/egress. Typically this consists of a wheelchair/scooter lift such as the Bruno Joey or Outsider Meridian to get the veteran’s personal mobility device into and out of the vehicle. If medically necessary, it would cover a Bruno Valet Seat or possibly a lowered floor manual conversion such as the BraunAbility Companion Van if the veteran cannot transfer into the vehicle. It does not pay for modifications to operate the vehicle.
Information about the AAE program for service connected veterans may be found at:
Information about adaptive equipment available for non-service connected veterans may be found at:
HOW TO APPLY
To begin the application process for this equipment, contact your local ADA Dealer. They will help you navigate the VA system and get the benefits you deserve. Or you can contact the Prosthetics department at your local VA Medical Center. To find the VA Medical Center near you visit http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp