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Veteran Assistance

VA Automobile Allowance and Adaptive Equipment
VA Automobile Allowance and Adaptive Equipment

Do you have a disability related to your military service that prevents you from driving? If you do, you may be able to get disability compensation or benefits.

The Department of Veteran Affairs is a great resource for making mobility equipment accessible and affordable through available benefits. There are several options available to shoppers for new equipment as well as those looking for upgrades with their current equipment.

One option is to accept a special benefit allowance for automobiles. These funds are available for modifications covered in the Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program for existing vehicles- from mini-vans to motor homes. One should check with the local VA office to make sure criteria are met before making a purchase for a specialized vehicle. The application for adaptive equipment is also titled VAF 10-1394. Find more specific information about modifications and the list of required documents for reimbursement by following this link to the VA program profile.

Once in ownership of a modified vehicle, the VA helps cover some repairs however, regular maintenance is not covered. The VA typically allows for two vehicles to be purchased or modified in a 4-year period and exceptions are made for instances of theft, fire, accident, court or legal actions, costly repairs and changes in the driver’s medical needs that would require a new vehicle.

A second option deals with the prescription of orthotic equipment such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Once a veteran is assessed to need mobility equipment by the VA and its doctors- an approved and accredited firm helps fit the veteran in need the top of the line orthotic equipment.  For a list of these firms, follow this link.

Can I get disability benefits from VA?

You may be able to get disability benefits if you have a disability that’s related to your service (called a service-connected disability) and that includes at least one of the below conditions.

At least one of these must be true for you. You have:

  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of 1 or both feet, or
  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of 1 or both hands, or
  • Permanent decreased vision in both eyes: 20/200 vision or less in your better eye with glasses, or greater than 20/200 vision but with a visual field defect that has reduced your peripheral vision to 20 degrees or less in your better eye, or
  • A severe burn injury, or
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or
  • Ankylosis in 1 or both knees or hips (Note: This qualifies you for an adaptive-equipment grant only)

Who’s covered?

  • Veterans
  • Servicemembers

What kind of disability benefits can I get?

  • A one-time payment of not more than $21,058.69 to help you buy a specially equipped vehicle
  • In some situations, one or more adaptive-equipment grants to change a vehicle so it has features like power steering, brakes, seats, windows, or lift equipment to help you get into and out of the vehicle 

View current rates for special allowances.

How do I get these benefits?

You’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation and get our approval before buying a vehicle or adaptive equipment. You can apply for—and use—either grant before or after military discharge. 
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation.

When you file, you’ll need to show that your disability is service connected or treated as if service connected under 38 U.S.C. 1151. 
Learn more about 38 U.S.C. 1151

View the current payment rates.

For the one-time payment to help you buy a specially equipped vehicle

  • You’ll need to fill out an Application for Automobile or Other Conveyance and Adaptive Equipment (VA Form 21-4502). 
    Download VA Form 21-4502.

For the adaptive-equipment grant

  • If you qualify for adaptive equipment only, you’ll need to fill out an Application for Adaptive Equipment—Motor Vehicle (VA Form 10-1394). 
    Download VA Form 10-1394.

Building Better Lives for Disabled American Veterans and Their Families.

We have prepared a list of 3rd party resources to assist your efforts as well a link to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. National Association of American Veterans™ NAAV Military Family Program seeks to ease the burden of caregivers, who are unexpectedly thrust into the caregiver role, by providing coaches and trainer to equip them with tools, training, and resources needed to become effective caregivers. NAAV works with leaders in the military and civilian community to build partnerships for the association. Disabled American Veterans, DAV DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. The organization provides more than 670,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with more than 292,000 benefits claims annually.Paralyzed Veterans of America, PVA Paralyzed Veterans of America, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members – veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction.Wounded Warrior Project Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001, and their families. On that date, America watched in horror as approximately 3,000 people died including hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers. Many warriors note a sense of duty to volunteer for the military following these tragic events. Veterans Of Foreign Wars, VFW The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a nonprofit veteran service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. Veterans Benefits Administration The VA's primary function is to support veterans in their time after service by providing benefits and support.  

The following National organizations may also help you in learning more about additional Veterans Administration benefits and other assistance programs. Check our Grants & Assistance pages for programs within your state.

  • National Association of American Veterans™ 
    Our vision is to serve as a comprehensive nonprofit organization that values the honorable and selfness service of our nation’s service members and disabled veterans.
    Our mission is to assist service members and disabled veterans and their dependents, particularly severely wounded warriors and single-parent service members and veterans, by helping access their benefits; improving communication and coordination with VA: and collaborating with the VA and other veterans groups, health agencies, medical professional organizations, educational organizations, and the public in support of veterans, their families, and military caregivers.
    Website: www.naavets.org
    Address: National Association of American Veterans, Inc. 1725 I Street, NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006
    Phone: 202.465.3296
    Email: Info@naavets.org

  • Ask Vets First
    For veterans who may require advice and assistance in obtaining VA benefits. Vets First has 60 years of experience in assisting veterans. This is a free service for all disabled veterans.
    Website: www.helpdesk.vetsfirst.org
    Email: vafed@vafvets.org

  • Disabled American Veterans, DAV
    The DAV is made up exclusively of men and women disabled in our nation’s defense, and is dedicated to one, single purpose – building better lives for all our nation’s disabled veterans and their families. To learn more about joining the DAV please visit www.dav.org or call 877-I AM A VET (877-426-2838).

  • Paralyzed Veterans of America, PVA
    The PVA is a congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members – veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction. 
    Address: 801 Eighteenth Street, NW. Washington, DC 20006-3517
    Phone: 800-424-8200
    Website: www.pva.org
    Email: info@pva.org

  • Wounded Warrior Project
    A nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors.
    Address: 7020 AC Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville, FL 32256
    Phone: 877-TEAM-WWP (832-6997)
    Fax: 904-296-7347 
    Website: www.woundedwarriorproject.org
    Email: info@woundedwarriorproject.org

  • Veterans Of Foreign Wars, VFW 
    The mission of the VFW is to support programs to increase awareness of the sacrifices of America’s veterans; promote citizenship education, volunteerism and positive youth programs; and facilitate medical, rehabilitative, educational and employment services and needs for veterans and their families.
    Address: National Headquarters, 406 West 34th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
    Phone: 816-756-3390
    Website: www.vfw.org
    Email: info@vfw.org

  • Veterans Benefits Administration 
    The Veterans Affairs vision is to provide veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned – and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship. The VA operates hundreds of medical facilities, issues millions of checks for education, disability and pensions, and supervises more than 125 national cemeteries. With more than 275,000 employees (as of September 2008), VA is America’s second largest federal agency. When eligible dependents and survivors are included, approximately 63 million people – about one-quarter of the nation’s population – are eligible for VA benefits and services. 
    Address: US Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420
    Phone: 1-800-827-1000
    Website: www.vba.va.gov

  • Online College’s U.S. Service Member’s Guide to Academic Programs and Aid 
    The Online College website provides an extensive list of resources to help veterans with finding academic tuition reimbursement, financial aid, grants, scholarships, survivor awards and many other important programs.
    Website: www.onlinecolleges.net/for-students/college-guide-for-veterans

  • Housing Benefits for Veterans 
    The Department of Veterans Affairs and various nonprofits can provide housing benefits to qualifying veterans and their families. From a mortgage guaranty program to housing grants, foreclosure prevention and state assistance, make sure you explore all the avenues of assistance. Click here for more information.

  • Scholarships and Financial Aid Guide For Veterans

    There are many education funding sources besides the G.I. Bill. Both veterans and their families can take advantage of many scholarships with amounts up to $10,000 and more. Click here for more information.

  • Carreer Guide for Veterans

    Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging for any veteran. There are various resources for job-hunting veterans including a transition assistance program, job sites dedicated to veterans and employment toolkits. Click here for more information.

  • The National Council for Aging Care’s guide on Military Veteran Benefit Options

    From the beginning, Aging.com has served as a resource to help seniors and their families learn more about the specifics of planning for their later years. From aging in place to insurance to government programs, we’ve got what you need to know to continue enjoying a long, healthy life. Click here for more information.

 

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