Are you a Veteran with a disability related to your military service that prevents you from driving? If so, you may be able to get financial assistance / disability compensation. The VA has a program for auto allowances that includes adaptive equipment and wheelchair accessible vans to help you get back on the road.
Can I get disability benefits from the 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)
What kind of benefits can I receive?
- A one-time payment of $21,058.69 to help you buy a specially equipped vehicle, like a wheelchair accessible van – this is the 4502 Grant.
- 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 – this is the 1394 Grant.
The 4502 Form – One time payment to help purchase a specially equipped vehicle
- You’ll need to fill out an Application for Automobile or Other Conveyance and Adaptive Equipment (VA Form 21-4502). Click here to Download VA Form 21-4502 (PDF)
- The VA pays the vehicle’s seller directly.
The 1394 Form – 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). Click here Download VA Form 10-1394 (PDF)
- The VA may pay you, or pay the equipment seller directly.
How do I start the process or know if I am eligible?
We suggest connecting with the PVA to assist weaving through the Web of forms, eligibility etc. They are experts in who to contact, what to submit, etc. to make the process easier on the Veteran.
From the Paralyzed Veterans of America Website: For veterans or family members looking for assistance with learning about or applying for VA benefits, a local National Service Officer stands ready to assist. National Service Officers are accredited experts in VA benefits and legally represent veterans, dependents, and survivors before the VA and Board of Veterans Appeals.
Find a National Service Officer in your area – click here.
We at Ability Center are always here to help answer any questions regarding wheelchair accessible vans. To find an Ability Center location near you, click here.