VA Auto Allowance for Adaptive Equipment

va auto adaptive equipment allowance

Allowance for Auto with Adaptive Equipment from VA

Few things diminish your freedom and independence like being unable to drive.  If a service-related (service-connected) disability has impacted your ability to drive, you may be eligible for an allowance to buy adaptive equipment designed to help you get back on the road.  Find out if you may be eligible, what benefits are available, and how to apply for them.

What benefits are available?

  • A one-time payment of not more than $21,488.29 to help you buy a specially equipped vehicle.
  • In some situations, one or more adaptive-equipment grants to modify 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.

To see the current amounts for specific special allowances click here.

Who is eligible?

  • Service members and/or veterans.

What specific service-connected disabilities qualify?

You must have at least one of the service-connected conditions listed below:

  • 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 (Please note: This qualifies you for an adaptive-equipment grant only.)

How do I apply?

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

To apply 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
    Download VA Form 21-4502 (PDF)
  • The VA will pay the vehicle’s seller directly.

To apply for the adaptive-equipment grant:

To see the full instructions on how to file a claim: click here.

You can file your claim:

Online  (Scroll down the page in the link above to the green “Let’s Get Started” button.)

 

By mail: Download VA Form 21-526EZ (PDF)

Print the form, fill it out, and send it to this address:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444

In person: Bring your application to a VA regional office near you.

With the help of a trained professional: Click here to learn how to get help filing your claim.

 

When to expect to hear back:

According to the VA website, it currently takes them about 131.5 days to make a decision. The length of time typically depends on the type of claim you filed, how many injuries or disabilities you claimed, how complex your injuries are, and how long it takes them to collect the evidence needed to properly evaluate your claim.

3 things you can do to help keep your claims approval process smooth and efficient:

  1. Follow the instructions carefully so that your claims application is complete and accurate.
  2. Don’t add information to your submitted claim unless you get a letter requesting it.
  3. If the VA schedules exams for you, be sure not to miss them.

You can now track the status of your claim online: Click here.

If you want more VA information on adaptive equipment, as well as their list of FAQs, click here.   Don’t leave benefits you deserve on the table. Adaptive equipment can make all the difference when it comes to quality of life.

 

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About the author

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Caroline Sposto is a writer, actor, and the founder of Savvy Civility, an educational company that specializes in civilian role play training. She has a passion for the arts, education, and small business.