Special VA Benefits for the Disabled Service Connected Vets: Automobiles, Conveyances, and Adaptive Equipment
Servicemembers and Veterans may be eligible for a one-time payment of not more than $21,058.69 (10/1/2018) toward the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance if you have certain service-connected disabilities. The grant is paid directly to the seller of the automobile and the Servicemember or Veteran may only receive the automobile grant once in his/her lifetime.
Certain Servicemembers and Veterans may also be eligible for adaptive equipment. Adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle.
VA may provide financial assistance in purchasing adaptive equipment more than once. This benefit is payable to either the seller or the Veteran or Servicemember.
Important: You must have prior VA approval before purchasing an automobile or adaptive equipment.
Eligibility Requirements (Automobile Grant)
- You must be either a Servicemember who is still on active duty or a Veteran, AND
- You must have one of the following disabilities that are either rated as service-connected or treated as if service-connected under 38 U.S.C 1151 or, for a Servicemember, the result of disease incurred or injury contracted in or aggravated by active duty:
- Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet, OR
- Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands, OR
- Permanent impairment of vision in both eyes to a certain degree, OR
- Severe burn injury, OR
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Evidence Requirements (Automobile Grant)
To support a claim for automobile allowance, the evidence must show that you are service-connected or are treated as if service-connected under 38 U.S.C 1151 or, for a Servicemember, the result of disease incurred or injury contracted in or aggravated by active duty, for a disability resulting in:
- The loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet, OR
- The loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands,OR
- Permanent impairment of vision in both eyes, resulting in
- Central Visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with glasses, OR
- Central Visual acuity that is greater than 20/200, if there is a visual field defect in which your peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual fields subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye, OR
- Severe burn injury: Deep partial thickness or full thickness burns resulting in scar formation that cause contractures and limit motion of one or more extremities or the trunk and preclude the effective operation of an automobile, OR
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
To support a claim for adaptive equipment, the evidence must show that you have a disability as shown above, OR you have ankylosis of at least one knee or one hip due to service-connected disability.
How to Apply (Automobile Grant)
- Complete, VA Form 21-4502, “Application for Automobile or Other Conveyance and Adaptive Equipment” and mail to your regional office OR
- Work with an accredited representative or agent OR
- Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. You can find your regional office on our Facility Locator page
- If you are entitled to adaptive equipment only (i.e., service connected for ankylosis of knees or hips) you should complete VA Form 10-1394, “Application for Adaptive Equipment – Motor Vehicle” and submit it to your local VA medical center. You can find your local VA medical center on the health Facility Locator page.
You may purchase a new or used automobile, truck, station wagon, or certain other types of conveyance if approved by VA.
A veteran or servicemember who qualifies for the vehicle allowance also qualifies for adaptive equipment unless he or she is blind, requires a driver, or doesn’t have a valid State driver’s license or learner’s permit. See the attached list for more information about adaptive equipment. Important: VA will not pay for the purchase of add-on adaptive equipment (equipment furnished by someone other than the automobile manufacturer) that is not approved by VA. Contact the nearest VA health care facility for more information on add-on equipment. The adaptive equipment benefit may be paid more than once, and it may be paid to either the seller or the veteran or servicemember.
Special drivers training for disabled veterans should contact the nearest VA health care facility to request this training.
To Apply use VA form 21-4502, http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-4502-ARE.pdf. There is no time limit for filing a claim; however, the claim must be authorized by VA before you purchase the automobile or conveyance.
Special Instructions to Veteran or Servicemember,
1. Complete all items of Section I in duplicate and submit both copies to VA. If you have previously applied for disability compensation, send the form to the VA regional office where your claims folder is located. If you have not applied for disability compensation or have not separated from military service, send the form to the nearest VA regional office.
2. VA will determine your eligibility and, if eligibility exists, VA will complete Section II and return the form to you.
3. Purchase a vehicle. When you receive the vehicle and the adaptive equipment from the seller, complete Section III.
4. Give the original VA Form 21-4502 to the seller.
5. Submit any invoices for adaptive equipment and/or installation not included on the seller’s invoice to the nearest VA health care facility. These invoices, identified with your full name and VA file number, must show the itemized net cost of any adaptive equipment and installation charges, any unpaid balance, and the make, year and model of the vehicle to which the equipment is added.
Special Instructions to Seller:
1. Make sure that Section II of VA Form 21-4502 is completed and signed by VA.
2. Deliver the vehicle, including VA-approved adaptive equipment provided and/or installed by the seller.
3. Obtain the original copy of VA Form 21-4502 from the veteran or servicemember after he or she has completed Section III.
4. Submit the original copy of VA Form 21-4502 and itemized invoice to the VA regional office shown in Section II, Attention: Financial Division, for payment.
The itemized invoice must include the following:
- The net cost of any approved adaptive equipment and installation charges. If certain items of approved adaptive equipment (automatic transmission, power seats, etc.) are included in the purchase price, also submit a copy of the window sticker.
- A list of which adaptive equipment is standard on the vehicle or combined with other items.
- The unpaid balance due on the vehicle which is to be paid by VA.
- A certification that the amounts billed do not exceed the usual and customary cost for the purchase and installation of the adaptive equipment.
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