What You Need to Know About Veteran's Funding Assistance for Van Conversions, Wheelchairs, Mobility Scooters and Home Modifications
Did you know Veteran's Affairs will help pay for your accessible vehicle? Home modifications? How about getting paid to take care of your parents? Here’s what you should know about some of the VA’s most valuable compensation benefits.
How will the VA pay for my car?
For a car, truck, van or SUV, there are some eligibility requirements, of course. The VA won't just hand every vet out there up to $20K. This benefit is just for veterans with loss of, or permanent loss of use of one or both feet or hands, permanent impairment of vision in both eyes (to a certain degree). Veterans severe burn injuries or ALS can apply for this grant as well. Once you get your VA money in line to pay for your new car - you can see the approximate time frame here - you can start shopping, and the VA will pay the dealership directly. You will only be responsible for the amount exceeding the vehicle allowance, if applicable.
If you’re thinking about applying for the Automobile Allowance grant, you may also want to apply for an adaptive-equipment grant. Here's why: The VA will pay to convert your car, truck, van or SUV with things like lowered floors, hand controls or even minivan conversions. For the Adaptive Equipment grant, make sure you check with the Prosthetics department before buying any equipment. You can take a look at our VA Adaptive Equipment info page here for more information.
Once you have received a vehicle grant, you can take advantage of the driver rehabilitation program which will help you get accustomed to entering, exiting and driving your vehicle with adaptive equipment. Find a driver rehabilitation specialist in your area.
ProTip: We bet you've heard this before: "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." You might have to be a little squeaky to get your funding expedited. If you feel like your application is taking a bit too long to process, we advise that you call and request a team leader until you get the answers you are looking for.
Can the car dealer just contact the VA for me?
While we, as a vehicle dealership would love to call and be your advocate with the VA, unfortunately, they will not speak directly to providers. Be assured, your persistence will pay off.
Will the VA get me a scooter, wheelchair or power chair?
The VA will likely give you a wheelchair or mobility scooter. As mentioned above, you could be entitled to a VA grant that will cover adaptive equipment like a wheelchair lift, or even a vehicle.
What other Veteran's funding grants should I be aware of?
Did you know that if you are a veteran with parents who are dependent on you for financial support, you can apply for additional benefits. It must be verified that the parents are financially dependent upon the Veteran in order to qualify, and certain criteria must be met.
Because this benefit is based on need, VA will not pay benefits for a dependent parent whose income is greater than the limit set by law. Parents will need to report their income from all sources, including Social Security, retirement, pensions, insurance, interest and any stock dividends for the last 12 months. Annuities, stocks, bonds, businesses and bank accounts should also be reported. Value of personal property, like owner-occupied real estate, vehicle or home furniture is not considered in determining eligibility. More info can be found at benefits.va.gov.
The Veteran's Administration's Role in Providing Funding for Home Modifications
The VA offers housing assistance grants for Veterans and service members with specific service-connected disabilities so you can buy or change your home to meet your accessibility needs and live more independently. Changing a home might include installing ramps, widening doorways, or and installing grab bars at various locations throughout your home. Find out if you’re eligible for a disability housing assistance or modification grant, and learn how to apply here.
Going through the process of getting Veteran's financial assistance for mobility equipment can be very confusing. Your local mobility equipment store or wheelchair accessible van dealer will have qualified staff that can help guide you through the process.
We hope this information will prove helpful for Veterans, and we thank you for your service!
Information, and forms to fill out to begin the process for the VA Automobile benefits can be found here.