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VA Automobile Allowance and Adaptive Equipment Allowance

Car Close-upA veteran with certain service-connected disabilities may qualify for an automobile allowance.  As of this writing, the cap on this benefit is $19,817.00, and these funds are to be paid directly to the individual or business selling the vehicle.

Who is eligible for this allowance?  Active duty service members or veterans with a) service-connected disabilities or b) disabilities that are treated as service-connected are eligible.  In addition to these requirements, the following must also be met:

  • Loss of one or both feet, or permanent loss of use of one or both feet, or
  • Loss of one or both hands, or permanent loss of use of one or both hands, or
  • Permanent vision impairment of both eyes.

An automobile allowance may only be paid to the veteran once during his or her lifetime, and the veteran should wait until the VA approves the automobile allowance before purchasing a vehicle.  As mentioned previously, the VA pays the seller of the vehicle directly rather than paying or reimbursing the veteran or service member.  In order to demonstrate the veteran’s eligibility for this allowance, the following specific information should be shown:

  • The veteran lost at least one hand or foot OR the veteran has a permanent loss of use of at least one hand or one foot, or
  • Permanent damage to both eyes with
    • 20/200 vision or less in the better eye when wearing glasses, or
    • Better than 20/200 vision, but a severe deficiency in peripheral vision

Veterans that do not qualify for  an automobile allowance may still qualify for an adaptive equipment allowance.  This allowance includes power steering, power brakes, power windows, and other equipment, including equipment designed to help the veteran or service member enter or exit the vehicle.  Veterans and active duty service members may qualify for the adaptive equipment allowance if the following criteria are met:

  • Loss of one or both feet, or permanent loss of use of one or both feet, or
  • Loss of one or both hands, or permanent loss of use of one or both hands, or
  • Permanent vision impairment of both eyes, or
  • Ankylosis in one or both knees or hips, and
  • The above listed conditions are service related or treated as service related by the VA.

To apply for both an automobile allowance and an adaptive equipment allowance, VA Form 21-4502 may be used.  To apply for an adaptive equipment allowance only, VA Form 10-1394 may be used.

 

 

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