Who is eligible for a VA Auto Grant? Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) service officers routinely receive phone calls from veterans who have questions or have been misinformed regarding the eligibility requirements for the Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Grants (Auto Grant).
Many think because they're service connected as 100% disabled, they're entitled to the Auto Grant. This is not correct.
To be eligible for the Auto Grant, a veteran must be service connected for one of the following disabilities:
The loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet
The loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands
The permanent impairment of vision of both eyes
Certain severe burn injuries
How to Apply: When the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives entitlement to the Auto Grant, the veteran must complete Section I of VA Form 21-4502 and send it to his or her local PVA national service officer (NSO) to route to VA. VA will certify the form by completing Section II of the 21-4502 and return it to the veteran or PVA NSO. It's important to note that VA can't pay an eligible veteran for the purchase of a vehicle until entitlement to the grant has been established.
How Much? VA provides eligible veterans a maximum of $20,235.20 (as of 1/1/2017) or the total purchase price of the automobile, whichever is lesser. An eligible veteran can apply the grant toward purchasing a new or used vehicle.
The law requires VA to pay the benefit directly to the vehicle's seller. It may not reimburse a veteran who has already paid for a vehicle. If the veteran is unable to operate an automobile, VA will still provide or assist in purchasing an automobile if it's to be operated for the eligible veteran by another person. The VA Auto Grant can only be used once.
VA can also give a grant to active duty personnel if they also have acquired one of the eligible disabilities while on active duty.
In addition to the $20,235.20 Auto Grant, VA Prosthetics will cover the cost of adaptive equipment for the automobile.
VA identifies adaptive equipment as (but not limited to) power steering, power brakes, power windows, lifts, power seats, and any special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle. This includes modifying the inside size of the vehicle, if needed, for the person to enter or operate it. VA will pay for air-conditioning if it's necessary for the health and safety of the veteran and supported by medical determination supporting the need.
For VA to pay for adaptive equipment, VA Form 10-1394 must be completed, along with supporting documents (window stickers and invoices).
If an eligible veteran can't qualify to operate an automobile safely, VA will provide adaptive equipment for an automobile that is operated by another person for the suitable veteran.
Eligible veterans can't have adaptive equipment for more than two cars at any one time during a four-year period.
Veterans with Non-Service Injuries
Veterans with nonservice-connected injuries are eligible for a one-time van modification.
A veteran having nonservice-connected disabilities may be eligible for ingress/egress to the vehicle, (on minivans a lowered floor conversion), but isn't entitled to any operational equipment (automatic transmission, power brakes, power steering, hand controls, modifications of the driver area, etc.).
The veteran must also have a medical determination supporting the need for the adaptive equipment. Even though it doesn't amount to the same as an Auto Grant and adaptive equipment benefit, assistance with a one-time van conversion for a nonservice-connected veteran can substantially bring down the overall price of a new or used vehicle.
For more information, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration or contact your local NSO from the PVA Service Officer Roster.
Our local Tucson VA provided this list of contacts and Veterans Service Officers
Veterans Service officers are available to assist veterans who have earned VA benefits. The Vietnam Veterans of America has a very useful site to help locate a local VSO who may assist you.
Once you have a signed (by the VA) VA 4502 with the accompanying cover letter stating the Grant amount Contact us and we will find the vehicle you want with the conversion you want and adaptive equipment you need, all within your budget. We handle all the paperwork and inspections to make the process as easy for you as possible.
Veterans with a 100% service connected disability and a 4502 vehicle grant can purchase a new vehicle with a new conversion for under $10,000 out of pocket. If you would rather not spend the money we can get you into a late model, low mileage minivan with a new conversion for little to no out of pocket expense (depending on the used vehicle options and price). Call us to discuss all options