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Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE)

The Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program permits physically challenged persons to enter, exit, and/or operate a motor vehicle or other conveyance.

Veterans are trained, through the VA Driver's Rehabilitation Program, how to safely operate their vehicle on our nation's roadways.

The VA also provides necessary equipment such as platform wheelchair lifts, UVLs (under vehicle lifts), power door openers, lowered floors/raised roofs, raised doors, hand controls, left foot gas pedals, reduced effort and zero effort steering and braking, and digital driving systems.

Additionally, VA's program provides reimbursements for standard equipment including, but not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and other special equipment necessary for the safe operation of an approved vehicle.

For the special benefit allowance, see the Special Benefits Allowance Rate Table.

Eligibility:  (Eligible service-connected Veterans who are non-drivers are not eligible for reimbursement for operational equipment)

  • Veterans service-connected for the loss, or loss of use of one or both feet or hands, or service-connected ankylosis of one or both knees or hips.
  • Veterans service-connected for permanent impairment of vision of both eyes that have a central acuity of 20/200.
  • Non service-connected Veterans are eligible for equipment/modifications that will allow ingress and egress from a vehicle only.

Required Documentation to VBA

The following must be submitted to the VBA:

  • Completed VAF 10-1394, "Application for Adaptive Equipment"
  • Copy of valid driver's license
  • Bill of sale, invoice, lease agreement or registration form
  • Window sticker*
  • Proof of ownership (vehicle title)
  • Proof of release or disposal of a previously-owned vehicle
  • If Veteran paid sales tax, adjust 10-1394 to reimburse
  • Repairs: marked PAID and include the certification statement signed by vendor

*If window sticker is not available:

  • Inspect and document the vehicle and items, or
  • Use Edmunds Comparable Vehicle Listing Guide, or
  • Submit an invoice or bill of sale that substantiates the items of adaptive equipment

Required Documentation to Remove a Vehicle of Record

Important Note: These vehicles may not be sold or given to family members or any other party residing in the same household of the Veteran, or transferred to a business owned by the Veteran.

  • Proof of trade-in
  • Proof of sale
  • Proof of other means of disposal, e.g., total loss by accident, act of God, fire, theft, etc.

Vehicle Conversion

Mini-Van

  • Reimbursement for mini-van conversions will be made in an amount equal to or less than the average cost of a conventional van modification, plus 25% (service-connected only)
  • VA will reimburse for the cost of transporting/delivery of the vehicle

Full Size Van

  • This type of conversion is considered comfort, as it far exceeds the space required for transportation
  • The amount should not exceed conventional van conversion

Pick-Up Trucks

  • The space modified is about half that of a mini van
  • The dollar amount should not exceed mini van conversion

Motor Homes

  • All modifications must be pre-authorized
  • Only VA approved add-on equipment may be authorized
  • Maximum reimbursable amounts established for automobile adaptive equipment will not be exceeded for similar items authorized as adaptive equipment in a motor home
  • Amount authorized and the purchase and installation of an approved lift in a motor home will not exceed the average amount authorized for purchase and installation of similar lifts installed in vans by the authorizing VA facility
  • VA is not responsible for the removal, modification or reinstallation of any convenience items contained in the motor home, e.g., cabinets, stoves, showers, refrigerators, etc.

Repairs

  • Routine service to items is not considered a repair e.g., brake shoes, drums and pads or other adjustments (only the power booster). Power Steering and Automatic Transmission service or fluid refills are not authorized (only the transmission itself, or the power steering components).
  • Maximum reimbursement is for the total amount of the certified invoice
  • Repairs, cost of parts, and labor, are listed in the current Mitchell's Mechanical Parts and Labor Estimating Guide for Domestic Cars
  • Towing is not normally an authorized repair

Used Vehicles

  • Prorated by reducing the standard equipment reimbursable amount for like items by 10% per year (this includes any add-on adaptive equipment previously installed)
  • Maximum deduction of 90% of the new reimbursement rate will be allowed for vehicles 10 years or older (vehicles will have a residual value of 10%)

Leased Vehicles

  • Same guidelines apply for leased vehicles just as if the Veteran purchased a new or used vehicle
  • Lease must be to the Veteran who is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the vehicle, and not to any business
  • Cost limitations will not exceed the allowable reimbursable amounts

Exceptions to the 2 Vehicles in 4 Year Period Rule

Normally an allowance can be provided for only 2 vehicles in a 4 year period. Exceptions to this rule are:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Accident
  • Court or legal actions
  • Costly repairs
  • Changes in the drivers medical requirements necessitating a different type of vehicle