United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS)

Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) & Vehicle Modifications Program

  1. Is VA responsible for developing safety authorities for adaptive equipment?

  2. What if AAE and/or vehicle modifications were unsafely installed on my vehicle? How do I file a safety problem or compliant?

  3. How do I select a dealer?

  4. Are three bids required for the vehicle modifications (non-service connected Veterans)?

  5. Can I qualify for both AAE and vehicle modifications program?

  6. Can I receive operational equipment if I qualify for vehicle modifications under Prosthetics as medical services?

  7. What types of standard equipment can be reimbursed under the AAE program?

  8. What type of documentation should be submitted for reimbursements for standard equipment?

  9. If I’m eligible for 2 vehicles in a 4 year period; and the 4 year period has been exhausted, can I receive reimbursements for standard equipment on the same vehicles?

  10. Where can I find the most recent reimbursement rates?


1.  Is VA responsible for developing safety authorities for adaptive equipment?

No. The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a legislative mandate under Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety, to issue Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Regulations to which manufacturers of motor vehicle and equipment items must conform and certify compliance. These Federal safety standards are regulations written in terms of minimum safety performance requirements for motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment. These requirements are specified in such a manner that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of crashes occurring as a result of the design, construction, or performance of motor vehicles and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury in the event crashes do occur.

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2.  What if AAE and/or vehicle modifications were unsafely installed on my vehicle? How do I file a safety problem or compliant?

Beneficiaries are encouraged to work with the installer / modifier to correct all unsafe adaptations and/or modifications made to their vehicle.  A formal complaint should be filed with NHTSA at: www.safercar.gov

Also, each State has a consumer complaints and protection division in your State or local residential area for the purposes of reporting complaints against local businesses.

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3.  How do I select a dealer?

Modifying your vehicle is a major project that requires both the right equipment for your vehicle, and a correct installation.  We will help you select the right equipment, but we do not install it on to your vehicle.

It is important that you choose an installer who will be able to install your equipment correctly.  In selecting an AAE dealer, we encourage you to research dealers who are registered with NHTSA nearest to your residence. Local dealers can be found using NHTSA’s modifier identification website at: www.nhtsa.gov/apps/modifier/index.htm

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4.  Are three bids required for the vehicle modifications (non-service connected Veterans)?

Yes. Three bids may be required for those who are eligible under the vehicle modifications program. Please contact your Prosthetics Representative at the nearest VAMC for specific documentation needed. Remember, all vehicle modifications must be approved by VA.

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5.  Can I qualify for both AAE and vehicle modifications program?

No. Eligibility and entitlement will be determined by VA. Please contact VBA if you are service-connected at 1-800-827-1000 to see if you qualify for the AAE program. Please contact your local Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service to see if you qualify for vehicle modifications provided as medical services.

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6.  Can I receive operational equipment if I qualify for vehicle modifications under Prosthetics as medical services?

No. Only operational equipment can be provided to those Veterans with service connected disabilities who are eligible under 38 U.S.C 3901. Non-operational equipment may be provided to Veterans with non-service connected disabilities under medical services. To locate a Prosthetic Service at the nearest VA Medical Center please visit www.prosthetics.va.gov.

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7.  What types of standard equipment can be reimbursed under the AAE program?

Automatic transmission; power brakes; power windows; tilt steering; power seats; in-vehicle emergency response system; cruise control; rear window defroster; air conditioning; power door locks; leather seats.  VA reimbursable (standard equipment only) rates can be found in VHA Directive 2011-046.

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8.  What type of documentation should be submitted for reimbursements for standard equipment?

Documentation to show “out of pocket” expenses. The following are examples of out of pocket expenses: window sticker, bill of sale, invoice, receipts, letter from dealer, etc.

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9.  If I’m eligible for 2 vehicles in a 4 year period; and the 4 year period has been exhausted, can I receive reimbursements for standard equipment on the same vehicles?

No, there must be documentation that shows a different vehicle(s). A Veteran can only get reimbursed once for the same vehicle no matter the time duration. Duplicative reimbursements for the same standard equipment on the same vehicle will not be reimbursed. Only when the vehicle(s) on record has been replaced is a Veteran entitled to receive reimbursements for standard equipment. After the 4 year period has been exhausted, a vehicle with a different VIN number and/or trade-in is sufficient to show off out of pocket expenses.

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10.  Where can I find the most recent reimbursement rates?

VHA Directive 2011-046 can be found at: www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=2473

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