Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) & Vehicle Modifications Program
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
VHA Directive 2011-046 can be found at: www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=2473
No, sales tax (State, local, and other taxes) on adaptive equipment is not payable or reimbursable. According to advice by the Office of General Counsel, it is a fundamental legal principle that the Federal Government is immune from State and local taxes on its instrumentality, property, and operations. (This is derived from the Constitution’s supremacy clause, the exclusive jurisdiction clauses of Congress, etc.) Congress expressly included state, local, and other taxes paid by the eligible Veteran to be included in the automobile allowance ($$), up to the maximum amount established in law. In contrast, with respect to AAE (including repairs thereof), Congress only required their provision. Until further notice, effective immediately no sales tax should be paid or reimbursed.
No charges related to shipping, freight, or transportation is payable or reimbursable at this time. According to advice by the Office of General Counsel, VA does not have the authority to pay for such costs allowable in obtaining adaptive equipment or the purchase price for the purchase of the automobile. Until further notice, effective August 8, 2018, no costs for shipping, freight, and transportation should be paid or reimbursed.