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     M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2 Chapter 2. Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Allowance

    Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 39 1. Eligibility for Automobile and Adaptive Equipment

    Allowance

    Introduction This topic contains information on eligibility for automobile and adaptive

    equipment allowance, including

     the eligibility requirements for financial assistance for a conveyance

     issuing a certificate of eligibility

     the eligibility requirements for adaptive equipment

     the definition of the term adaptive equipment

     Veterans who do not qualify for benefits

     eligibility for 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 beneficiaries, and

     reduction of benefits due to a tort judgment or settlement.

Change Date August 15, 2011

    Continued on next page

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M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    1. Eligibility for Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Allowance, Continued

    a. Eligibility To be eligible for financial assistance in purchasing a new or used automobile Requirements (or other conveyance), a Veteran or serviceperson must have acquired one of

    for Financial the following disabilities as a result of injury or disease incurred or Assistance for a aggravated during active military service, or as a result of medical treatment Conveyance or examination, vocational rehabilitation, or compensated work therapy

    provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (38 U.S.C. 1151):

     loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet

     loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands, or

     permanent impairment of vision in both eyes with a

    ; central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective

    glasses, or

    ; central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which

    the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest

    diameter of visual field has an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees

    in the better eye.

    Note: Per VAOPGCPREC 60-09, eligibility for an automobile grant may be

    based on functional as well as organic loss of use of an extremity or

    blindness. Example: A conversion reaction may cause functional, as

    opposed to organic, blindness.

    Reference: For more information on the eligibility requirements for the

    automobile allowance and adaptive equipment, see 38 U.S.C. Chapter 39.

    b. Issuing a A certificate of eligibility for financial assistance in the purchase of a new or Certificate of used automobile or other conveyance (such as a van, truck, jeep, or station Eligibility wagon) may be made to a Veteran

     once in his/her lifetime

     in an amount not exceeding the amount specified in 38 U.S.C. 3902, and

     if the eligibility requirements are met.

    Note: The law prohibits Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from making

    payments for automobile grants directly to Veterans. VA is required to pay

    the benefit to the seller of the automobile.

    Continued on next page

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     M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    1. Eligibility for Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Allowance, Continued

    c. Eligibility A Veteran or serviceperson who qualifies for the automobile allowance also Requirements qualifies for adaptive equipment. To be eligible to receive only adaptive

    for Adaptive equipment (as opposed to the automobile allowance), the Veteran or Equipment serviceperson must be entitled to disability compensation for ankylosis of one

    or both knees or hips based on

     the establishment of service connection, or

     entitlement under 38 U.S.C. 1151 as the result of

    ; VA treatment or examination

    ; compensated work therapy, or

    ; vocational training under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31

    The adaptive equipment benefit may be paid more than once, and it may be

    paid to either the seller or the Veteran.

    Reference: For more information on ankylosis of one (or both) knees or hips,

    see 38 U.S.C. 3902(b)(2).

d. Definition: The term adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to

    Adaptive

    Equipment power steering

     power brakes

     power window lifts

     power seats, and

     special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the

    automobile or other conveyance.

    Continued on next page

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M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    1. Eligibility for Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Allowance, Continued

e. Veterans Even though compensation for disability of paired service-connected (SC)

    Who Do Not and nonservice-connected (NSC) organs is payable under 38 CFR 3.383,

    Qualify for Veterans do not qualify for the automobile and adaptive equipment allowance Benefits based on bilateral visual impairment if the impairment of vision in one eye is

    due to a nonservice-connected (NSC) disease or injury.

    Notes:

     Entitlement to the automobile and adaptive equipment allowance may be

    based on disability of paired extremities under 38 CFR 3.383 because

    eligibility under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 39 requires the SC loss, or loss of use,

    of only one hand or one foot.

     Public Law 108-454 effective December 10, 2004, extended eligibility for

    the automobile and adaptive equipment allowance to Veterans with

    qualifying disability under 38 U.S.C. 1151.

    Reference: For more information on entitlement to compensation for loss of

    paired SC and NSC organs or extremities, see 38 U.S.C. 1160.

f. Eligibility for Automobile adaptive equipment may be furnished to a beneficiary under 38

    38 U.S.C. U.S.C. Chapter 31 if Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Chapter 31 determines that the equipment is necessary to Beneficiaries

     overcome an employment handicap to which a SC disability materially

    contributes, and

     achieve the goals of the program of rehabilitation.

    Reference: For more information on eligibility, see 38 CFR 21.216(a)(3).

    Continued on next page 2-4

     M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    1. Eligibility for Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Allowance, Continued

g. Reduction of Automobile or adaptive equipment benefits must be reduced by an “offset

    Benefits Due to amount” in cases where a judgment or settlement of a tort claim against the Tort Judgment United States is granted for disability established under 38 U.S.C. 1151, if the or Settlement tort judgment or settlement

     becomes final

    ; on or after December 10, 2004, but

    ; before the date VA awards the automobile or adaptive equipment

    allowance, and

     includes an amount specifically designated for automobiles or adaptive

    equipment.

    Notes:

     Contact local Regional Counsel to determine whether a judgment or

    settlement qualifies for offset under 38 CFR 3.363.

     If the offset amount exceeds the amount of the automobile or equipment

    benefits awarded, the excess amount is offset against VA compensation.

    Reference: For more information on the offset of benefits, see M21-1MR,

    Part IV, Subpart iii, 3.G.37.

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M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    2. Application for Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Allowance

    Introduction This topic contains information on applications for automobile and adaptive

    equipment allowance, including

     applying for the automobile allowance

     applying for adaptive equipment, and

     handling incomplete applications for the automobile allowance or adaptive

    equipment.

Change Date July 24, 2009

a. Applying for A formal claim on VA Form 21-4502, Application for Automobile or Other

    Automobile Conveyance and Adaptive Equipment, is required if the Veteran or

    Allowance serviceperson is applying for the automobile allowance.

    The application for an automobile or other conveyance is considered an

    application for the adaptive equipment specified for the claimant’s disability

    by directive of the Chief Medical Director. The instructions on the VA Form

    21-4502 contain a list of adaptive equipment that has been preapproved for

    particular disabilities.

    Notes:

     There is no time limit for filing a claim.

     Upon receipt of the application, before referring the claim to the rating

    activity

    ; establish end product (EP) 290, and

    ; send the claimant the notice required under 38 U.S.C. 5103, also known

    as the Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 or VCAA.

    Continued on next page

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     M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    2. Application for Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Allowance, Continued

b. Applying for A formal claim on a VA Form 10-1394, Application for Adaptive Equipment

    Adaptive Motor Vehicle, is required if the Veteran is entitled to adaptive equipment

    Equipment only. Typically this form is provided by the outpatient clinic to the Veteran Only for forwarding to finance activity, or submitted by the prosthetics department

    on his/her behalf to the local finance activity.

    A VA Form 10-1394 is also required for approval of equipment not specified

    on the VA Form 21-4502 for the Veteran’s particular disability.

    Notes:

     There is no time limit for filing a claim for adaptive equipment based on

    ankylosis.

     Upon receipt of the application, before referring the claim to the rating

    activity

    ; establish end product (EP) 290, and

    ; send the 38 U.S.C. 5103 notice.

    c. Handling If an application from a person on active duty is incomplete in any essential Incomplete part or the medical evidence or service status is insufficiently documented

    Applications for the return the application to the VA prosthetics department, if it is responsible Automobile for the deficiency; otherwise Allowance or advise the serviceperson of the deficiency, and Adaptive

     ask him/her to obtain the necessary evidence. Equipment

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M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    3. Rating Claims for Automobile and Adaptive Equipment Allowance

    Introduction This topic contains information on rating claims for automobile or adaptive

    equipment allowance, including

     referring automobile or adaptive claims to the rating activity

     when to prepare a rating decision for automobile or adaptive equipment

    eligibility, and

     the rating conclusion for automobile or adaptive equipment eligibility.

Change Date April 19, 2005

a. Referring If prior rating decisions do not establish the existence of qualifying SC

    Automobile or disability, refer the claim to the rating activity after any necessary Adaptive development. Equipment Claims to the Result: If a claim for other VA benefits has not been filed, the rating activity Rating Activity prepares a memorandum rating.

    Reference: For more information on preparing a rating determination of

    eligibility, see M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart ii, 2.1.

b. When to Prepare a rating decision whenever

    Prepare a

    Rating Decision a claim for automobile or adaptive equipment is received from a Veteran or for Automobile a serviceperson and the issue has not been previously considered, or or Adaptive the issue of eligibility for automobile or adaptive equipment is inferred from Equipment a disability rating that fulfills the applicable disability criteria. Eligibility

    c. Rating RBA2000 will generate the codesheet with the decision(s) regarding Conclusion for entitlement to automobile and adaptive equipment or adaptive equipment Automobile or only, on all original or reopened claims where the requirements of 38 U.S.C. Adaptive 3901 (38 CFR 3.808(b)) or 38 U.S.C. 3902(b)(2) are initially met. Equipment

    Eligibility

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     M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    4. Notifying Claimants

    Introduction This topic contains information on notifying claimants of awards and denials,

    including

     potential automobile allowance eligibility, and

     the reason for the denial of the automobile allowance claim.

Change Date November 16, 2004

a. Notifying Use the table below to inform the claimant of potential eligibility after

    Claimants of receiving the rating decision.

    Potential

    Automobile

    Allowance

    Eligibility

    If the Veteran or serviceperson is Then …

    eligible for …

    the automobile allowance furnish VA Form 21-4502 in

    duplicate, if one is not of record,

    and

     instruct the claimant to complete

    and return both copies of the form.

    adaptive equipment only furnish VA Form 10-1394, if

    available, and

     instruct the claimant to

    ; complete all items in Section I,

    except items 5 and 6

    ; specify the disability upon which

    the claim is based in item 7E, and

    ; return the completed form to the

    nearest VA medical facility.

    Note: If VA Form 10-1394 is not

    available, refer the claimant to the

    nearest VA prosthetics department.

    Continued on next page

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M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, Chapter 2

    4. Notifying Claimants, Continued

b. Notifying If an application is not approved, fully inform the claimant of the

    Claimants of

    the Reason for evidence considered, and Denial of the reason for denial. Automobile Claim Reference: For more information on notice of disagreements (NODs), see

    M21-1MR, Part IX, Subpart i, 2.7.

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