Veterans with a service-connected disability and injured service members still serving on active duty with an injury that prevents them from driving an automobile may qualify for a VA program to purchase a specially modified motor vehicle.

VA assists in paying for adaptive equipment, repairs, replacements, and reinstallations for automobile gear.

Benefits are typically granted to individuals who have a service-connected disability, such as:

  • Loss of functional use of an arm, leg, ear or, eye
  • A severe burn injury
  • Permanent loss of use of a limb
  • Ankylosis in one or both knees and hips
  • Permanent vision impairment in one or both eyes

A complete list of service-connected disabilities can be found here. Please note that Veterans or active duty must have at least one disability to qualify for disability benefits from the VA.

Approved applicants may receive a one-time payment for up to $21,058.69 to help with specialized purchases for their automobile. In some cases, a person may receive one or more adaptive-equipment grants so that they can add additional features to their vehicle (power steering, brakes, lift equipment, etc.), allowing individuals easier access to their vehicle.

To obtain benefits, people must file a claim for disability compensation, which the VA must approve before buying a vehicle or adaptive equipment. Click here to find out how to file for disability compensation.

For those who already filed a claim for VA disability, use VA Form 21-4502 “Application for Automobile or Other Conveyance and Adaptive Equipment” when applying for assistance.

To apply, people must:

  • Complete all items on Section I and II of the form.
  • Submit and send the form to the nearest VA regional office. If approved, VA will complete Section III and return the form.
  • Purchase a vehicle. Once you receive the seller’s vehicle and adaptive equipment, complete Section IV and return the form.

In some instances, applicants may only qualify for adaptive equipment. If so, Veterans will need to fill out VA Form 10-1394 “Application for Adaptive Equipment—Motor Vehicle.

Questions?

Visit the VA Automobile Allowance and Adaptive Equipment website.

Visit the Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) website to search Frequently Asked Questions or ask a question online

Call 1-800-827-1000

Call 1-800-829-4833 for hearing impaired

Updated April 1, 2021, to clarify active duty eligibility.


Writers: Siarah Phillips, Joanna Hwang and Alex Boucher

Editor: Ryan Pan

Graphic Designer: Brandi Muñoz

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9 Comments

  1. Miguel P Alvarez April 5, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    My disabilities are R/L knees, lower back, right shoulder/forearm. I almost fell taking a bath and decided to install metal railings snd informed VA Regional office and was to file a claim and I did and was denied (Your limbs are still complete and intact). I only wished that VA personnel will be “insync” providing important guidelines in regards to our Vets. God Blesd and praying this pandemic will be a thing of the past.

  2. Clarence A West April 2, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    I thank you for this post ,I have been looking for this information. So many departments, Doctors, Social Works and staff of the VA have said to me they know nothing about this program. I was granted eligibility for financial assistance in August 2020, I returned the form 21-4502 no problem but VA form 10-1394 that’s a different story. Know one knows who is too fill out the form and who to send it to when finished. I still trying to send it too the right/proper location or department.

  3. Tim Johnson April 1, 2021 at 1:15 am

    Maybe you should visit some of our military rehab centers talk to them see if they ready to be discharged yet. Then visit a va hospital in Arizona or Detroit. Look up how long it takes to get a C&P exam right now. They are months behind. They weren’t even doing them for most of 2020. So those disabled veterans don’t get paid and are paying at a minimum copays or more at the Va until they are declared service connected. There are plenty of service men and women who are non-deployable at any given time. This could be for an ilness, pregnancy, in a service school, injuries, recovery from surgery. These are temporary but could last a year or more. It doesn’t mean they won’t be able to return to their jobs. So if you allow the military to remove all non-deployable people what do you think civilian companies will be able to people that have the same or similar issues.

  4. wesley johnson March 31, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    As a SDVOB owner I understand some of the difficulties disabled vet.’s need. I manufacturer the low end driving equipment you may need. Feel free to have your evaluator to see what I can offer to help you. http://www.johnsonhandcontrols.com

  5. Diana March 31, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Thank all involved in helping our disabled brothers.Am also a Vet and have my 100% Disabled Vet bro who cannot drive with his mental health disability. As his caregiver
    I just today looked at senior etricycles within the ebike boom, when here I find yr fine article. I hope to apply for such for him.
    Most Sincerely, Diana F Fecaritta

  6. SANDIE BOCK March 31, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    WHAT is someone on ACTIVE duty who needs adaptive equipment to drive a car. IF they cannot drive a car, can they be able to be activated at anytime. I am hoping we have a ready, armed force, not a nursing home. I am not being mean, we former veterans expect a READY Army, Navy Air Force and Mariines. IF they are disabled then discharge them and allow the VA to care for them etc but they, in my opinion, should not be on ACTIVE duty. Just my thoughts but good lord, if they cannot perform their duties why are they not discharged? THE VA system is a great system and they should be evaluated for disability and if they can work IN the service I am sure they will find a job in civilian land.

    • Alex Peters March 31, 2021 at 6:29 pm

      Sandie,

      As a veteran myself the answer to your obtuse question is obvious. Active duty personnel who have deployed and received significant injuries (up to loss of limbs) can remain on active duty if they chose to and are transferred to a non-deployable unit where they perform a new function. Often times they are offered the opportunity to learn a new skill or trade within the service and they still play a vital role in the operational readiness of our military as they have combat experience and can best serve their fellow service members because they know what they are going through. When you lose a limb, it can be very difficult to drive (imagine losing your right arm or leg, would it be easy for you to drive?). However, these service members are still passing their personnel fitness tests once they’ve learned to use their prosthetic limbs. There is even a Marine who has deployed with a prosthetic limb and saw combat again. He can run (probably a hell of a lot faster than you), he can shoot, he can save his fellow team members lives, but damn did he have a hard time learning how to drive with a prosthetic limb! https://www.1stmardiv.marines.mil/News/News-Article-Display/Article/541887/marine-amputee-returns-to-combat-after-near-death-experience/

      Your ignorance is really astonishing. =)

    • Anthony Manalo April 1, 2021 at 2:19 am

      Some servicemen who are amputees are still given their rights to continue their service as to continue to contribute to your freedom to speak ill intended and disgraceful remarks like you just did. You boastfully discriminated against their will to work because of a loss of limbs that they no longer have the right to continue their service? A true Marine will continue his service and salute to what he truly served for and you have no right to say or comment especially if you did not serve yourself and in this case, you are doing your service dishonor claiming yourself as a Veteran. We are Disabled Veterans who stand along our active disabled servicemen who continue to do what you couldn’t. Shame on you! Fobbit!!!

  7. Robert Ray Broussard March 31, 2021 at 11:27 am

    I am a cold war, 1991 Gulf war veteran with a service connected condition Crohn’s disease and asthma psoriasis and kidney function at 50% each plus other injuries tendonitis foot damage. With Crohn’s disease 20 years now many surgeries. Took many years to get help with PSTD and MST and CP Christian persecution in service. Some days I have to wear diapers because of daily diaherra and reflux. Hiatial hernia. I wish the VA would authorize an adaptive van vehicle for Veterans like me with mini bathroom. Especially now with the CCP virus and limited bathroom access. A couple times I have found a bathroom only to scrap on myself because of only one stall occupied. Stay awesome and blessed brothers and sisters.

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