There are a lot of great reasons to live in California. From the beautiful beaches and warm weather in Southern California to the mountains and wineries in Northern California, the Golden State has it all. Over 38 million people reside here and as the most populated state in the country, it is no surprise that there is also a high number of people living with disabilities. Over 10% of Californians live with a mental or physical disability and many have financial struggles due to their situation. A goal of the BLVD team is to help find what moves you and this week we have put together the top four ways to find funding for an accessible vehicle or wheelchair van in California. Everyone deserves to live a full life and if hitting the Pacific Coast Highway is a dream of yours, we want to help you get there.
There are many benefits and funding opportunities for Veterans who have served our country. One of the biggest grants for veterans is the one time automobile allowance of $20,114.34 towards the purchase of a vehicle. This is paid directly to the seller of the vehicle and is a once in a lifetime grant. Be sure to notify your local VA prior to purchasing a vehicle so you can find out if you are eligible for the grant as well as follow the VA protocol. Veterans may also be eligible for additional funding for adaptive equipment for a vehicle. This can include power steering, hand controls, wheelchair and scooter lifts and more. You will need to work with the VA doctors, therapists, etc. before you can qualify for this as well as complete testing on driving with the adaptive equipment. For veterans living in California, you can locate the nearest VA Hospital or Center near you by visiting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. Here you can learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
Every state has a vocational rehabilitation program which focuses on assisting those living with disabilities to enter into or regain employment. This program is funded by the state and in some cases includes financial assistance for vehicles and adaptations to vehicles. The first step is to contact the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and schedule an appointment with a DOR Counselor. These people are great resources to help you understand the process and appropriate steps to take. Here are the requirements to be eligible for DOR assistance:
To find your local California DOR office, visit their website or call (800) 952-5544 (VOICE).
The cost of purchasing a new car can be very expensive especially if you need to adapt the vehicle with driving aids or other mobility equipment. The bills can add up quickly. However, to help defray the costs almost all vehicle manufacturers offer rebates for modifications for individuals with disabilities. Some of these programs offer up to $1,000 off a modification to a new vehicle or adaptive equipment. Be sure to read the fine print or contact the dealer before purchasing as many offer a reimbursement after the purchase. You can visit the specific manufacturer’s website you are interested in or we have located a great list of rebate programs on R&J Mobility’s website. Click here to look at all the top brands from Ford, Chrysler, Toyota to Lexus and more.
There are numerous charities and non-profit organizations that can help with grants and financial assistance towards a wheelchair van or other accessible vehicle. A great place to start is by contacting your local Mobility Dealer who can connect you with representatives from various charities and non-profits. There are many dealers in California such as Lifestyle Mobility, Ability Center, Destinations Mobility, Better Life Mobility, and Accessible Mobility Center. Several of these dealers have multiple locations and you can view a full list of California dealers by clicking here. National organizations that are well known for financially supporting people with disabilities include the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Eligibility and the grant process varies within each so it is recommend that you find a local chapter to start the conversation.
We hope this is a helpful start to gaining financial support for your accessible vehicle. If you have had a positive experience with any of the ways above or have other suggestions to help secure funding, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.