A Veterans Guide to Obtaining A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Posted On: 05/17/2019

A Veterans Guide to Obtaining A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

In preparation for the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday, we would like to show our appreciation to our Veterans with a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for service and for your commitment to our Country! This is one of the many reasons why we would not only like to assist you in finding a mobility solution that is right for you, but to offer resources to hopefully mitigate the costs of your new wheelchair accessible vehicle. The Department for Veterans Affairs (VA) provides funding to qualified veterans for wheelchair vans and adaptive equipment for vehicles. While this can be an overwhelming undertaking and a lengthy process, we hope to shed some useful light on the approach to make it highly attainable for you.

Benefits are granted as indicated by the nature of your disability or illness. Depending on your circumstances, you will most likely fall into one of the following two classifications:

  1. Service-Connected Disability - A disability that resulted from, or was aggravated by an illness or injury while you were on active duty.
    For service-connected veterans, your initial step is to apply for your Auto-Adaptive Grant by completing the 21-4502 form. This form can likewise be obtained at your local prosthetics department or through a National Service Officer of a veteran’s organization (for example, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, PVA).
     
  2. Non-Service Connected Disability - A disability that did not result from, nor was aggravated by an illness or injury while you were on active duty.

VA nurse attends to Veteran

In either of the above cases, your doctor will need to write a prescription for you to get the ball rolling. The most time consuming part of the process is waiting for the grant to be approved. You certainly do not need to wait for approval, however, before you can proactively start working with the mobility dealer that you have carefully selected to get you in the wheelchair van that is right for you.

A knowledgeable mobility dealer can make all the difference in making sure that things run smoothly over the course of the process. You will want to choose a mobility dealer that has an existing and excellent relationship with the VA, and that they will be able to do the same for you, by competently submitting all of the necessary paperwork that has to be exchanged between the VA Prosthetics Department and the mobility dealer.

A little advice when working with your Prosthetics Department - become a familiar face to go along with the name on all the forms. Pay an occasional visit to say thank you for all they do goes a long way, and (honestly) is rightly deserved. Another sound approach for veterans (which is often overlooked), is appointing a Power of Attorney (POA). Contrary to where POA is commonly used as a legal tool in cases where a person requires the legal guidance of a representative due to the fact that they are incompetent to make responsible decisions for themselves, veterans opting for POA are confident in their choice to seek assistance in filing a VA claim. By permitting a trusted representative or attorney to advocate on their behalf, veterans secure the possibility to submit the best possible claim to the VA, making the entire claims process easier and more comfortable for the veteran see through. Veterans looking to pursue this route will want to fill out VA Form 21-22.

Below you can find additional resources of third parties that can be of further help:

Disability Benefits Help

Veterans Health Administration Locations

Gateway to VA/DoD Benefit Information

More Information and Resources

Author Information

Katie Cummings
Mobility Blogger

My professional background stems from non-profit marketing and fundraising for a large children’s cancer hospital. Every day I was able to make connections and relationships for kids and their families going through devastating times. From securing small donations to large corporate support, it was all about providing hope that one day doctors and researchers would find a cure. It was truly an honor to be a part of something so important.

Just this past year, I came to work alongside my family for BLVD.com, a website dedicated to offering the latest information and resources for people needing mobility products. This was a dream come true for me as I have always wanted to combine more time with my family while still helping others. Our family has been in the mobility industry for over 35 years with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for people with mobility issues. This is the spirit behind BLVD and what I am most excited about sharing in my blog.

I love meeting new people and have found that volunteering is the best way to learn more about others and myself. Coffee keeps me going as do walks my pup "Kirby" and most of all being with family and friends. I invite you to check out my blog to learn more about how "together we can move through life better!"

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