Home → VA Prosthetics → VA Handbook 1173.4 - Automotive Adaptive Equipment → Guidelines that Apply When Furnishing Automotive Adaptive Equipment for Purchased or Leased Vehicles
The following are the guidelines that apply when furnishing automobile adaptive equipment for purchased or leased vehicles:
a. An automatic transmission may be furnished to eligible licensed veterans who have a loss, or loss of use of, one or both hands or feet, or who have ankylosis of one or both knees or one or both hips.
b. Power steering may be furnished to eligible licensed veterans who have loss, or loss of use of, one or both hands or both feet.
c. Power brakes may be furnished to eligible licensed veterans who have a loss, or loss of use of one or both feet, or who have ankylosis of one or both knees or one or both hips.
d. Additional equipment or modification of dimmer switches, parking brakes, gas or brake pedals, steering wheel knob or ring, etc., may be furnished for single or multiple disabilities listed in paragraph 19.
e. Power windows may be furnished to eligible licensed veterans who require the use of hand controls; for veterans who have the loss or loss of use of an arm; or severe impairment of one upper extremity rated at 30 percent service connected.
f. A CB radio or a car phone may be furnished when prescribed by a physician knowledgeable in the area of Physical Rehabilitation or when recommended by a state licensing authority with the concurrence of the Chief, PM&RS, Chief, Spinal Cord Injury Service, or other designated physicians.
g. CB radios and/or car phones will normally be provided to veterans who have a loss or loss of use of both lower or upper extremities, or a loss or loss of use of one upper and one lower extremity. CB radios and/or car phones may also be considered for veterans who have a loss or loss of use of one lower extremity if the prescribing physician believes that abandoning the vehicle would be impossible, especially during adverse weather conditions. Other medical conditions that should be considered as possibly creating a special need associated with safe vehicular operation would include, but not be limited to, cardiovascular, neurological or pulmonary diseases.
h. CB radios and/or car phones will be furnished with antenna and permanent installation in accordance with existing purchase reimbursement procedures for automobile adaptive equipment. The amount payable will be the invoice amount for the CB radio and/or car phone antenna and installation, but will not exceed the maximum reimbursable amount listed in the current copy of the VHA Directive.
i. Cruise control may be furnished to eligible licensed veterans who have a loss, or loss of use of, one or both feet; or who have ankylosis of one or both knees or one or both hips. j. Rear window defrosters may be furnished to eligible licensed veterans who, because of physical limitations, would be unable to remove ice or fog from the rear window. This would include veterans who have a loss, or loss of use of, at least one lower extremity or both upper extremities, e.g., quadriplegia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), etc.
k. Power door locks may be furnished to eligible licensed veterans who have such severe impairment that they are prohibited from using conventional door locks, e.g., quadriplegia, paraplegia, ALS, MS, etc.
l. Power seats may be furnished to an eligible licensed veteran who has the loss of, or loss of use of, both lower extremities, or ankylosis of both knees or both hips, to assist the veteran in entry into or out of the vehicle, or in the case of wheelchair use, to permit storage behind the driver's seat. Power seats may also be furnished in the absence of the above conditions when recommended by a driver trainer for safe operation of the vehicle.
m. A tilt steering wheel may be furnished to permit access to a vehicle or when it is necessary to achieve an optimal steering wheel position for veterans who have loss of use of one or both lower extremities.
n. Air conditioning may be furnished to eligible beneficiaries, whether or not they are capable of operating the vehicle, when prescribed by a physician. Air conditioning may be considered for veterans, when prescribed by a physician, who suffer from the following conditions:
(1) Spinal cord injuries.
(2) Neurological diseases when the condition of the individual is substantially worsened by exposure to heat and humidity.
(3) Amputees who suffer from thermal regulatory dysfunction secondary to a loss of body surface area when this equipment is necessary to maintain the body core temperature within the normal range. It may also be provided to permit the effective use of artificial limbs; e.g., to maintain suction in above knee limbs or to amputees who suffer a skin breakdown secondary to increased sweating and irritation brought about by repeated contact with the socket wall or suspension components.
(o) Low-effort or sensitized steering and braking systems, such as Digi-Drive, Drive Master, and Touch Pad System, may be furnished to veterans whose upper extremities are involved to such a degree that they cannot operate conventional steering, braking systems, and secondary controls.