HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.4 - Automotive Adaptive EquipmentAdaptive Equipment

4.7. Adaptive Equipment

a. Requests for automobile adaptive equipment for eligible Chiefs, Prosthetics Services, require the approval of the Chief Consultant, Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) Strategic Health Group (SHG), VHA Headquarters, prior to being submitted to the regional office. 

b. Automobile adaptive equipment, available to the general public, which is manufactured under standards of safety imposed by a Federal agency, shall be deemed to meet the required standards for use as adaptive equipment. Only approved equipment listed in current VHA directives pertaining to these types of items may be furnished to eligible persons. These items include automatic transmissions, power brakes, power steering, etc. This equipment list will be updated frequently as the results of testing become available.

(1) Certain items of adaptive equipment for which standards have not been developed may be furnished under the authority of Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 17. 155(c), provided the equipment meets industry standards and authorizing officials are assured of its safety and quality.

(2) Special equipment to assist a veteran who is eligible for automobile adaptive equipment in getting into and out of an automobile or other conveyance, or interior space modifications necessary because of the size or physical condition of an eligible veteran, may be approved locally subject to the special conditions set forth in this Handbook. This applies regardless of whether the vehicle is to be operated by the eligible veteran or if it is to be operated by another person for the veteran.

c. No operational equipment, e.g., automatic transmission, power brakes, power steering, hand controls, modifications of the driver's area, etc., may be furnished to a veteran who is eligible for adaptive equipment if the veteran does not desire to drive, or if the veteran cannot drive because of the severity of the disability, e.g., total blindness, advanced multiple sclerosis, high level quadriplegic, etc. Furthermore, no operational equipment may be furnished as part of medical services to veterans who are not eligible for automobile adaptive equipment but who otherwise are eligible for prosthetic services.

d. Vehicle modifications and modifications to motor homes require prior authorization.

e. Repairs to automobile adaptive equipment on leased vehicles will not be authorized unless the lease clearly states that the repairs are the responsibility of the person who has leased the vehicle, in this case, the eligible veteran.

f. The following items will not be authorized as automobile adaptive equipment: refrigerators, intermittent windshield wipers, power trunk locks, tires, remote controlled starting devices, garage door openers, or any item which may be construed as being furnished for comfort or convenience purposes.


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