Automobile Allowance

Service members and Veterans may be eligible for a one-time payment toward the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance if you have certain service-connected disabilities. The grant is paid directly to the seller of the automobile and the Service member or Veteran may only receive the automobile grant once in his/her lifetime.

Certain Service members and Veterans may also be eligible for adaptive equipment. Adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle.

VA may provide financial assistance in purchasing adaptive equipment more than once. This benefit is payable to either the seller or the veteran or service member.

Important: You must have prior VA approval before purchasing automobile or adaptive equipment.

Eligibility Requirements:

The following service-connected disabilities may qualify a veteran or service member for an automobile allowance:
  • Loss or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet
  • Loss or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands
  • Permanent impairment of vision in both eyes with defects specified in 38 CFR 3.808 (central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field has an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye) or
  • A severe burn injury or
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Automobile Adaptive Equipment Allowance:

To be eligible to receive only adaptive equipment, the veteran or service member must be entitled to disability compensation for ankyloses of one or both knees or hips based on:

  • The establishment of service connection (SC), or
  • Entitlement under 38 U.S.C. 1151 as the result of:
    • VA treatment or examination, or
    • Compensated work therapy, or
    • Vocational training under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31.

NOTE: even though compensation for disability of paired service connected (SC) and non-service connected (NSC) organs is payable under 38 CFR 3.383, Veterans do not qualify for the automobile and adaptive equipment allowance based on bilateral visual impairment if the impairment of vision in one eye is due to a non-service connected (NSC) disease or injury.

Form Required: VA form 21-4502, Application for Automobile or Other Conveyance and Adaptive Equipment. The veteran fills out section I of VA form 21-4502 and submits it to the VA. The VA will then complete section II of the VA form 21-4502 and return it to the veteran with a letter explaining the decision. The veteran should then present the approved VA form 21-4502 and decision letter to the seller of the automobile they plan to purchase. The seller must complete section III of the VA form 21-4502 and attach an itemized invoice or purchase contract from the seller and then submit it to the Regional Office. It will then be forwarded to the finance activity for final action to make a payment directly to the seller.

Return To Field Services Resource Center