From the Veterans Benefits Administration Newsletter Vol 1, Issue 9
Disability compensation is by far the most well known monetary compensation provided by VA, but less well known grants can provide much needed assistance to eligible Veterans. The Automobile Allowance, Auto Adaptive Equipment, Clothing Allowance and Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grants provide important benefits to a select group of Veterans.
The Automobile Allowance is a one-time grant provided to eligible Veterans to purchase a new or used vehicle.
To be eligible for this grant a Veteran must be service-connected for the loss or permanent loss of use of one or
both hands or feet, permanent impairment of vision in both eyes to a certain degree,
or immobility of one or both knees, or one or both hips. Currently, the maximum
grant available is $11,000. On October 1, 2011, Veterans with severe burn injuries
will also be eligible for the benefit, and the maximum grant amount increases to
$18,900. To apply for the Automobile Allowance complete VA Form 21-4052, Application
for Automobile or Other Conveyance and Adaptive Equipment, and submit
the completed form to your local regional office.
The Auto Adaptive Equipment program provides the means to adapt vehicles
to accommodate a Veteran’s disability. To be eligible for the benefit a Veteran must be:
1. Service-connected for the loss, or loss of use of one or both feet or hands, or service-connected for immobility
of one or both knees or hips
2. Service-connected for permanent impairment of vision of both eyes that have a central acuity of 20/200.
3. Non-Service connected Veterans are eligible for equipment/modification that will allow ingress and egressfrom a vehicle only.
To apply for this benefit contact the Prosthetics Service at your local VA Medical Center prior to purchasing any equipment. A VA Form 10-1394, Application for Adaptive Equipment, will then be completed and submitted for approval.
For further information on this program visit http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/AAE.asp.
The Clothing Allowance benefit is paid annually to Veterans who are rated for a service-connected disability that requires the use of a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance. Veterans who are service-connected for skin conditions that require the use prescribed medication that permanently damages clothing may also be eligible for this benefit. The current annual allowance is $716.
To apply for the clothing allowance, complete VA Form 10-8678, Application for Annual Clothing Allowance.
Information on where to submit the claim is found on the form. Further
information is available at http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/Clothing_Allowance.asp.
Finally, the Home Improvement and Structural Alterations (HISA)provides financial assistance for home improvements necessary for the continuation
of treatment, or for disability access to the home and essential lavatory and sanitary
facilities. HISA grants are available for both service-connected and non serviceconnected
disabilities; however, the amount of the grant will vary depending on
To receive a HISA grant, the Veteran must have a prescription from a VA
or fee-basis physician stating the specific items required, the diagnosis with medical
justification and the Veteran’s name, address, SSN and phone number. The
Veteran must then complete VA Form 10-0103, Veterans Application for Assistance
in Acquiring Home Improvement and Structural Alterations. Further information
on this program is available at http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/HISA2.asp.
In addition, short information videos are available for both the Auto Adaptive Equipment (AAE) and Home Improvement Structural Alterations (HISA) programs at http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/PSAS_Videos.asp.
For additional information about all these programs, please visit the VA Benefits website at http://www.vba.va.gov/VBA/