How Do Insurance and Disability Grants for Vehicles Work?

Confident disabled businesswoman using laptop in office

People with disabilities often have to take extra precautions and advance plan for even short trips in their local community. Longer trips may be deemed impossible if you or your family doesn't have access to a wheelchair accessible van. 

Wheelchair vans can take you where you need to go safely and much more efficiently, making the planning and execution of traveling considerably easier, but how do you get one? Should you rent a wheelchair van or does it make sense to purchase one for your daily use? And more importantly, who pays for it? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at disability grants for vehicles and how they work.

Consider Your Automotive Insurance Coverage

If you have a physical disability, you may already be familiar with wheelchair vans. At BraunAbility, we take great pride in the design of our vehicles, inside and out. Our attention to detail makes the accessible conversion parts of the vehicle blend in to the original components. The end product is a fully-integrated accessible vehicle that blends into the automotive landscape. 

Traditional insurance companies may not understand the extent of a wheelchair vehicle conversion. You should always check with your insurance provider if the vehicle you’re using falls under their protection. If so, you can be assured they'll accommodate and compensate for it should anything happen. BraunAbility Finance works with top-tier lenders to ensure full coverage of both the original chassis and the conversion components. Learn more about BraunAbility Finance.

However, your auto insurance coverage won’t cover the cost of acquiring or modifying the vehicle to accomodate the wheelchair or another accessibility tool. You should explain your situation to a consultant so they can give you the best plan for your car. That way, you’ll avoid the hassle of untangling the paperwork in case of an emergency.

Auto insurance only covers driving-related incidents. Luckily, there are options to pick from - from financing to disability grants for vehicles.

Will Medical Insurance Help Cover the Cost of a Wheelchair Van?

You might think that since a handicap vehicle is necessary dependent on your medical condition, and auto insurance won’t cover your payments, perhaps your medical insurance will help out. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in many situations.

Of course, there are some exceptions, mostly depending on what state you live in and your exact medical insurance. Often regular private medical insurance might be disappointing, and people need to rely on disability grants for vehicles to get assistance, but that’s not always the case. A good example would be Medicaid and Medicare.

The two programs are (mostly) aimed at the person’s direct health. This means they can cover (at least partially) the cost of a wheelchair since people with disabilities need it for mobility.

But if you fall under Medicare Part B, there’s a section that’s aimed at durable medical equipment (or DME for short). This means that Medicare can help you acquire a modified vehicle for your wheelchair. However, there’s always a catch.

There are stringent regulations on what counts as DME. You can’t decide that you need a vehicle, and that’s it – your doctor has to approve of it and write a "prescription" for an accessible vehicle. That’s the first step to getting Medicare involved.

Keep in mind that these regulations all depend on your resident state as well. A call to your local government could help you find additional resources or provisions.

Financing Options and Disability Grants for Vehicles 

If you feel like you won’t be getting help from Medicare Part B, there’s no need to get upset. There are other financing options available.

Let’s begin with the obvious – if you are a veteran, there are some concessions you’re eligible to. Contact your Veteran’s Affairs office, explain the situation, and see what they can do. Keep in mind that this is a strict process, where the specialists will examine your case and decide if they will cover your vehicle’s conversion or help you buy a new van and determine how often you may be eligible for a new accessible van.

If you’re not a veteran, why not check out disability grants for vehicles you might get through the state? Stipulations change depending on where you live. This can include the amount of coverage, the method of transportation, and so on. We've compiled a list to help you get started. 

Ready to Get Going?

Basically, no one size fits all. Some people might need a vehicle conversion; others require an entirely new wheelchair van - and while it might seem like a significant expense, there are ways to conquer this hurdle.

While auto insurance sometimes only covers incidents on the road, medical insurance might be more lenient. Depending on the case, you might also get assistance from the state.

Should you run into dead ends, there are additional disability grants for vehicles you might be able to access. These vary depending on your career history, employment, and basic needs.

If you found this article useful and would like to know more, contact us today. We’re here to provide you the information you need!

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