Grants for Vans for Disabled Persons in Wheelchairsby James Rada, Jr.
Having a wheelchair-accessible van is key to remaining mobile. However, these vans are expensive, and affording one can be a struggle on a fixed income. Grants lower the cost of the van by giving the recipient money toward the cost of the vehicle that does not have to be repaid. Recipients need to meet criteria such as disability, military service or age depending on the grant source.
Medicare offers grants not only for senior citizens who need medical help but also for disabled persons who need help. Though Medicare is a federal program, the funding for the grants is provided through each individual state’s Medicare program. According to AMS Vans, Medicare grants can help fund the cost of a van’s wheelchair ramp.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers grants for adaptive equipment for vehicles. The cause of the disability must be a service-connected loss of the hands, feet or vision. Also, an immobility of the knees or hips may qualify a veteran for these grants. The VA will pay up to $8,000 toward the “purchase of an automobile or other conveyance." VA also will pay for adaptive equipment, and for "repair, replacement, or reinstallation required because of disability, and for the safe operation of a vehicle purchased with VA assistance.”
Grants are available to fund vehicles for disabled children who need to be transported. You can find assistance from places like the Kaitin Marie Bell Foundation, the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundations and the Disabled Children’s Fund. Besides grants, these organizations can also help with special financing and loans to help fund any part of the purchase not covered by the grant.
Each state will generally have programs funded through the state government for its residents. For instance, Mississippi has Project Start to help pay for vehicles for disabled persons in wheelchairs, Pennsylvania offers grants through the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation and the Institute on Disabilities Funding for Assistive Technology, and Alaska offers help through the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Assistive Technology Program, The Homer Foundation, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Each option should be investigated to see if there are additional requirements beyond needing a wheelchair-accessible van.
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