Some states provide funding for vehicle modifications. Medicaid and Medicare Part B cover these modifications, which must be medically necessary and must count as durable medical equipment. Prescriptions must attest to this. Medicaid is a state-run program, and each state has different categories and allowances for financing needs. A disabled customer must have sufficient income to make the monthly payments and cover the cost of gasoline, insurance premiums, and routine maintenance. For more information about eligibility, check with your state’s Medicaid office.
Effective communication between the customer and VR counselor is essential to the process. Communication must include updates on progress and expectations, as well as identifying questions or concerns. The ATS who is assigned to oversee the modification must engage the customer in regular communication and accountability. This is especially true if the modification is required by law or is required by the customer. In addition to communicating progress and expectations, communication should involve all stakeholders involved in the modification. For example, if the modification requires a permit from the DMV, the ATS must coordinate with the VR counselor to obtain the necessary authorizations.
If the modified vehicle requires significant maintenance, it is important to consult with a mechanic. Complex modifications can increase the risk of breakdowns and require more maintenance. The VM team should assess the need for modification, document its impact on the customer’s employment, and consider whether the modifications will affect the customer’s ability to earn. If the modification costs more than $2,500, a VR manager must approve the modifications. Once this approval is obtained, the customer must meet all criteria for vehicle modification assistance.
After the customer has completed the driver’s evaluation, the ATS will enter the VR3474 Vehicle Modification Acceptance in the customer’s case file and provide a copy of the inspection paperwork. The ATS will also assist the customer in completing the required documents. In some cases, an ATS will work with the VR counselor to amend the IPE and submit it to the PSART mailbox. Once the customer’s evaluation is complete, the ATS will then advise the customer on which phase they should proceed with.
Adapting an existing vehicle may be a better option than purchasing an adaptive vehicle. However, not every car is adapted for an adaptive system, so trade-in, donate, or recycle it. Additionally, purchasing used tires can save money that can be spent on the adaptive system. A modified car may cost more than $80,000, but vehicle modification assistance programs can help reduce this cost. It is important to consider all costs before making a vehicle modification decision.