Eligibility for Automobiles and Adaptive Equipment for Disabled Veterans

Veterans and service members are often exposed to occupational hazards while defending the country.
From minor injuries to fatal ones or those that leave them disabled; Veterans have a lot of unpalatable experiences to remember for the rest of their lives.
It is our collective duties to make living after active service bearable for them as much as possible.
The department of Veteran Affairs covers some of the cost of purchase or repairs of automobiles and adaptive equipment for disabled veterans.

What the Program is about
This VA program allows for a one-time payment of nothing exceeding $19,817 towards acquiring an automobile to make transportation or movement easier for disabled veterans.

Who is eligible for Automobiles and Adaptive Equipment?
Primarily, only veterans who suffered disability from active service qualify for this program. However the disabilities that will be considered include:

  • Loss or inability to use at least one foot
  • Loss or inability to use at least one hand
  • Permanent visual impairment of both eyes
  • Injuries from severe burns that impede movement
  • Ankylosis (also known as immobile joint) of at least a hip or joint as a result of service-related injuries

One of the perks of this program is that once your eligibility status is confirmed, the length of your service year is inconsequential. It is also available to actively serving members of the military.

This initiative is beneficial to veterans who have sacrificed a lot for the nation. A means of moving about gives disabled veterans one less thing to worry about.


Everything you need to know about filing a claim for mental illnesses. 

Hi this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog that will hopefully educate, as well as enlighten you on VA Disability. People usually think that the only negative effects that the military might leave on you are physical, and that is not true. Serving in the military isn’t an easy thing at all and it makes a huge impact on your mind as well as on your body. Watching fellow service members get injured, watching innocent people die, and just witnessing the cruelty of our world could and will leave a mark on your mental faculties or physically.
A significant amount of veterans that we come across tend to ignore their mental health and don’t even know that you can file a disability claim for the mental illnesses that were caused or worsened by your time in the military. This can sometimes get you as many benefits from such a claim as the benefits that you get for physical disabilities.

What are the mental illnesses & disorders that qualify you for a benefit? 

  • psychotic disorders 
  • anxiety disorders 
  • cognitive disorders 
  • adjustment disorders 
  • Amnesia 
  • mood disorders
  • eating disorders

Establishing service connection 

Establishing a services connection is the most important step in your claim process. It gives a why and how to your disability. Just like physical injuries, establishing a connection between your mental condition and your time in the military is crucial for a successful claim. To do so you need to get a professional diagnosis from a qualified medical professional for the conditions you’re applying for, then you need to identify an event or an incident that took place while in service that caused your condition or contributed to it, and then explain the impact that this incident or event made on you and your condition. You can do so by providing medical evidence like a nexus letter that fills any gaps that might be there as to why this incident affected you.

How does the VA rate disabilities related to mental disorders?

It is known that VA usually rates disabilities with percentages that have 10% increments based on the severity of the symptoms that you’re experiencing. However, with disabilities caused by mental disorders, it is a bit different as the VA gives ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 70%, or 100% for psychiatric conditions. You get a 0% rating when you have a diagnosed mental disorder but the symptoms can be successfully controlled with medication, and you get a 100% rating when your mental condition significantly affects your ability to function without supervision or support and work is not possible.
Sometimes veterans get confused and assume that having more than one mental disorder is going to increase their ratings and the benefits that they get, This could work but not because of the reasons that you have in mind. When giving a disability rating the VA considers the symptoms of your mental disorders, not the mental disorders themselves as a factor, The VA evaluates the severity of the symptoms that you have and the impact that these symptoms have on your day-to-day life. So what I mean is that if you have two mental disorders with symptoms that are severe and significantly hinder your ability to function as an individual then you’ll end up getting disability ratings that are higher than someone with four mental disorders that are experiencing mild symptoms.

What is a buddy letter and why is it important?

The majority of veterans aren’t aware of how much of a difference a buddy letter could make in relation to your VA decision.
A buddy letter is a statement that is written in support of your claim by a competent adult who has the knowledge and likely witnessed an event or injury that is directed to your disability and supports your disability claim.

Who can write a Buddy letter?
The most important condition that determines who can write the buddy letter for you is that they must be individuals who witnessed an event or injury that could potentially support your claim, so the person who can write a buddy letter to you can be your fellow service member, friend, coworker, significant other and adult child, so basically anyone who has sufficient knowledge of what they are going to testify for.

What are the two types of buddy letters?
There are two types of buddy letters and the purpose that they serve depends on the individual writing them.
1- The first type of buddy letter is written by a coworker that was with you during your time in service and is an eyewitness of the event that caused your disability or aggravated your pre-existing disability, this person can fill the gaps that might be there due to lack of details in your medical records or lack of medical records altogether.
2- The second type of buddy letter is written by someone who knows you outside of the military who is usually a family member, this person can help by providing information on how your time in the military affect you and describing the impact that it made on you and also describe how your disability is affecting your life on a day-to-day basis.

Why submitting a buddy letter is important?
Sometimes veterans find out that some of their medical records are missing and find out that they were eliminated and sometimes the medical records don’t include all the relevant information that you need when filing your claim which can be a roadblock.
This is where the buddy letter comes into play, the VA is required to consider all the relevant information that supports your claim including a buddy letter which is considered as a “Statement in Support of Claim.” so the buddy letter can support your claim when your claim is lacking some evidence, so having a fellow service member write an eyewitness account on the event that caused your disability can serve as a powerful tool in your claim process because the VA is required to apply “the benefit of the doubt” when your claim is lacking when it comes to medical support.