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Factsheet DP78 - Vehicle Assistance Scheme

Purpose

This Factsheet provides a brief description of the Vehicle Assistance Scheme (VAS) administered under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA). It outlines what the VAS is, who is eligible to apply for VAS and how to apply.

What is the VAS?

The VAS provides financial assistance to eligible veterans with a war caused injury or disease that affects their mobility. Financial assistance can be in the form of a grant towards:

  • the purchase of a motor vehicle; and
  • after at least two years, a replacement motor vehicle.

Further assistance may be granted in respect of that motor vehicle:

  • for modifications and driving devices; and
  • a running and maintenance allowance that may be used towards the cost of registering and insuring the vehicle.

Who is eligible to apply for assistance under the VAS?

A veteran incapacitated by a war-caused injury or disease, who is able to derive a benefit from assistance under the VAS.  A relevant injury includes:

  • both legs amputated above the knee; or
  • one leg amputated above the knee and the other leg amputated at or above the ankle and one arm amputated at or above the wrist; or
  • one leg amputated above the knee and both arms amputated at or above the wrists; or
  • complete paraplegia, to the extent that the person has insufficient power to stand or walk (even with the assistance of surgical or other aids); or
  • a condition accepted by the Repatriation Commission as being of similar effect and severity to the first three conditions described above.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) is required to be satisfied that an eligible veteran will derive a benefit from assistance provided under the VAS and that the eligible veteran will be transported in safety and reasonable comfort.  Generally, a Driver Trained Occupational Therapist (OT) will undertake an assessment to ensure these requirements are met.  Driver Trained OTs are independent specialists, trained to assess the impact of a person's disability on their ability to drive and to make recommendations for appropriate vehicles and vehicle modifications if required.

*Note: If your need for vehicle assistance relates to service prior to 1 July 2004 that is covered by the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), you should refer to DVA Factsheet MCS13.

*Note: If your need for vehicle assistance relates to service after 1 July 2004 that is covered by the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA), you should refer to DVA Factsheet MRC10.

What if the veteran cannot drive?

It is not necessary for the eligible veteran to be able to drive the car in order to qualify for assistance under the VAS. If the veteran has a partner or carer who holds a valid driver’s licence and is willing and able to drive the car, assistance to purchase a vehicle may still be considered. However, the veteran must be capable of being easily transported in the car on a regular basis by the partner or carer.

What amount of grant can be provided?

There are different grant amounts depending on whether you are receiving an initial or replacement vehicle.  The grants are a contribution towards the cost of an appropriate vehicle.  For details of the maximum grant payable, contact your nearest DVA office.

How do I apply for assistance under the VAS?

To apply for assistance please fill out DVA Form D3001 and return this to DVA at Offsetting@dva.gov.au.

Documents that you may be required to provide are:

  • a copy of the driver's licence of the intended driver - which may not be the veteran;
  • a copy of the vehicle's comprehensive and compulsory third party insurance certificates; and
  • a copy of the registration certificate.

For veterans that do not meet the VAS eligibility criteria, car modifications may be available under the Rehabilitation Appliances Program. For further information about assistance through the Rehabilitation Appliances Program, you should refer to DVA Factsheet HSV107.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges

Related Factsheets

Related Forms

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

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24 August 2018