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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 38Chapter IPart 17 → Subject Group


Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
PART 17—MEDICAL


Automotive Equipment and Driver Training

§17.155   Minimum standards of safety and quality for automotive adaptive equipment.

(a) The Under Secretary for Health or designee is authorized to develop and establish minimum standards of safety and quality for adaptive equipment provided under 38 U.S.C. chapter 39.

(b) In the performance of this function, the following considerations will apply:

(1) Minimum standards of safety and quality will be developed and promulgated for basic adaptive equipment specifically designed to facilitate operation and use of standard passenger motor vehicles by persons who have specified types of disablement and for the installation of such equipment.

(2) In those instances where custombuilt adaptive equipment is designed and installed to meet the peculiar needs of uniquely disabled persons and where the incidence of probable usage is not such as to justify development of formal standards, such equipment will be inspected and, if in order, approved for use by a qualified designee of the Under Secretary for Health.

(3) Adaptive equipment, available to the general public, which is manufactured under standards of safety imposed by a Federal agency having authority to establish the same, shall be deemed to meet required standards for use as adaptive equipment. These include such items as automatic transmissions, power brakes, power steering and other automotive options.

(c) For those items where specific Department of Veterans Affairs standards of safety and quality have not as yet been developed, or where such standards are otherwise provided as with custom-designed or factory option items, authorization of suitable adaptive equipment will not be delayed. Approval of such adaptive equipment, however, shall be subject to the judgment of designated certifying officials that it meets implicit standards of safety and quality adopted by the industry or as later developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

[40 FR 8819, Mar. 3, 1975. Redesignated at 61 FR 21966, May 13, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 17072, Apr. 9, 1997]

§17.156   Eligibility for automobile adaptive equipment.

Automobile adaptive equipment may be authorized if the Under Secretary for Health or designee determines that such equipment is deemed necessary to insure that the eligible person will be able to operate the automobile or other conveyance in a manner consistent with such person's safety and so as to satisfy the applicable standards of licensure established by the State of such person's residency or other proper licensing authority.

(a) Persons eligible for adaptive equipment are:

(1) Veterans who are entitled to receive compensation for the loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet; or the loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands; or ankylosis of one or both knees, or one of both hips if the disability is the result of injury incurred or disease contracted in or aggravated by active military, naval or air service.

(2) Members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty who are suffering from any disability described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section incurred or contracted during or aggravated by active military service are eligible to receive automobile adaptive equipment.

(b) Payment or reimbursement of reasonable costs for the repair, replacement, or reinstallation of adaptive equipment deemed necessary for the operation of the automobile may be authorized by the Under Secretary for Health or designee.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3902)

[53 FR 46607, Nov. 18, 1988. Redesignated at 61 FR 21966, May 13, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 17072, Apr. 9, 1997]

§17.157   Definition-adaptive equipment.

The term, adaptive equipment, means equipment which must be part of or added to a conveyance manufactured for sale to the general public to make it safe for use by the claimant, and enable that person to meet the applicable standards of licensure. Adaptive equipment includes any term specified by the Under Secretary for Health or designee as ordinarily necessary for any of the classes of losses or combination of such losses specified in §17.156 of this part, or as deemed necessary in an individual case. Adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to, a basic automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, power window lifts, power seats, air-conditioning equipment when necessary for the health and safety of the veteran, and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into or out of the automobile or other conveyance, regardless of whether the automobile or other conveyance is to be operated by the eligible person or is to be operated for such person by another person; and any modification of the interior space of the automobile or other conveyance if needed because of the physical condition of such person in order for such person to enter or operate the vehicle.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3901, 3902)

[53 FR 46608, Nov. 18, 1988. Redesignated and amended at 61 FR 21966, 21968, May 13, 1996]

§17.158   Limitations on assistance.

(a) An eligible person shall not be entitled to adaptive equipment for more than two automobiles or other conveyances at any one time or during any four-year period except when due to circumstances beyond control of such person, one of the automobiles or conveyances for which adaptive equipment was provided during the applicable four-year period is no longer available for the use of such person.

(1) Circumstances beyond the control of the eligible person are those where the vehicle was lost due to fire, theft, accident, court action, or when repairs are so costly as to be prohibitive or a different vehicle is required due to a change in the eligible person's physical condition.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, an eligible person shall be deemed to have access to and use of an automobile or other conveyance for which the Department of Veterans Affairs has provided adaptive equipment if that person has sold, given or transferred the vehicle to a spouse, family member or other person residing in the same household as the eligible person, or to a business owned by such person.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3903)

(b) Eligible persons may be reimbursed for the actual cost of adaptive equipment subject to a dollar amount for specific items established from time to time by the Under Secretary for Health.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3902)

(c) Reimbursement for a repair to an item of adaptive equipment is limited to the current vehicles of record and only to the basic components authorized as automobile adaptive equipment. Reimbursable amounts for repairs are limited to the cost of parts and labor based on the amounts published in generally acceptable commercial estimating guides for domestic automobiles.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3902)

[53 FR 46608, Nov. 18, 1988. Redesignated and amended at 61 FR 21966, 21968, May 13, 1996]

§17.159   Obtaining vehicles for special driver training courses.

The Secretary may obtain by purchase, lease, gift or otherwise, any automobile, motor vehicle, or other conveyance deemed necessary to conduct special driver training courses at Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities. The Secretary may sell, assign, transfer or convey any such automobile, vehicle or conveyance to which the Department of Veterans Affairs holds title for such price or under such terms deemed appropriate by the Secretary. Any proceeds received from such disposition shall be credited to the applicable Department of Veterans Affairs appropriation.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3903(e)(3))

[45 FR 6939, Jan. 31, 1980. Redesignated at 54 FR 46607, Nov. 18, 1988, and further redesignated at 61 FR 21966, May 13, 1996]

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