2 lessor known VA benefits: car grants and money for dependent parents

Jonathan Kaupanger
January 22, 2018 - 2:41 pm

(Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA)

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Anyone interested in Veterans Affairs paying for your next car? How about getting paid to take care of your parents?  Here’s all the info you need on two of VA’s lesser known compensation benefits.

For a car, of course there are some eligibility requirements, VA isn’t just going to toss up to $20,235.20 to every vet out there. This benefit is only for veterans with loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet or hands, permanent impairment of vision in both eyes (to a certain degree). Once you get your new VA paid for car, you can even get paid to go to your VA medical appointments. Vets with a severe burn injury or ALS can apply for this grant as well.

The injuries or disabilities do need to be service-connected or are a result of medical treatment, examinations, rehabilitation or compensated work therapy provided by the VA. This is a onetime deal though!  Vets or service members can use this benefit only once.  And the VA pays the grant directly to the seller, not to you.

If you’re thinking about applying for this grant, you may want to apply for an adaptive-equipment grant as well.  The VA will pay to trick out your car with things like drop floors, hand controls or even mini-van conversions.  For this grant, make sure you check with the Prosthetics department before buying any equipment.  You can go here for more information.

Veterans with parents who are dependent on them for financial support can get additional benefits too. To get this benefit, vets need a combined evaluation of at least 30 percent. Or, if they are using VA’s educational benefits and are enrolled in classes at half time or more, then they are eligible too.

Eligibility requirements for the parents are simple, they need to be a parent to the vet – which of course includes adopted, foster and step parents. The sticking point to this is they need to be your parent for at least one year at any time before the veteran entered the military.

Because this benefit is based on need, VA doesn’t pay benefits for a dependent parent whose income is greater than the limit set by law. Parents will need to report their income from all sources, including Social Security, retirement, pensions, insurance, interest and any stock dividends for the last 12 months.  Annuities, stocks, bonds, businesses and bank accounts should also be reported.  Personal property, like a home, car or furniture isn’t counted.

Instructions and the form to fill out to start the process for this VA benefit can be found here.