We are living in an exciting time. There are more options today than ever before to help you regain your independence. Where you want to go and what you want to accomplish in life is limited only by your imagination. While a personal mobility vehicle can seem like an insurmountable financial goal, many have made their dream a reality with a little research and hard work.
When it comes to finding sources of funding and financial assistance for accessible vehicles, one challenge is sorting through all the available options. Funding criteria can vary according to disability, income level, location, military status and more. Availability of funds can also depend on your local economy and the level of need in your area. The good news is there are many resources and grants out there that can help. We put the following list together to serve as a good starting point.
Your local “Voc Rehab” office may be able to provide financial assistance toward the purchase of an accessible vehicle, depending on your situation and vocational goals. In addition to potentially being a helpful resource in attaining a vehicle, they can also provide support in other areas of employment.
Assistive Technology Loan Programs
Contact your state’s assistive technology assistance program for another potential funding option. The RESNA Catalyst Project offers an online list of financial loan programs, by state.
Service members and veterans may be eligible for a one-time Automobile Allowance from the Veterans Administration. Other financial support may also be available
Also, the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes’ mission is to provide financial assistance to help veterans.
Many medical conditions have a national organization or association with local chapters that can provide very helpful resources, such as the United Spinal Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and United Cerebral Palsy. Some of these organizations also have a foundation in which individuals can apply for grant funding.
In addition to associations, there are also foundations related to paralysis and specific medical conditions that offer grants including the Travis Roy Foundation and the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation.
Funding for Children
There are sources of financial assistance that are specifically for children with special needs, such as the Special Kids Fund. You may also want to try getting in touch with the Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center that serves your area. Many States also have a Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC) that serves families of children with disabilities. Be sure to ask if your state has a fund dedicated to providing financial assistance to children with disabilities.
Independant Living Centers
A part of a national network, Independent Living Centers exist to create opportunities for independence for people with disabilities through research, education, and consultation. While they may not provide direct financial assistance, they may be aware of local grants and resources that could help.;
Another resource worth looking into is your medical insurance. For example, Medicaid may be able to provide financial assistance through a waiver program. In some instances, Medicare will pay for adaptive equipment following a special evaluation performed by a qualified practitioner.
While many organizations and grants are there to help, sometimes you are your own best advocate. Do your research online, as well as in your local community. You may be surprised to find that many are willing to help out a fellow citizen if they know the need exists. Communicating your need of an accessible vehicle to personal networks, like your church, school or other community organizations is a great way to get the ball rolling. Furthermore, utilizing crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe, coupled with social media efforts, can be very effective in raising the funding needed.
In this day and age, the power of the Internet can’t be underestimated, especially when it comes to research. Finding relevant content is all about using the correct keywords. Use a combination of keywords related to your disability, state or county, coupled with terms such as “accessible vehicle funding.” Terms may need to be modified, added or removed to help refine the results.
Your Local MV-1 Product Specialist
Lastly, your local MV-1 dealer may be aware of additional resources that assist with the purchase of a wheelchair accessible vehicle. It’s a good relationship to make, even if you’re not quite ready to make a purchase. The dealership may be in the perfect position to help raise awareness in the community, and at the very least can help become an advocate for your cause.
With so many resources and opportunities available, it’s impossible for us to provide a comprehensive list. We hope this information gets you thinking about the possibilities and helps get you started toward your goal of purchasing a new personal mobility vehicle. While it may seem daunting at the start, remember it’s all about your mindset. You don’t let your disability define or limit you, so don’t let funding obstacles hold you back either!
Please Note: Some of the funding options listed on this page will only cover the conversion or modification cost for the accessible portion of the vehicle. As the MV-1 is factory-built and not converted, this could seem to pose an issue initially. However, your local MV-1 dealer can provide a letter that breaks down the accessible portion of the MV-1 which satisfies the criteria for many grants and funding sources.