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6.4.4 Specific Conditions: Driving Devices and Modifications Grant
Driving devices and modifications grants are issued for the modification of VAS vehicles. In specific circumstances, driving lessons may be approved (refer to the end of this section for further information).
When determining whether to approve a driving devices and modifications grant, a number of issues must be considered as outlined in Part 6 of the VAS instrument. These issues include:
1. Are the proposed driving devices and modifications necessary to enable the veteran to drive safely, or be transported safely, in reasonable comfort?
In order to receive a driving devices and modifications grant, the proposed driving devices and modifications must be necessary to enable the veteran to drive safely or be transported safely in the vehicle, in reasonable comfort.
This requirement can only be satisfied if the vehicle has been assessed, and the modifications have been recommended, by a Driver Trained Occupational Therapist (OT).
2. What amount of grant can be provided?
The amount of a driving devices and modifications grant is an amount the Commission considers reasonable, in all the circumstances, having regard to all relevant matters. Matters which may be considered relevant are listed under s6.1.2 of the VAS instrument and are summarised below:
- the nature of the incapacity of the veteran from war-caused injury, or war-caused disease, or both; and
- the nature of the proposed driving devices or modifications; and
- whether there are alternative suitable driving devices or modifications that are reasonably available and cost effective; and
- whether there are alternative providers of suitable driving devices or modifications that are reasonably accessible and cost effective.
3. Requirement for three quotes
The VAS delegate can only give due consideration to the matters under s6.1.2 of the VAS instrument after three quotes for the recommended modifications have been obtained from three independent and authorised vehicle modifiers.
4. Choice of dealer
The choice of dealer will ultimately be determined by the delegate, after consideration of the factors under s6.1.2 of the VAS instrument and three independent quotes have been obtained from independent and authorised vehicle modifiers.
5. Direct payment to the supplying dealer
The amount of the grant is to be paid directly to the supplying dealer who will be fitting the driving devices and modifications.
6. What are the client’s responsibilities?
The veteran must provide to the VAS contact person or the VAS delegate:
- a copy of a drivers licence demonstrating that the primary driver of the VAS vehicle (the veteran, or if the veteran does not drive – their partner or carer) continues to hold a valid drivers licence;
- evidence showing that the veteran has comprehensively insured the vehicle for it’s full market value*; and
- a payment summary or receipt showing that the driving devices and modifications grant was used to purchase the necessary driving modifications and devices.
*Note: The insurance may be taken out in the name of the veteran and the partner or carer, but the name of the veteran to whom the financial assistance under the VAS must appear on the insurance certification.
Driving lessons may be approved where a Driver Trained OT:
- has recommended a modification or device be provided to a client under the VAS;
- has recommended driving lessons, to enable a client to learn how to drive with the modification or device;
- has specified how many lessons are required by the client, in order for them to drive in safely and relative comfort with the modification; and
- has provided three quotes for lessons or if three quotes are not possible, reasons why less than three quotes could be obtained.
Where these conditions are met, funding for lessons can be provided as part of the devices and modifications grant.