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Veterans Affairs Allows for In-Vehicle Emergency Response Systems

The most current version of the "AUTOMOBILE ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT PROGRAM" hand book (VHA HANDBOOK 1173.4, dated 10/2000) has an allowance for "communication devices" for veterans in receipt of the 4502 Automotive Grant. This document refers to communication devices as "CB Radio and/or Car Phone.” Older Personal Reimbursable Amounts posted by the V.A. system even had a $150 allowance for veterans to use toward these products.

Although the V.A. Handbook hasn't been updated in almost 12 years, the reimbursement allowance schedules have been. Today's personal reimbursement schedule no longer has the ancient terms "CB Radios" or "Car Phones," and instead has an allowance for an "In-Vehicle Emergency Response System."

Nor-Cal Vans has ordered most of its 2012 Ford vans with the SYNC system option, which includes an In-Vehicle Emergency Response System called 911 Assist®. In the event of an accident in which an airbag deploys or, in certain vehicles, the fuel pump shutoff is activated, 911 Assist® with GPS uses a properly paired and connected mobile phone inside the vehicle to make a call directly to a 911 operator and gives emergency responders the exact location. The call goes directly through the cell phone without the need for intermediary assistance. It opens the SYNC® microphone to allow those inside the car to communicate hands-free with the 911 operator. The call can be cancelled by pressing and holding the steering wheel-mounted phone button or by confirming the cancellation message.

This feature will qualify under the "In-Vehicle Emergency Response System" of the V.A. Reimbursable Amount schedule, with a reimbursement allowance of between of $149 to $259 to qualified veterans in receipt of the 4502 Automotive Grant.

Please click here to view the VA's Personal Reimbursement Amounts.