TITLE 38 - US CODE - CHAPTER 39 - AUTOMOBILES AND ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS AND MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES

38 USC 3901 - Definitions

For purposes of this chapter
(1) The term eligible person means
(A) any veteran entitled to compensation under chapter 11 of this title for any of the disabilities described in subclause (i), (ii), or (iii) below, if the disability is the result of an injury incurred or disease contracted in or aggravated by active military, naval, or air service:
(i) The loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet;
(ii) The loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands;

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(iii) The permanent impairment of vision of both eyes of the following status: central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees in the better eye; or
(B) any member of the Armed Forces serving on active duty who is suffering from any disability described in subclause (i), (ii), or (iii) of clause (A) of this paragraph if such disability is the result of an injury incurred or disease contracted in or aggravated by active military, naval, or air service.
(2) The term adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power window lifts, power seats, and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the automobile or other conveyance. Such term also includes
(A)  air-conditioning equipment when such equipment is necessary to the health and safety of the veteran and to the safety of others, 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
(B)  any modification of the size 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.

38 USC 3902 - Assistance for providing automobile and adaptive equipment

(a) The Secretary, under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, shall provide or assist in providing an automobile or other conveyance to each eligible person by paying the total purchase price of the automobile or other conveyance (including all State, local, and other taxes) or $11,000, whichever is the lesser, to the seller from whom the eligible person is purchasing under a sales agreement between the seller and the eligible person.
(b) 
(1) The Secretary, under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, shall provide each eligible person the adaptive equipment deemed necessary to insure that the eligible person will be able to operate the automobile or other conveyance in a manner consistent with such persons own safety and the safety of others and so as to satisfy the applicable standards of licensure established by the State of such persons residency or other proper licensing authority.
(2) In the case of any veteran (other that a person eligible for assistance under paragraph (1) of this subsection) who is entitled to compensation for ankylosis of one or both knees, or one or both hips, the Secretary, under the terms and conditions set forth in subsections (a), (c), and (d) of section 3903 of this title and under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, shall provide such adaptive equipment to overcome the disability resulting from such ankylosis as
(A)  is necessary to meet the applicable standards of licensure established by the State of such veterans residency or other proper licensing authority for the operation of such veterans automobile or other conveyance by such veteran, and
(B)  is determined to be necessary by the Under Secretary for Health for the safe operation of such automobile or other conveyance by such veteran.
(c) In accordance with regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, the Secretary shall
(1)  repair, replace, or reinstall adaptive equipment deemed necessary for the operation of an automobile or other conveyance acquired in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and
(2)  provide, repair, replace, or reinstall such adaptive equipment for any automobile or other conveyance which an eligible person may previously or subsequently have acquired.
(d) If an eligible person cannot qualify to operate an automobile or other conveyance, the Secretary shall provide or assist in providing an automobile or other conveyance to such person, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, if the automobile or other conveyance is to be operated for the eligible person by another person.

38 USC 3903 - Limitations on assistance; special training courses

(a) No eligible person shall be entitled to receive more than one automobile or other conveyance under the provisions of this chapter, and no payment shall be made under this chapter for the repair, maintenance, or replacement of an automobile or other conveyance.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (d) of section 3902 of this title, no eligible person shall be provided an automobile or other conveyance under this chapter until it is established to the satisfaction of the Secretary, in accordance with regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, that the eligible person will be able to operate the automobile or other conveyance in a manner consistent with such persons own safety and the safety of others and will satisfy the applicable standards of licensure to operate the automobile or other conveyance established by the State of such persons residency or other proper licensing authority.
(c) 
(1) An eligible person shall not be entitled to adaptive equipment under this chapter for more than two automobiles or other conveyances at any one time or (except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection) during any four-year period.
(2) In a case in which the four-year limitation in paragraph (1) of this subsection precludes an eligible person from being entitled to adaptive equipment under this chapter, if the Secretary determines that, due to circumstances beyond the control of such person, one of the automobiles or other conveyances for which adaptive equipment was provided to such person during the applicable four-year period is no longer available for the use of such person, the Secretary may provide adaptive equipment to such person for an additional automobile or other conveyance during such period. Provision of adaptive equipment under this paragraph is within the discretion of the Secretary. Any action to provide adaptive equipment under this paragraph shall be made pursuant to regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe.
(d) Adaptive equipment shall not be provided under this chapter unless it conforms to minimum standards of safety and quality prescribed by the Secretary.
(e) 
(1) The Secretary shall provide, directly or by contract, for the conduct of special driver training courses at every hospital and, where appropriate, at regional offices and other medical facilities, of the Department to instruct such eligible person to operate the type of automobile or other conveyance such person wishes to obtain with assistance under this chapter, and may make such courses available to any veteran, eligible for care under chapter 17 of this title or member of the Armed Forces, who is determined by the Secretary to need the special training provided in such courses even though such veteran or member is not eligible for the assistance provided under this chapter.
(2) The Secretary is authorized to obtain insurance on automobiles and other conveyances used in conducting the special driver training courses provided under this subsection and to obtain, at Government expense, personal liability and property damage insurance for all persons taking such courses without regard to whether such persons are taking the course on an in-patient or out-patient basis.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may obtain, by purchase, lease, gift, or otherwise, any automobile, motor vehicle, or other conveyance deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this subsection, and may sell, assign, transfer, or convey any such automobile, vehicle, or conveyance to which the Department obtains title for such price and upon such terms as the Secretary deems appropriate; and any proceeds received from any such disposition shall be credited to the applicable Department appropriation.

38 USC 3904 - Research and development

(a) In carrying out medical and prosthetic research under section 7303 of this title, the Secretary, through the Under Secretary for Health, shall provide for special emphasis on the research and development of adaptive equipment and adapted conveyances (including vans) meeting standards of safety and quality prescribed under subsection (d) of section 3903, including support for the production and distribution of devices and conveyances so developed.
(b) In carrying out subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary, through the Under Secretary for Health, shall consult and cooperate with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Education, in connection with programs carried out under section 204(b)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (relating to the establishment and support of Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers).