Modifying a vehicle with hand controls for the disabled costs between $20,000 and $80,000, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Several national and regional organizations provide funds to cover all or part of the cost of modifying a vehicle. Some organizations provide money only for certain conditions or for people who live in specific locations. Finding the money you need may require looking to more than one funding source.
U.S. military veterans who suffer a service-related disability are eligible for money to pay for hand controls and other adaptations to enable them to drive a vehicle. Make application through the Department of Veterans Affairs and be prepared to provide your driver's license number, your service records, information about the vehicle and details about your disability.
Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation
The Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation awards grants to help pay for the cost of modifying a vehicle with hand controls or other adaptive technology. You must exhaust all other potential sources of funding, such as insurance, before the foundation will pay, and the amount awarded is limited to $1,000 a year.
Travis Roy Foundation
The Travis Roy Foundation awards grants to spinal chord injury survivors. In order to be eligible for these grants, you must live in the United States and you must demonstrate financial need. When you apply for the grant, you'll need to provide information about the require vehicle modifications and how much they'll cost. The foundation will issue payment directly to the company making the modifications.
If your disability is due to a particular type of illness or injury, search for local or regional organizations that contribute funds to individuals with that illness or injury. Your state's department of vocational rehabilitation may be able to steer you toward funding sources. Many major automobile manufacturers offer rebates on modification of new vehicles. Ask your dealer for information or contact the auto maker directly.
- National Highway Transportation Safety Administration: Adapting Motor Vehicles For People With Disabilities
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services: Automobile and Adaptive Equipment
- Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation: Adaptive Equipment and Modification
- Travis Roy Foundation: Eligibility Requirements for Individual Grants
- GM Mobility: Get Reimbursed
- KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images