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Are There Any Disability Tax Deductions For Wheelchair-Accessible Vans?

In 2020, there are plenty of excellent, state-of-the-art wheelchair-accessible vans on the market. These vans make traveling in a wheelchair, either as a driver or passenger, comfortable, safe, and enjoyable.

Options abound when it comes to making a van wheelchair-accessible. You can buy a purpose-built wheelchair van, or you can adapt a van that was not purpose-built for wheelchair users.

Wheelchair-accessible vans are not a luxury, however. For most wheelchair users, or people who care for a wheelchair user, a wheelchair-accessible van is truly essential. For many  wheelchair users, a wheelchair-accessible van is an indispensable tool and a must-have to live a comfortable and independent life.

But wheelchair-accessible vans, either purpose-built or adapted, do not come cheap. The technology is life-changing, but it is also expensive. Disabled wheelchair users and their carers incur a lot of extra costs that non-wheelchair users do not have to worry about.

This means that as a wheelchair user you need to be savvy and clued-in about where and how you can save money. Major savings can come in the form of tax deductions. A lot of medical expenses are tax-deductible, so you can save a lot of money by educating yourself on your tax entitlements.

Dr Handicap - wheelchair-accessible van
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay: Are wheelchair-accessible van adaptations tax-deductible?

How Do I Make My Van Wheelchair-Accessible?

Many people choose to buy a purpose-built wheelchair-accessible van. But for many others – for example, people who are newly disabled – converting their current van to make it wheelchair-accessible is a good option.

There are lots of excellent adaptations you can make to a van to make it wheelchair-accessible, and most of these adaptations are tax-deductible. The most common adaptations people make to make their van wheelchair-accessible are:

  • Raised roof
  • Dropped floors
  • Wheelchair lifts
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Transfer seats

What Are The Disability Tax Deductions For Handicap Drivers?

As a handicap driver you are entitled to various tax deductions. Essential medical expenses are tax-deductible once they are above 7.5% of your gross income. This means you add up all of your deductible medical expenses, and the amount of the total that is above 7.5% of your gross income is deductible.

What Tax Deductions Are Available For Wheelchair-Accessible Vans?

The most common deductions for wheelchair-accessible vans are essential adaptations, and a portion of the cost of a purpose-built wheelchair-accessible van.

Purpose-built wheelchair-accessible vans are partly tax-deductible. The cost of the wheelchair-accessible van that is above the cost of a similar van without wheelchair-accessible features is tax-deductible.

The most common tax-deductible adaptations to make a van wheelchair-accessible are:

  • Electric hand controls
  • Left-side accelerator pedal
  • Pedal and steering-wheel extensions
  • Raised roof
  • Dropped floors
  • Wheelchair lifts
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Transfer seats

How Do I Apply For Disability Tax Deductions For A Wheelchair-Accessible Van?

Register your tax-deductible medical expenses on your tax return when you submit it to the IRS each year in April. On each year’s tax return, include the tax-deductible expenses from that year. This expenses total is then taken off your gross income and you only pay tax on the reduced income amount.

Who Is Eligible For Disability Tax Deductions For Wheelchair-Accessible Vans?

Tax deductions for wheelchair vans and van adaptations are available to the disabled person, spouse, or caregiver that paid the tax-deductible expense.

What Other Travel Expenses Can I Claim A Tax Deduction On As A Disabled Driver?

As a disabled driver you can also claim for travel costs that accrue from essential medical related travel. This can include gas, parking fees, and toll fees that are spent on the wary to and from medical appointments.

Dr Handicap - calculator
Image by Shutterbug75 on Pixabay: You can apply for disability tax deductions on your IRS tax return.

How Else Can I Save Money As A Disabled Driver?

A great way to save money as a disabled driver is by getting a disabled parking permit. A disabled permit enables its owner to park in designated disabled parking spaces. This is incredibly helpful and a great money-saver.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled Parking Permit?

The qualifying conditions to get a disabled parking permit change slightly state by state. But in all states, being a wheelchair user will qualify you to hold a disabled parking permit.

How Do I Apply For A Disabled Parking Permit?

To apply for a disabled parking permit, arrange a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional through Dr. Handicap. Once the medical professional verifies your disability they will sign and fill in the relevant sections of a DMV application form and email it directly to you.

The government is there to give you the help you deserve, as a disabled person, in the form of tax deductions and disabled parking permits. So don’t miss out on what you are legally entitled to!

Featured image by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels

Will Medicare Pay For A Wheelchair Access Van?

Medicare helps a lot of people, especially those with disabilities. Still, it changes quite frequently and what was once covered may not be covered anymore.

Many people with mobility issues need a van to transport themselves and their equipment where they need to go. But this is not an inexpensive purchase. The question many people want to know is: will Medicare pay for a wheelchair access van? Read on to find out more!

Who Does Medicare Cover?

In the United States, Medicare is a health program for people over the age of 65 and people under that age with a disability. It provides healthcare coverage so you can see a doctor and receive medication. The real question for those with disabilities is: will it help to cover the things needs to improve your personal mobility?

Dr Handicap - health care
Image by Bill Oxford on Unsplash: Will Medicare pay for a wheelchair access van? Maybe – if you have Part C.

Will Medicare Pay For A Wheelchair Accessible Van?

Medicare is made up of four parts and each part has a separate function. These parts are:

  • Part A – Covers skilled nursing care, hospice, and hospital services
  • Part B – Covers outpatient services
  • Part C – Also called Medicare Advantage; allows a patient to choose a health care plan with a private health care provider and may help with the costs associated with transportation (but you’ll need to check with your provider)
  • Part D – Covers prescriptions

There’s no guarantee that Part C will help with any costs associated with a new van. As you can see, Parts A, B, and D have no coverage for mobility aids such as a handicap accessible van.

Will Medicare Help Pay For A Wheelchair Lift On A Vehicle?

The answer to this question is, unfortunately, no. While many people depend on Medicare to help cover their health care costs, it does not deem mobility devices as a covered expense. Medicare is not meant to be a full-coverage option of health care for most people. Instead, it is meant to be a foundation from which you can build a plan that helps to cover your health care costs.

Does Medicare Cover Power Wheelchairs or Scooters?

Power wheelchairs and scooters are classified under Medicare as power-operated vehicles. That’s not the same as a personal mobility vehicle, which is what they consider a handicap accessible van. Medicare does pay for power-operated vehicles, such as a power wheelchair. But even with a prescription for durable medical equipment from your treating physician, Medicare will not cover a personal mobility vehicle.

If you’re looking to get a power-operated vehicle, it’s important to know that a prior authorization is required before it will cover the purchase. If your doctor prescribes a scooter, for example, you must have the durable medical equipment device supplier submit a request on your behalf to Medicare before it is covered. If you buy it first then apply for reimbursement, then you may find yourself in a tough spot.

What About Medicare’s Medigap Coverage?

Medicare offers something called Medigap. This is an additional health insurance plan that can be purchased from a private health care provider that will cover things Medicare will not cover, such as deductibles and co-pays.

It’s important to note that Medigap doesn’t allow for additional coverage such as vision or dental and many won’t cover prescription drugs, either. Medigap also won’t cover accessible van purchases.

Dr Handicap - research
Image by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash: Medicare grants for wheelchair vans are out there, you simply need to do your research to find them.

Who Can Help With Accessible Van Purchases?

If you’re disabled and need an accessible van to provide transportation, there are programs out there that can help. Grants are available nationwide, as well as grants in specific states and for people with specific conditions. Doing a search for these grants may help to get you at least some of the money you need for an accessible van purchase.

A couple of options that can help pay for your accessible van include:

  • The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs has accessible van grants available for veterans
  • Special financing options from accessible van dealers

If you or someone you love is struggling to find the resources for an accessible van, Medicare may not be able to help, but there is help out there. Don’t give up if you are having issues finding assistance, because this is a problem many of those in wheelchairs must contend with, and help is available.

Featured image by Dave Kim on Unsplash