​Chapter 8.21 Contents:

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. If vehicle modification is necessary to access services under a Trial Work Experiences Plan or Extended Evaluation Plan, the counselor may authorize driving instruction for Class I or Class II vehicle modifications recommended in the report (See Policy 5: Section A of this chapter, Driving Instruction).

  2. The counselor may authorize Driver Education under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for a client aged 22 or older, or a client under age 22 who is not enrolled in secondary (junior or senior high) school, or a client under age 22 who is enrolled in secondary school when Driver Education is not within the school curriculum.  The school curriculum is a comparable benefit.  Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires individuals under age 19 to obtain a Learner permit and Driver Education Certificate (DEC-1) from a state-approved Driver Education program before obtaining a driver license.  DMV and DARS require parental written consent for individuals under age 18.  For approved Driver Education vendors, see DARS Training and Facilities Manual.   For Learner permit fee, See Policy 1: Section B of this chapter.   

  3. Satisfactory progress.
    The client must make satisfactory progress in the Driver Education program. The client shall provide informed written consent for the counselor and service provider to share information about the client special needs/accommodations and progress.

  4. Fee-based.
    Driver Education shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation policy (see Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL, Policy 1).

  5. Encumbering funds.
    Driver Education shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures. Client contract with a service provider shall not financially obligate DRS to pay part or all of the cost. To encumber funds, see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1. Use (S/I) code for “Tuition” in the DARS Services Reference Manual, Other Services, "Tuition and Fees: Vo/Tech School, Business School and Other Training Vendors” category.

  6. Lowest cost
    The maximum allowed for Driver Education tuition is actual cost, subject to lowest cost policy (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 6.)

  7. Client debts.
    For policy on consumer debts, see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 8.
     
Back to Chapter Index
 
 

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. Learner permit fee.
    The counselor may authorize under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) fee for a Learner permit when all DMV criteria are met.   

  2. Driver License fee.
    The counselor may authorize under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) the DMV fee for a Driver License when all DMV criteria are met.  Clients who are employed shall be financially responsible for annual renewal fee, regardless of consumer financial participation and RS-13 results.  For policy on consumer fines, etc., see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 8.

  3. Comparable benefits.
    There are no comparable benefits.

  4. Fee-based.
    DMV Learner permit fee and Driver License shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation policy (see Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL, Policy 1).

  5. Encumbering Funds.
    DMV Learner permit fee and Driver License fee shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1). The counselor authorizes payment to Virginia DMV using an Administrative Voucher if DMV accepts them. or the counselor may use the SPCC for this purpose. The maximum allowed is actual cost, subject to consumer financial participation.  Use Service/Item (S/I) code for ‘Other non-medical services and items not listed elsewhere” under Other Services/Items tab, category, “Miscellaneous Non-Medical Services and Items”.
Back to Chapter Index
 
 

[REVISED: 6/1/14]

The counselor shall not authorize insurance premiums or uninsured motorist fees for motor vehicles (for definition, See Policy 4 of this chapter), aircraft, hang gliders, motor boat, or personal watercraft. This is routine upkeep.  The owner shall be responsible, regardless of consumer financial participation or RS-13 results, for insuring the vehicle, aircraft, hang glider, watercraft, or boat.


 
 

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. Routine Upkeep. 
    The owner is responsible, regardless of consumer financial participation and RS-13 results, for maintaining the personal vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft in good operating condition.  DRS staff shall not (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(57)) authorize routine operating and maintenance costs of the client personal vehicle (such as state inspection, decals, oil change and other routine maintenance, vehicle registration, title and tags, personal property tax, tires or tire repair). 

  2. Aircraft repair.
    DRS shall not authorize repair to client aircraft, hang gliders, etc. 

  3. Watercraft repair.
    DRS shall not authorize repair to client boat or other watercraft. 

  4. Vehicle repair.
     

    1. The counselor may authorize repair to the client vehicle when the repair is essential to the operation of the vehicle and the client would be unable to achieve the established employment goal without the repaired vehicle.  The counselor shall (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) document which alternative transportation services were considered and that the repair is more appropriate and cost effective. The counselor shall also document that the vehicle age and overall condition was considered and may require use of the RS-36 Used Vehicle Inspection form.  
       
    1. DRS reserves the right to deny funding for vehicle repair that is not recommended and performed by a ASC-certified repair shop or manufacturer-certified/ASC-certified auto mechanic. 
       
    2. The counselor may refuse to make future repairs. 
       
    1. If the initial repair estimate is within counselor dollar limit authority (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 3), at counselor discretion, the counselor may require multiple repair estimates.   The client shall provide multiple repair estimates when asked to do so by the counselor.  If the initial repair estimate exceeds counselor dollar limit authority, authorization shall be subject to price quote policy (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1.)  Repair shall be subject to lowest cost policy (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 6.).  
       
    1. Repair shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) be subject to comparable benefits policy and comparable benefits such as auto insurance (see Chapter 14.2, COMPARABLE, Policy 1.) 
       
    1. Repair shall be subject to consumer financial participation policy (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54). See Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL, Policy 1.   
       
    2. Repair shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1).  For S/I code, see DARS Service References Manual.
       
    1. For policy on consumer debts, mechanics liens, etc. see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 8.
Back to Chapter Index
 
 

[REVISED: 6/1/14]

  1. Motor vehicle means (per § 46.2-100 of the Code of Virginia) all-terrain vehicle, antique motor vehicle, antique trailer or semitrailer, automobile or watercraft transporter, camping trailer, electric power-assisted bicycle, farm tractor, foreign vehicle, foreign market vehicle, golf cart, low speed vehicle other than self-propelled wheelchair or wheelchair conveyance, manufactured home, moped, motor home, motor-driven cycle or motorcycle or off-road motorcycle, motorized skateboard or scooter, passenger car, pickup or panel truck, reconstructed vehicle, school bus, semi-trailer, snowmobile, specially constructed vehicle, stinger-steered automobile or watercraft transporter, tractor truck, trailer, or truck. 

  2. DRS shall not use VR case service dollars to purchase (including down payment or monthly loan payment) a motor vehicle, airplane or other aircraft, hang glider, boat, or other watercraft for a VR client.  

  3. The counselor may assist the client to apply for a loan from the Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority to purchase a vehicle for vehicle modification purposes or to purchase a modified vehicle.

 
 

[Revised: 11/22/16]

  1. Class I definition.
    Class I vehicle modification is a non-structural modification such as hand controls, left foot accelerator, steering devices, built up pedals or pedal extensions, turn signal and gear shift extensions, wheelchair restraint, wheelchair lifts, 6-way power seat bases, wheelchair carriers and trunk loaders, etc.

  2. Class II definition.
    Class II vehicle modification is a structural or high tech modification such as lowered floors, raised roofs, raised doors, widened doors, reduced/zero effort steering, high tech driving equipment (electronic or sensitized steering and gas brake systems), etc.

  3. Case status.
    The counselor may provide vehicle modification under a Trial Work Experiences Plan, Extended Evaluation Plan, or Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The counselor shall not provide vehicle modification under a Post Employment Plan (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(42)) because it is a complex and comprehensive service.

  4. Needs assessment and vehicle and driver criteria.
    Before the counselor includes vehicle modification on the service plan,  the case record shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42 (d) (1) and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.45 (b) (1) and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.48 (a)) document all requirements in Chapter 6.05, VEHICLE MOD ASSESSMENT, Policy 1 and Chapter 6.05, VEHICLE MOD ASSESSMENT, Policy 2 have been met, including prospective driver and vehicle criteria. When the client or prospective driver is purchasing a vehicle, the driver evaluator and modification vendors are resources to ensure it is suitable for the prescribed modification.

  5. Youth.
    The counselor shall not authorize vehicle modification for client age 22 or younger. For policy exception, see Chapter 6.05, VEHICLE MOD ASSESSMENT, Policy 1.

  6. Once a lifetime.
    DRS shall pay for a vehicle modification only one time per client, even if the client is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services more than once, the vehicle owner sells the modified vehicle, the client purchases a later model, client can no longer drive the modified vehicle, etc. The district manager may approve an exception case-by-case. For example, a client has been unable to drive and received DRS passenger modifications, the medical condition has recently stabilized and a new driver evaluation recommends driver modifications, and the counselor justifies why remaining a passenger is an impediment to employment.

  7. Driver or passenger modification.
    The counselor may authorize either driver or passenger modification, but not both.

  8. Vehicle insurance.
    The vehicle owner, not DRS, shall (per Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 11, Issued January 17, 2001, Page 4421) be responsible for insuring the vehicle and modifications and for paying insurance premiums (see Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 2), including clients exempt from consumer financial participation and regardless of the Client Financial Statement (RS-13 form) results.

  9. Modification costs only.
    Counselor authorization shall not exceed the cost of prescribed modifications, or the current market value/depreciated value of prescribed modifications on a modified vehicle. In addition, DRS staff shall not authorize purchase or installation of standard or optional equipment traditionally available through a car dealer at purchase (such as automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, cruise control, radio, MP3 or compact disk player, clock, air conditioning, anti-lock brake system, air bags).

  10. Service and warranty contracts.
    The counselor may authorize a service contract and extended warranty on the modification.

  11. Change order.
    The counselor may authorize a change order only when needed to correct a DARS error.

  12. Retrofitting.
    The counselor may authorize retrofitting of the DRS modification only when i) the vendor followed DRS work specifications that were incorrect, or ii) DRS accepts the modifications at inspection and later requests adjustments. Retrofitting is subject to additional inspection by the WWRC driver evaluator or DRS rehabilitation engineer in consultation with the driver evaluator.

  13. Repair.
    For modification repair, see Chapter 8.08, REPAIRS, Policy 1.  For vehicle repair, See Policy 3 of this chapter.

  14. Driving instruction.
    The counselor may (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(8) authorize driving instruction recommended for the client and prospective driver. The counselor, driver evaluator, and trainees shall coordinate authorized driving instruction.

  15. Ownership.
    DARS shall not retain title or ownership of the vehicle modification, even if DRS is paying part or all of the cost.

  16. Restoration to original state.
    DRS staff shall not authorize services to restore the modified vehicle to the previous decor, state, or condition, even if the client no longer needs the modifications or the owner wishes to sell the vehicle. The client, including clients exempt from consumer financial participation and regardless of the Client Financial Statement (RS-13 form) results, is (per Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 11, Issued January 17, 2001, Page 4421) financially responsible  for restoring the vehicle back to its original state if necessary.

  17. Comparable benefits.
    Although vehicle modification is exempt (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) from a search for comparable benefits, the counselor shall (per federal Technical Assistance Circular RSA-TAC-91-01 issued November 16, 1990; federal policy directive RSA-PD-91-03 issued November 16, 1990) use comparable benefits that are readily available. Veteran Disability Benefits are a comparable benefit for vehicle hand controls.

  18. Fee-based.
    Vehicle modification, service maintenance contract and extended warranty contract shall (per Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation policy and Client Financial Statement (RS-13 form) results (see Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL, Policy 1), including when provided under Trial Work Experiences Plan or Extended Evaluation Plan. Change order or retrofitting costs due to DRS error is exempt from the RS-13 results.

  19. Encumbering funds.
    Services shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures. For encumbering funds, see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1. Prescription and quotation/contract for modification shall not financially obligate DRS to pay part or all of the modification cost.

  20. Driver License.
    See Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 1.

  21. Vehicle purchase.
    See Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 4.

  22. Lowest cost.
    For policies on lowest cost alternatives to modification, and modification add-ons and upgrades, see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 6.

  23. Client debts.
    For policy on consumer debts, mechanics liens on modifications, etc. see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 8.
Back to Chapter Index
 
 

[REVISED: 5/1/14]

  1. The client shall provide the counselor written proof of insurance on the vehicle. The counselor shall keep a copy in the case record.

  2. If the final prescription for vehicle modification is older than 12 months, the counselor may wish to consult the WWRC driver evaluator concerning factors which may affect the appropriateness of the prescription, such as when client medical condition has changed, client has a different wheelchair, client now owns a different type of vehicle, whether equipment safety standards have changed, whether specifications are still accurate for that particular vehicle, whether prescribed equipment is still being marketed, etc.

  3. Some Class II modifications require a mandatory pre-bid conference (See Policy 5: Section D of this chapter) because of the complex modifications involved to ensure the prescribed systems are compatible with each other, the vehicle, and the wheelchair.  Defer to the WWRC driver evaluator decision if the Driving Evaluation Report does not specify whether a pre-bid conference is required.

  4. The client shall give the counselor a copy of the vehicle modification quotation/contract signed and dated by the seller and all vehicle owners.

  5. If the contract falls through, the client must immediately notify the counselor, who will immediately cancel the Authorization.

  6. When the modification passes DRS final inspection by the WWRC driver evaluator (or DRS rehabilitation engineer in consultation with the driver evaluator), the driver evaluator shall notify the counselor in writing.

  7. Counselor shall notify the client. 

  8. Vendor transfers title of the equipment to the vehicle owner. The counselor may remind the vehicle owner to ensure the vendor transfers title of the equipment to the vehicle owner.

  9. Counselor shall request vendor payment upon receipt of: i) written notice the work passed DRS final inspection, and ii) accurate vendor invoice.

  10. The client shall provide a written proof the Class II modified vehicle and high cost Class I equipment is insured and the counselor shall keep a copy in the case record.

  11. Services shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures. See Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1
Back to Chapter Index
 
 

[REVISED: 5/1/14]

Vendors shall meet requirements in Chapter 14.4, VENDORS, Policy 2.  Additionally, all vehicle modifications shall be performed by a vendor registered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (per Federal Regulation 49 CFR § 595.6). Furthermore, Class II modifications as defined in Policy 5: Section A of this chapter shall be performed by a vendor who is also certified as a Quality Assurance Provider (QAP) by the National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association (NMEDA) for the particular modification that is being installed.  


 
 

[REVISED: 5/1/14]

  1. A pre-bid conference is held for some Class II modifications when complex modifications are involved to ensure the prescribed systems are compatible with each other, the vehicle, and the wheelchair; and to ensure that all bidders have a clear understanding of the exact services needed.  If the Driving Evaluation Report does not specify whether a pre-bid conference is required, defer the decision to the WWRC driver evaluator. The counselor, in consultation with the WWRC driver evaluator and client, shall schedule the date and location for the pre-bid conference, usually at the driver evaluation facility, and invite all qualified vendors to participate in the pre-bid conference. The notice shall advise that only vendors attending the pre-bid conference shall be allowed to bid.

  2. If the client already has purchased the vehicle to be modified, the client shall bring this vehicle to the pre-bid conference.

  3. Client shall be required to attend the pre-bid conference.

  4. The WWRC or vendor driver evaluator shall be required to attend the pre-bid conference. For professional qualifications, see Chapter 6.05, DRIVER EVALUATION, Policy 2)

  5. Vehicle owners may attend the pre-bid conference.

  6. DRS regional rehabilitation engineer may attend the pre-bid conference.

  7. The final modification prescription will be reviewed during the pre-bid conference.

  8. Any prescription changes suggested during the pre-bid conference require documentation by the WWRC driver evaluator in an addendum to the original report, in consultation with the client and counselor, to ensure the recommended changes will effectively meet client needs as well as quality and safety standards.
Back to Chapter Index
 

Links to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are currently unavailable while we await federal changes to the vocational rehabilitation program. Upon promulgation of the final regulations the links will be updated and activated.