When you’ve had a severe injury, you may have difficulties with driving or being transported in a vehicle.
Vehicle modifications are one of the many ways we can help you get back to full participation in your life and community after a severe injury.
If you’re a participant with icare lifetime care, or have a workplace injury we may be able to pay for modifications to your vehicle.
If you’re a lifetime care participant the modifications need to be reasonable and necessary as a result of your injury.
If you suffered a workplace injury the modifications need to be reasonably necessary as a result of your injury.
Eligibility for vehicle modifications
If you’re a lifetime care participant to receive modifications to your vehicle, the modifications need to be reasonable and necessary as a result of your injury.
If you suffered a workplace injury to receive modifications to your vehicle, the modifications need to be reasonably necessary as a result of your injury.
In either case you’ll also need to:
- Have a physical, sensory and/or cognitive disability as a result of your motor accident or workplace injury that prevents you from safely driving, accessing or travelling as a passenger in an unmodified vehicle
- Own or have access to a motor vehicle on a regular basis
- Have a medical certificate which gives you medical clearance to return to driving and which supports the modification of your vehicle having regard to the nature of your injury and incapacity
- Have been assessed by a driver trained occupational therapist certified by the State’s Driver Licensing Authority, the Roads and Maritime Services NSW (RMS)
- Have a current and valid driver’s licence and be legally able to drive
We will need to assess the costs of vehicle modifications and may require reports and quotes from mechanics, suppliers of parts and equipment and other service providers regarding the modifications.
Types of modifications we can pay for
Vehicle modifications we can pay for include:
- Adapted controls to assist with steering assistance, acceleration and braking
- Hoists and ramps to enable wheelchair access
- Automatic transmission to change gears
- Changes to parking brakes, rear vision mirrors, seat belts or indicators
If we have funded vehicle modifications, we may also pay for the cost of getting a blue slip, and any additional insurance costs directly related to the modification of your vehicle.
We’ll also pay for the maintenance, repair and replacement of approved modifications to your vehicle. If you buy a new car, we can pay for the modifications to be transferred to your new car or pay to have your new car modified.
We can pay for modifications once every eight years, unless your needs change to the extent that you can’t use your modified vehicle anymore.
How it works
If you need vehicle modifications, talk to your icare coordinator or case manager. You’ll need to have an assessment with a specialist driver trained occupational therapist and obtain a certificate from a medical practitioner supporting the modification to your vehicle having regard to the nature of your injury and incapacity.
If you don’t have a car already, the occupational therapist can advise you on suitable vehicles types and models, and may be able to help you work out what’s best for your circumstances.
If you do have a car, we can only pay for reasonable and necessary modifications (for lifetime care participants) or reasonably necessary modifications (if you’re an injured worker) if the car is considered reliable and roadworthy.
The occupational therapist will discuss options with you and arrange trials to work out the most simple and cost effective option to meet your needs.
Once the most appropriate modifications are determined, the occupational therapist will write a report and make recommendations regarding what modifications should be made to your vehicle. .
They’ll also recommend whether driving lessons would be appropriate. The cost of your driving lessons can also be covered by us.
We’ll then make a decision about whether the requested modifications meet our criteria for funding. The modifications requested must be ‘reasonable and necessary’ (for icare lifetime care participants) or ‘reasonably necessary’ (for injured workers) and the need for the modifications must arise as a result of your injury.
Once our approval is provided, the vehicle modifications can then be carried out.
What's not covered
You’re responsible for general maintenance and all running costs of the vehicle, including registration, insurance and fuel.
You’re also responsible for making sure the vehicle complies with safety and road-worthiness standards.
Under both the icare lifetime care and workers care schemes, we can’t pay for:
- Modifications that don’t comply with the Australian Standards, Australian design rules or current “Assessing Fitness to Drive” national medical standards
- Modifications to a motor vehicle for a need/condition that you had prior to the motor vehicle or workplace accident
- Modifications that have no clear or sustained benefit to you
- Costs to convert the vehicle back to its standard configuration once major modifications have been paid by us
- Modifications completed outside of Australia
- Repairs covered by supplier’s warranty, including vehicle modifier warranty or vehicle’s insurance policy
- Cancellation fees for non-attendance at driving lessons as part of the driving program
For driver modifications, we also can’t pay for:
- Vehicle modifications if you are not medically cleared to drive and licensed to drive with an endorsed licence
- Vehicle modifications if you have been assessed as unsafe to drive