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Thread: Acquiring a new van, SSDI payments, Ticket to Work, SGI

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Acquiring a new van, SSDI payments, Ticket to Work, SGI

    I've been gone for a while from the board, because I returned to work full time a little over a year ago - yay! I am ecstatic to say that I am officially "not disabled" anymore, at least according to Social Security, haha :) I have successfully made it through my Trial Work Period and no longer receive monthly SSDI payments, although I can be reinstated at any point in the next 3 years if my income drops below SGI.

    Recently, my wheelchair-accessible van has started to die on me, and I will be needing to find a replacement. My current van was purchased on eBay and was a great deal. However, it only lasted me about 4 years and I am hoping to go with a new or almost-new van now. However, these converted vans are outrageously expensive, as you all know. Is there a way to get assistance through a Ticket to Work (or similar) agency for the purchase of a van? I am currently going through the do-it-yourself Ticket to Work agency called AATakeCharge for my Ticket to Work payments. They are really hard to get ahold of anyone living/breathing to talk to. I thought that I had heard from people several years ago that you can subtract money spent on disability resources that are needed to keep you employed (medical bills, rx co-pays, physical therapy, clothing, special equipment, etc) from your gross pay, and if after that subtraction you no longer make SGI, then your SSDI payments can be re-instated temporarily until you meet SGI again. However, the cost of the van itself couldn't be used in that calculation (because providing a vehicle is understandably your own responsibility), only the cost of making it wheelchair accessible is deductible. Does anyone have experience with this? If this is true, then it might be worth me trying to buy a van through "regular" means and then getting it converted to being wheelchair-driveable (and being able to deduct the conversion costs from my income for possible SSDI reinstatement), instead of trying to purchase an already-converted van and paying for all of it out-of-pocket.

    I posted this in the Work forum too, but it doesn't seem too active over there.

  2. #2
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    You might check your state's vocational rehab department. Here in Iowa, voc rehab paid 40% of the cost of a converted van for me...just to keep me working. Kept the payments managable.

  3. #3
    +1 on the Voc Rehab thing. In Indiana, I paid for the van itself (at a pretty good price) and Voc Rehab paid for 100% of the modifications/conversion - somewhere in the range of $25,000-$30,000 worth.

  4. #4
    I replied in the Employment forum!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by nayr
    +1 on the Voc Rehab thing. In Indiana, I paid for the van itself (at a pretty good price) and Voc Rehab paid for 100% of the modifications/conversion - somewhere in the range of $25,000-$30,000 worth.
    [SIZE=14px]Same thing here but I am in Georgia. I had this done when I was 63 so age is not a limiting factor. They did a follow-up phone call and I was at a job location both times.

    Good luck.
    [/SIZE]


  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Northern Illinois
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    Thanks so much for the info. Do you know if voc rehab has an income limit? My husband and I have a modest income, but not huge, especially when talking about a purchase like this.

  7. #7
    Every state's VR will be different so it's best to make an appointment and discuss it with them.

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