Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD): Resource – Vehicles

317:35-5-41.3

  • One vehicle per individual or married couple can be exempt. The vehicle must be able to provide necessary transportation.
    • “Necessary” is defined as anywhere the client needs or wants to go.
    • If the client is no longer able to drive, the vehicle can still be considered exempt since someone else can potentially drive it to provide transportation for the client.
  • The vehicle does need to be operable to be exempt. If the client does not have a viable plan to make it operable, it cannot be exempt.
  • If the vehicle is used in a business, it is exempt as a resource. [317:35-5-41.12]
  • Recreational vehicles, four wheelers, and utility tractors, when not used in a business, are considered to be countable resources.
  • Motorcycles are also countable unless the client uses one as their sole source of transportation.
  • When there is more than one operational vehicle, only one can be exempt. Exempt the vehicle with the greater equity.
  • If the client receives at least $1 of SSI, accept the client’s statement of the car’s average trade-in value and use that amount in determining eligibility.

The following instructions apply to clients who are not on SSI:

  • To value any vehicle that is to be considered a countable resource, policy specifies that the average trade-in value from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) be used.
    • Any website used to determine the average trade-in value must use the NADA values.
    • 19 year old vehicles are the oldest NADAguides.com gives average trade-in values for
    • Client’s estimate of the vehicle’s average trade-in value, if it seems reasonable, can be accepted for vehicles over 19 years old.
      • If the client and worker can’t agree on a value, the client will need to get written appraisals from 2 people who are familiar with current values.
    • At the time of the writing of this article, NADAguides.com is being merged with JDPower.com.
  • If the client reports the car loan hasn’t been paid off, the client can provide verification of how much is owed. Subtract the verified loan balance from average trade-in value. The remainder is the countable equity.
  • When the vehicle cannot or will not be made operable, it still has value as salvage. Policy says the confirmed market value is the countable value.

Example 1

Peter Tsai and spouse have two vehicles: 2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 and a 2019 Mazda Mazda6. The average trade-in value for the Chevy is $7450. The average trade-in value for the Mazda is $26,425. They provide a loan statement showing they still owe $15.250. They state they don’t own anything on the Chevy.

The equity on the Mazda is $26,425 – $15,250 = $11,175. The Mazda has the greater equity so it is considered the exempt vehicle. The $7450 value for the Chevy is considered towards Peter’s eligibility.

Example 2

Roseli Ocampo has a 2015 Buick Verano. The Buick needs a new transmission. She says her mechanic wants $2600 for parts and labor. She doesn’t have that much so she can’t make the vehicle operable again.

The market value for the Buick is $15,828 so that is what is considered towards her eligibility.

Example 3

Steven Chen has been on QMBP for several years. His diabetes has gotten worse and he is now legally blind. He is no longer able to drive his 2010 Acura TSX. He can ask friends or family to drive his car to take him places, even though he hasn’t done it yet, so the car can stay exempt.

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