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4.9. Guidelines for Physicians
The following guidelines have been developed to assist the physician in evaluating applicants in certain specific situations:
a. Veterans requesting driver training, sensitized steering systems, or who are in need of driver training will be referred to the nearest VA Driver Rehabilitation Center listed in paragraph 20 of this Handbook. Referrals for driver rehabilitation at those facilities with approved centers are processed as any referral to a PM&RS for treatment. Particular attention should be given to the following:
(1) Determine if the veteran has, or has had, any medical conditions which would make driving unsafe because of the possibility of interruption of vehicle control due to sudden or unexpected loss of physical ability arising from weakness, impairment of perception or consciousness, or occurrence of distracting pain or sensation.
(2) Identify all medical conditions and physical deficits, which could affect driving ability so as to ensure that the person providing the driver training and evaluation for adaptive equipment has sufficient information about the veteran.
(3) Provide current PM&RS examination including an updated VA Form 10-2617, Self-Care Activities-Functional Evaluation.
b. Veterans who are requesting vehicle modifications, or questionable items of adaptive equipment, should, whenever practical, be evaluated by a VA driver rehabilitation specialist. If this is not possible, the case should be reviewed by the physician, physical medicine and rehabilitation therapist, and prosthetic representative to ensure every consideration when developing an appropriate prescription.
c. Physicians will make every effort to ensure that prescriptions are consistent with the veteran's disability and that they are in compliance with the specific policies stated in this Handbook.