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Discovery of the VA Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

VA Housing Grants For Disabled Veterans

If you are a current or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces dealing with disabilities related to your service, finding or modifying a home for better accessibility might be challenging. This is crucial for living more independently and comfortably.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several grants each fiscal year to assist disabled veterans in constructing or altering homes for improved support. These grants, which do not require repayment, aim to facilitate the best possible living adaptations for veterans.

We will explore the various VA housing grants available, eligibility criteria, funding amounts, and application details.

Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant 

We’ll start by discussing two programs that, despite their similar names, differ in funding amounts, eligibility based on disability types, and the annual limit of qualifying veterans.

The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant is designed for either the construction of a new home or significant modifications to an existing one, incorporating special adaptations to enhance living conditions with a service-connected disability.

Eligibility Criteria 

To be eligible for an SAH grant, you must meet two primary criteria. Firstly, you should own or will own the home and plan to live there on a permanent basis. While moving is not prohibited, there must be a long-term intention to reside in the home.

Secondly, you need to have a qualifying service-connected disability, as outlined on the VA website:

  • The loss or loss of use of more than one limb
  • Loss or loss of use of a lower leg with lasting effects from a natural disease or injury
  • Blindness in both eyes with 20/200 vision or less
  • Certain severe burns
  • Post-September 11, 2001, loss or inability to use one lower extremity significantly impairing mobility without aids like braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair. A cap of 120 veterans applies to this category each fiscal year.

Funding Amount 

Qualified recipients can receive up to $117,014 for home construction or adaptation in the fiscal year. It’s worth noting that the grant amount does not have to be fully utilized in the year it’s awarded; recipients may use the grant up to six times throughout their lifetime.

Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant 

The SHA grant is available to assist in acquiring, constructing, or modifying your permanent residence to accommodate your specific needs. While the goal of this grant mirrors that of the SAH grant, the eligibility requirements and the available funding amount differ.

Eligibility Criteria 

To qualify for the SHA grant, you or a family member must already own the home, or you should be in the process of acquiring it. Additionally, you must have a qualifying disability, distinct from those listed under the SAH grant. Eligible disabilities include:

  • Loss or loss of use of both hands
  • Certain severe burns
  • Specific respiratory or breathing injuries

Funding Allocation 

For those eligible, the SHA grant offers a maximum of $23,444 for the fiscal year in 2024. Similar to the SAH grant, recipients can utilize this grant up to six times across their lifetime.

Approved Renovations 

Both SHA and SAH grants support renovations such as:

  • Constructing an adapted home
  • Installing ramps or widening doors
  • Other modifications to facilitate independent living

Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grant 

The TRA grant provides funding for temporary modifications in a family member’s home to accommodate your physical needs.

Eligibility Criteria To qualify for a TRA grant, you must:

  • Be eligible for either an SAH or SHA grant
  • Be temporarily residing in a family member’s home that requires adaptations

Funding Amount 

The funding amount for a TRA grant depends on your qualification under the SHA or SAH grants:

  • SHA grant qualifiers can receive up to $8,415 in 2024.
  • SAH grant qualifiers can receive up to $47,130 in 2024. Since this grant pertains to temporary housing, the funds must be utilized within the year they are awarded.

Home Improvement and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant 

The HISA Grant funds medically necessary modifications for veterans, covering conditions not necessarily connected to military service.

Eligibility Criteria 

Modifications must be made to your primary residence and be permanent. Eligible alterations include:

  • Enhancements for entering or exiting the home
  • Bathroom usability improvements, like roll-in showers
  • Modifications for kitchen or bathroom sink/countertop access
  • Walkway improvements or ramp access around the home
  • Upgrades to plumbing or electrical systems for medical equipment The grant does not cover exterior improvements or new construction.

Funding Allocation Funding varies based on the nature of the condition:

  • Service members with a service-connected condition or veterans with a non-service-connected condition deemed at least 50% service-connected by the VA can receive up to $6,800 in lifetime benefits.
  • For non-service-connected conditions, the lifetime limit is $2,000.

Applying for Veteran Housing Grants: A Step-by-Step Guide

To secure a veteran housing grant, follow these essential steps to navigate the application process effectively.

Step 1: Preparation for Application Begin by verifying your eligibility for the grant. If you satisfy the criteria for either the SHA or SAH grant programs mentioned previously, compile all necessary documentation for the application process. This includes having your social security number and, if available, your VA file or claim number at hand.

Step 2: Account Creation Proceed by setting up an account on the VA eBenefits portal. To access the application form, you will need a DS logon. Should you not already possess one, registration for a DS logon is possible via the VA portal.

Step 3: Seeking Assistance for Application Completion Should you require assistance with filling out the grant application, contacting a VA staff member via email is an option for support or to obtain further information. Additionally, SAH staff can be contacted for help over the phone at 877-827-3702.

Step 4: Filling Out the Application

Online: If accessible, complete and submit your application directly online.

Mail: Alternatively, VA Form 26-4555 can be downloaded, filled out by hand, and mailed to the closest loan service center, locatable through the VA’s Regional Loan Center Contact Information database.

In Person: Visiting your nearest VA regional center allows you to fill out the application on-site.

Step 5: Awaiting Decision from the VA After submission, your application will undergo review. You will receive a letter detailing the VA’s decision. The status of your application can also be monitored on the VA website.

Conclusion: Potential Eligibility for Home Adaptation Grants 

Veterans with service-connected disabilities might qualify for various grants aimed at home modifications, enhancing accessibility, and improving life quality within their homes.

Exploring Further: Property Tax Benefits for Disabled Veterans 

For more insights on property tax benefits and other related topics for disabled veterans, our Learning Center offers comprehensive information and resources.

 

Reed Letson

Reed Letson

Reed offers two decades of expertise as a mortgage broker, focusing on veterans and first-time home buyers. With a strong grasp of real estate and mortgage markets, he empowers clients with practical insights. Reed's passion is guiding clients to build wealth through real estate investments and financing solutions.

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