Some things in life we just take for granted. These days, you can walk up to the entrance of an office building and you don’t need to exert any extra effort to get the door open since technology takes care of that now. No need to wait for the elevator, you can just take the stairs and get some more cardio in your workout. Can’t find a parking space close to the entrance? I’ll just walk!
But what if you’re a Disabled Veteran? All these things take on a new meaning!
Automatic doors mean nothing if your wheelchair has difficulty fitting into tight spaces found beyond the front doors. Informational signs can’t be read if someone posts something over the Braille sections of the elevator. And, who is that fool who parked in the parking space set aside for those who genuinely need it?
Enter a series of programs available to certain Servicemembers and Veterans with service-connected disabilities!
Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans
Depending on the nature of your disability, you may qualify for a housing grant from the Veterans Administration to help build a new specially adapted house. If you already own a home, or buy a house with the intent to modify it, you may be able to get some financial support to help you get the house ready to meet your disability-related requirements.
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
This grant provides eligibility for up to $64,960, although the VA may approve a grant of not more than 50 percent of the cost of building, buying, or adapting existing homes. VA may approve and pay to reduce indebtedness on a currently owned home that is being adapted, up to a maximum of $64,960. Using the grant toward remodeling costs may be an option. (Please check into the specifics of this program.)
This program is available to Veterans and Servicemembers who have been determined eligible to receive compensation for permanent and total service-connected disability due to one of the following:
- Loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion to preclude ambulating without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or wheelchair.
- Loss or loss of use of both upper extremities at or above the elbow.
- Blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity.
- Loss of loss of use of one lower extremity together with (a) residuals or organic disease or injury, (b) the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the use of braces, canes, crutches, or a wheelchair.
- Severe burn injuries, which are defined as full thickness or subdermal burns that have resulted in contractures with limitation of motion of two or more extremities or of at least one extremity and the trunk.
- The loss, or loss of use of one or more lower extremities due to service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude ambulating without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or wheelchair.
Be sure to check out several other programs available for Veterans and Servicemembers with service-connected disabilities:
Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant: Eligibility for up to $12,992: VA may approve a benefit amount up to a maximum of $12,992, for the cost of necessary adaptations to a Servicemember’s or Veteran’s residence or help him/her acquire a residence already adapted with special features for his/her disability, to purchase and adapt a home, or for adaptations to a family member’s home in which they reside. See eligibility requirements.
Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grant: For Veterans and Servicemembers temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member.
Supplemental Financing: Veterans and Servicemembers with available loan guaranty entitlement may also obtain a guaranteed loan or a direct loan from VA to supplement the grant to acquire a specially adapted home.
Automobile Allowance: As of October 1, 2012, Veterans and Servicemembers may be eligible for a one-time payment of not more than $19,505 (Although the website says $18,900, please check with VA for any updates or changes.) toward the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance if they have a service-connected loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands or feet, or permanent impairment of vision of both eyes to a certain degree. Read more about the Automobile Allowance.
Clothing Allowance: For any Veteran who has a service-connected disability that requires a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance. Also available for any Veteran whose service-connected skin condition requires prescribed medication that irreparably damages outer garments. Read more about the Clothing Allowance.
Allowance for Aid and Attendance or Housebound Veterans: This benefit applied to a Veteran who is determined by VA to be in need of the regular aid and attendance of another person, or a Veteran who is permanently housebound, may be entitled to additional disability compensation or pension payments. A Veteran evaluated at 30 percent or more disabled is entitled to receive an additional payment for a spouse who is in need of the aid and attendance of another person.
See VA Pamphlet 80-13-01 for more details or the VA Website: http://benefits.va.gov/homeloans/adaptedhousing.asp.