VA guidelines

More Facts About VA Specially Adapted Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

August 31, 2011

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More Facts About VA Specially Adapted Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

There are several types of VA home loan benefits available to qualifying disabled veterans. Those benefits include special consideration for VA insured mortgages (qualifying disabled vets don’t have to pay a VA loan funding fee) and a series of grants which can help a veteran purchase and/or modify housing to suit their needs.

One of those grants is VA 2101(a) Specially Adapted Housing Grant, which provides up to 50 percent of the cost of a specially adapted house (in specific circumstances) or a maximum amount of just over $63 thousand. The 2101(a) grant is intended to help purchase a home already adapted for disabled access. It can also be used to modify a home to make it accessible.

The VA 2101(b) grant is designed specifically for adapting a home and has an additional feature—2101(b) grant money can be used for adapting a property owned by the veteran’s family where the disabled vet intends to live as his or her permanent residence. A similar grant is the Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant, created for vets eligible for the Specially Adapted Housing section 2101(a) (SAH) or the Special Home Adaptation section 2101(b) (SHA) grant.

A TRA grant helps disabled vets adapt a family member’s property “to meet the veteran’s or service members special needs” according to the VA official site. Qualifying veterans can receive up to $14,000 for a section 2101(a) SAH grant or up to $2,000 of the maximum amount for a section 2101(b) SHA grant.

The Department of Veterans Affairs official site says of these grants, “The goal of the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant Program is to provide a barrier-free living environment that affords the veterans or servicemembers a level of independent living he or she may not normally enjoy.”

Such grants have a diverse range of applications. Many require qualifying disabilities, and the veteran must first apply for eligibility for the grant in many cases before applying for the grant itself.

But what about veterans who haven’t received an official disability rating from the VA, or received a grant eligibility notice at the time they want to apply?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, “If the veteran has not been rated eligible for a grant by the Veterans Service Center (VSC), the VA Form 4555 serves to initiate a review of the veteran’s medical records by the VSC to determine if the veteran is eligible for the grant.”

VA Form 4555 mentioned above refers to the application for eligibility, so it’s clear according to VA rules that paperwork must be submitted first. Unfortunately, veterans who do not have VA-recognized disabilities must wait until they have a disability rating in order to qualify for specially adapted housing grants.

Like the waiver of the VA loan funding fee, the Department of Veterans Affairs won’t extend the benefits–in this case, grant eligibility–until the VA has official confirmation of the veteran’s disability status. Only disabilities officially recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs qualify.

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