VA Home Loan Benefits and Grants For Disabled Vets
There are many reasons why veterans with VA-recognized disabilities benefit from purchasing a home using a VA-insured loan.
The first benefit for qualified veterans is that, depending on the amount of disability, a veteran may be exempt from paying the VA loan funding fee–a substantial savings to the borrower. Ordinarily, first time VA borrowers pay a 2.15% VA loan funding fee for a no-money-down VA mortgage. The VA loan funding fee for subsequent use on a no-money-down loan is 3.30% at the time of this blog post.
Veterans who are 10% disabled or more (as recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs) would be exempt from paying the VA loan funding fee.
The VA also has grants for qualifying disabled vets. These grants can be used to help purchase specially adapted housing, or modify current homes to be more accessible. One such grant is the 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.
This grant is for disabled vets with VA-identified qualifying circumstances which include (but are not limited to)
* Permanent service-connected disability due to the total loss or use of both lower extremities.
* Blindness in both eyes having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity.
* Permanent disability is due to a severe burn injury.
Contact the VA to learn more on whether your specific disability qualifies. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an additional qualifying factor for the 2101(a) concerns the ability of the disabled vet to realistically live in the home purchased or modified with 2101 (a) grant funds. VA rules say it must be medically feasible for the disabled service member to occupy the home.
Another VA benefit related to modifying a home 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. This grant helps disabled vets adapt a family member’s property “to meet the veteran’s or service members special needs.”
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.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, “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.”
This grant is obviously not directly connected to the service member’s purchase of their own home, but it is an excellent way for a disabled vet to offset the cost of modifying a family member’s home to be more accessible. Some vets may require more assistance in the beginning of their recovery from service-connected injuries or disabilities, but choose to purchase property of their own later on. In that respect such a grant would be most helpful in the interim.