VA loans

VA Home Loan Benefits and Grants For Disabled Vets

August 5, 2011

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.

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9 Comments
  1. Allen Wines

    We whould like to know were are grant papers are because we sent for them and never got them yet? thank you?

    • Joe Wallace

      Hi Allen, where did you send off for them?

  2. Michael Machado

    Was wondering if and how as a Veteran if I could find another Veteran who would want to get out of his or her mortgage and take over their mortgage...

  3. Theodore Strickland

    I have two replaced knees that are wearing out and need to use my SAH grant to adapt my house. I am very worried about getting exercise. I know that a pool would be the best thing for me and my doc agrees. I understand that this can be paid for in situations similar to mine. How does this work? And I live in an area with a safety issue in my back yard due to wildlife. Can the SAH grant pay for a fence? I like to use the backyard rather than staying inside. Thanks for your info.

    • Joe Wallace

      Thanks for your question--best advice is to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly for assistance with your specific circumstances--you can find your nearest VA Regional Loan Center here http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/rlcweb.asp or call the VA at 1-800-827-1000.

  4. Mrs Taylor

    My husband came home disabled we have lost everything and credit is destroyed. He has partical disability at this time and only looking for a 5-7k dollar loan to purchase a fixer upper. We will be homeless in 6 weeks, and I have contacted acgencies and homless vet programs and there is nothing aside from putting us into public housing now. Which we will have to give up pets we have had for many years. We can set up his disability payments to directly relate to any loan but foreclosure/repo on house/cars, and my own health issues with 3 surgerys in 14 months (2 were emergency) We have had doors slammed in faces for loans, and have no family to assist for co signer. This is emergency assistance needed. Any ideas? NO agency able to help us, I have called 100's of calls referal after referal and end up in the same loop refered back to our local VA homeless cowardinator who again... our income is so high we wouldn't be able to afford HUD. Our situation is also temporary NOT rest of our life fixed income, as I am released to work so everytime our income goes up they will take another 1/3 of that for rent. I am very close to wits end and have found the right house not to bad of an area. Public housing is only option left and this is NOT a option for my husband meaning we would have to seperate.

    • Joe Wallace

      Have you contacted your Regional VA Loan Center to discuss your VA loan options? The VA RLC is not the same as the local VA office, these centers specialize in VA loans of all types. Find your Regional Loan Center at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/rlcweb.asp

  5. annetta brady

    My husband is a Vietnam Veteran. He is at 70% disability. We were wondering if there are grants to do home improvements. We own a mobile home and the windows and roof need replacing. In our bathroom is a huge garden tub that we never use because it is hard for him to get in and out. Our step in shower is also unusable right now because of the floor. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    • Joe Wallace

      VA grants are available to make a home more accessible for wheelchairs and for improvements that could include a more accessible bathing area. Contact your nearest VA office to learn what the requirements are and what improvements are covered.

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