VA Loan Benefits and Grants for Disabled Vets
We’ve had several recent questions concerning VA home loan benefits for disabled veterans. There have been changes, modifications and improvements to a wide variety of VA loan and grant programs for disabled vets in recent years, including modifications to the VA funding fee exemption policy and new programs established for eligible disabled veterans.
The VA loan funding fee exemption is an important benefit for disabled veterans. At one time, four categories of people were qualified to be exempt from paying the VA funding fee. New rules add a fifth. Under the old rules, those receiving VA disability benefits, anyone entitled to get those benefits or received VA disability benefits in the past were exempt from having to pay the VA loan funding fee, which is 2.15% of the total loan amount for purchase loans.
The same exemption applies to surviving spouses of veterans who died on active duty or from service-connected conditions as identified by the VA.
The new rules now also exempt from the funding fee any veteran who received VA disability compensation but went back to active duty. Vets who return to active duty have their disability benefits stopped in favor of receiving active duty pay. The new rule recognizes these disabled vets even though they don’t currently draw disability from the VA.
A recent VA benefit program is called the VA The Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant, which is “…available to veterans and servicemembers who have been rated eligible for the Specially Adapted Housing section 2101 (a) (SAH) or the Special Home Adaptation section 2101(b) (SHA) grant on a one-time basis” according to the VA official site. This grant was created to help qualified disabled vets adapt a family member’s property “to meet the veteran’s or service members special needs.”
Those eligible for a TRA grant may be qualified to receive up to $14,000 for a section 2101(a) SAH grant or up to $2,000of 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.”
That now includes a family caregiver’s home–eligible grant recipients don’t have to own their own property in order to make use of the grant money.