The Department of Veterans Affairs strives for excellence in patient care and veteran's benefits for its constituents through high quality, prompt and seamless service to United States veterans.
In FY 07, 805 grants were made to disabled veterans. In both FY 08 and FY 09, 811 expected to be made to disabled veterans. Output for FY 08 is expected to be 620.
Uses and Use Restrictions
The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program provides 50 percent of the cost to the veteran of the adapted house, land, and allowable expenses, not to exceed a maximum grant of $50,000.
The money may be used to help (1) construct a suitable home on suitable land either already owned or to be acquired by the veteran, or (2) remodel an existing home if it can be suitably adapted, or (3) acquire a suitably adapted home or reduce the outstanding mortgage on a suitably adapted home already owned by the veteran.
In computing the amount of the grant, the costs may include incidental expenses such as connections to public facilities and customary fees for the services of an attorney, architect, loan closing, etc.
There are restrictions on the use of a grant; if a loan is necessary to supplement the grant, monthly loan payments and the cost of maintaining the property must bear a proper relation to the veteran's present and anticipated income.
The housing unit must also be suitable for the veteran's special needs, and the veteran must acquire acceptable title to the property.
The Special Housing Adaptations (SHA) program provides the actual cost to the veteran of certain adaptations and/or equipment, not to exceed a maximum grant of $10,000.
The home to be adapted must be owned by the veteran or by a member of the veteran's family, and the veteran must intend to continue residing there.
The Temporary Residence Adaptations (TRA) program provides adaptation assistance to veterans who are residing, but do not intend to permanently reside, in the a residence owned by a family member.
If a veteran is otherwise eligible for SAH, the assistance is limited to $14,000.
If a veteran is otherwise eligible for SHA, the assistance is limited to $2,000.
SAH and SHA grants may be used up to three times, as long as the aggregate grant amount does not exceed the statutory dollar limitation.
TRA grants may only be used once (and count as a grant usage for purposes of the limit of three), and the amount of assistance provided will be subtracted from the veteran's available statutory maximum.
For a SAH grant, veterans are eligible if they are entitled to compensation under chapter 11 for a permanent, total, and service-connected disability due to: (1) loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, canes, crutches, or a wheelchair; (2) blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity; (3) loss or loss of use of one lower extremity, together with residuals of organic disease or injury, or the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity, which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair; or (4) loss or loss of use, of both upper extremities such as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbows.
It must be medically feasible for the veteran to reside in the particular home involved.
For a SHA grant, veterans are eligible if they are entitled to compensation under chapter 11 for a permanent and total service-connected disability that (1) is due to blindness in both eyes with 5/200 visual acuity or less, or (2) includes the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands.
Permanently and totally disabled veterans.
Aplication and Award Process
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
Initial application for determination of basic eligibility may be made on VA Form 26-4555 to the VA regional office holding the veteran's claim folder. After eligibility is determined, a VA employee will personally assist the veteran throughout subsequent processing, including advice on a suitable house plan and lot, adaptive features, location of a qualified architect and builder, and submission of the documents necessary for final grant approval.
The VA Regional Office releases the grant proceeds after conditions of the contract and grant approval are fulfilled.
Public Laws 80-702, 96-385, 105-178, and 109-233; 38 U.S.C. 2101-2106.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Initial interview completed within 40 days of determination of eligibility. Grant approval timeline varies and is dependent upon veteran's desires to move forward with securing contractors and drafting construction plans.
Denial of eligibility is appealable through the Board of Veterans' Appeals. In the event of a denial, claimants are advised of appeal rights and procedures at the time of notification.
Formula and Matching Requirements
For a SAH grant, VA provides 50 percent of the cost to the veteran of the housing unit, land, fixtures and allowable expenses, not to exceed a maximum grant of $50,000. For a SHA grant, VA provides the lesser of (1) the actual cost of adaptations, or (2) $10,000.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Usually, if a veteran already owns a suitable house, the grant is released in lump sum. In remodeling and construction cases, the grant is released by specified construction completion phases approved by VA.
Post Assistance Requirements
(Direct Payments) FY 07 $27,764,000; FY 08 est $35,910,000; and FY 09 est $35,910,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
SAH: For the housing unit, land, fixtures, and allowable expenses, up to $50,000. SHA: For adaptations to the veteran's residence, up to $10,000.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
38 CFR 3.809, 36.4400-36.4411, and title 38, United State Code, chapter 21; "Questions and Answers on Specially Adapted Housing for Veterans," VA Pamphlet 26-69-1, no charge; "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Pamphlet 80-0-01, $5.00, available from Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The stock number is 051-000-00233-4. "Handbook for Design, Specially Adapted Housing," VA Pamphlet 26-13, available to eligible veterans.
Regional or Local Office
Applicants should communicate with the nearest VA Regional Office. Case development and assistance will be provided by the VA office with jurisdiction over the location of the property involved. See Appendix IV of the Catalog for addresses of these offices listed under Department of Veterans Affairs. Information may be obtained from the nearest Regional Office by calling toll free 1-800- 827-1000.
Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461-9500.
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