RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

VA SAH UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on August 29th, 2008

A change in the law will increase the amount of grants available to seriously injured veterans seeking to modify their homes to accommodate their injuries. Prior to the change, eligible veterans and servicemembers could receive special adaptive housing grants of $10,000 or $50,000 from VA only once. Now they may use the benefit up to three times, so long as the total grants stay within specified limits outlined in the law. VA has averaged about 1,000 adaptive housing grant applications per year during the last 10 years, providing more than $650 million in grants to about 34,000 seriously disabled veterans since the benefit began in 1948. Eligible for the benefit are those with specific service-connected disabilities entitling them to VA compensation for a “permanent and total disability.” They may receive a grant to construct an adapted home or to modify an existing one to meet their special needs. VA has three types of adapted housing grants available:

 

• The Specially Adapted Housing grant (SAH), currently limited to $50,000, is generally used to create a wheelchair-accessible home.

• The Special Housing Adaptations (SHA) grant, currently limited to $10,000, is generally used to assist veterans with mobility throughout their homes due to blindness in both eyes, or the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands or extremities below the elbow.

• A third type of grant established by the new law, the Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant, is available to eligible veterans and seriously injured active duty servicemembers who are temporarily living or intend to temporarily live in a home owned by a family member.

While the SAH and SHA grants require ownership and title to a house, in creating TRA, Congress recognized the need to allow veterans and active duty members who may not yet own homes to have access to the adaptive housing grant program. Under TRA, veterans and servicemembers eligible under the SAH program would be permitted to use up to $14,000, and those eligible under the SHA program would be allowed to use up to $2,000 of the maximum grant amounts. Each grant would count as one of the three grants allowed under the new program. [Source: U.S. Medicine article 14 Aug 08 ++]

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