Expanded Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans Now Available

Woman in wheelchair working at desk
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The Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant program to include less seriously disabled veterans as well as increasing the limits on how many veterans may participate in the program.

The VA’s housing grant program is designed to help severely disabled veterans make their homes safe and liveable.

In a notice published in the Federal Register, the VA has announced the implementation of the change, which was effective Aug. 8, 2020.

Also, effective Oct. 1, 2020, some veterans participating in the grant program became eligible for twice the amount of grants as before.

Available VA Housing Grants

The VA offers disabled veterans two types of housing grants, the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant and the Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant.

The main difference between the SAH and SHA grant lies in the type and severity of disability a veteran suffers from. Normally, veterans who have injuries affecting their movement are eligible for the SAH grant, while those suffering from injuries that impact their ability to perform daily tasks are eligible for the SHA grant.

A Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant is also available for veterans to make adaptations to a family member's home in which they are living temporarily.

See: The Specially Adapted Housing Program

Changes In Eligibility For VA Housing Grants

Effective Aug. 8, 2020, Public Law 116-154 opened up the SAH grant program to more veterans. Prior to the enactment of the new law, veterans suffering vision loss were only eligible for the grant if they also experienced the loss, or loss of use, of one leg.

The new law made veterans who are blind in both eyes eligible for the grant, regardless of their ability to use their lower limbs.

Also, a veteran's disability rating for vision loss no longer needs to be permanent and total, just permanent for them to be eligible. The veteran's vision loss requirements are also not as strict as before. Prior to the law, a veteran only could have light perception in one or both eyes to be eligible, but under the new law, a veteran with vision that can be corrected to no better than  20/200 acuity may be eligible for the housing grant. 

Related: Specially Adapted Housing Details

More Grants Available

The law also increased the number of grants an eligible veteran may receive.

Previously, a veteran could only receive three grants in their lifetime as long as the total grant amount didn't exceed the statutory limit, currently $101,754. Under the new law, a veteran may now get up to six grants as long as they don't exceed the total. That means that if a veteran used three grants to make their home livable and now have need for more modifications, they may be eligible for such grants.

Also, the VA previously was limited by law to paying only 30 SAH grants to Post-9/11 veterans suffering from loss of limb (arm or leg) or extremity (hand or foot). Now the VA can award up to 120 SAH grants annually to Post-9/11 veterans suffering from those conditions.

These changes are retroactive to housing grant applications submitted on or after Aug. 8, 2020. Contact the VA for more information.

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