HOME REPAIR GRANTS FOR DISABLED VETERANS
The Veterans Administration has two grant programs for home repair funding for qualifying veterans with disabilities. The Specially Adapted Housing Grant and the Home Improvements and Structural Assistance program are offered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help disabled veterans to remain in their homes.
Money is available for veterans injured while serving their country. The Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH) provides up to $50,000 to veterans injured in service so they can create a home that is fully accessible. The Home Improvements and Structural Assistance (HISA) program offers home improvement and modification grants of $1,200 to $4,100 for veterans with service-related and non-service-related disabilities.
Remodeling can keep qualifying veterans in their homes and communities. The home repair grant funding is offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help disabled veterans live in the community of their choice, in the home of their choice. SAH has helped qualifying disabled veterans modify an existing home or build a new accessible home. HISA offers additional assistance. The primary function of these programs is to allow disabled vets to live as independently as possible.
The Specially Adapted Housing Grant is available for veterans who were disabled permanently and totally as a result of activities during wartime service (100 percent service-related disability). The majority of veterans who qualify are confined to a wheelchair and require modifications to existing house plans for wheelchair access.
The Home Improvements and Structural Assistance program is open to a wider range of veterans and includes those veterans who are disabled as a result of non-service-related conditions. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs HISA program handbook, veterans can receive a $4,100 lifetime benefit for:
"(a) Service connected condition.
(b) Non-service connected condition of a veteran rated 50 percent or more service connected.
(c) Non-service connected condition of a veteran in receipt of 38 U.S.C. Section 1151 benefits.
and a $1,200 lifetime HISA benefit when necessary for treatment of a non-service connected condition of veterans who are:
(a) Rated less than 50 percent service connected.
(b) Discharged or released from active duty for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line
(c) Former Prisoners of War, veterans of the Mexican Border period or World War I.
(d) Unable to defray the expenses of necessary care as determined under 38 U.S.C. Section 1722 (a), i.e., veterans who qualify through "means testing," as determined via Medical Care Cost Fund (MCCF).
(e) Eligible for benefits under 38 U.S.C. Section 1710(a)(2)(F) and (e), due to exposure to a toxic substance, radiation, or an environmental hazard."
Under SAH terms, it must be medically feasible for the disabled veteran to live in the home for which the grant would be used. A change in the program in 2008 allows veterans to use this benefit up to three times. Previous guidelines restricted the grant to one time per veteran.
The HISA program does not cover major modifications that are generally covered by the SAH grant program. For instance, handrails installed in showers are covered under HISA, while widening a bathroom doorway is not. The qualifying veteran must have a prescription for the home modification from a physician to qualify for grant funding.
Receiving grant money through the HISA and SAH programs is not difficult and does not require paid assistance. Some companies offer "grant assistance" for a fee to help disabled veterans to apply for Department of Veterans Affairs home repair grant funding, but these fees are never necessary.
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