Veterans: Modify Your Home to Accommodate Your Disability
Veterans who’ve suffered a service-related disability can get help from the VA for modifying their homes. The VA has grant programs to assist disabled veterans with necessary home modifications:
The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant
The Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant
The Temporary Residence Adaption (TRA) grant
The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant
Disabled veterans and the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant
The goal of the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant Program is to provide a barrier-free living environment that gives a disabled veteran a level of independent living that he may otherwise not enjoy. This grant is available if you have a service-connected disability for any of the following:
The loss or loss of use of both legs so that you can’t move without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair
Blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus the loss or loss of use of one leg
The loss or loss of use of one leg together with (1) residuals of organic disease or injury, or (2) the loss or loss of use of one arm, which affects your balance or movement so that you can’t get around without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair
A residual is doctor-talk for aftereffects. For example, if you had lung cancer that was cured by surgery or radiation, your lungs may still have scarring, which could affect your ability to breathe. Doctors would call this condition a residual of the lung cancer.
The loss or loss of use of both arms at or above the elbow
The grant can be used to pay for the construction of an adapted home or modification of an existing home to meet your adaptive needs. The SAH grant is generally used to create a wheelchair-accessible home. This grant is currently limited to $60,000.
Disabled veterans and the Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant
If you are permanently and totally (100 percent) disabled with a service-connected disability for blindness (vision of no better than 5/200 when corrected with glasses), or you suffer from the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands or arms below the elbow, you may be eligible to receive a Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant of up to $12,000.
This grant is generally used to assist veterans with mobility throughout their homes.
Disabled veterans and the Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant
If you’re eligible for SAH or SHA, you can use part of that money to modify a family member’s home to fit your needs if you’re temporarily living with her. You can use up to $14,000 of the maximum SAH assistance or up to $2,000 of the maximum SHA assistance for this purpose.
Under current law, the Temporary Residence Adaption (TRA) Grant Program ends December 31, 2012, so currently it’s unavailable. However, Congress could at any time decide to resurrect the grant in future legislation.
Disabled veterans and the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant
The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant is available to veterans with service-connected disabilities and those with non-service-connected disabilities. The purpose of the grant is to make any home improvement necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the home and bathroom facilities.
To be eligible, a VA doctor must indicate that improvements and structural alterations are necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of your disability. You can receive up to $4,100 if you have a service-connected disability and up to $1,200 if you have a non-service-connected disability.