The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has several grant opportunities for veterans who have service-connected disabilities. When a veteran has a disability, it is oftentimes necessary for him or her to live in a home with certain accessibility features. To address this need, the VA created several types of grants that help veterans afford modifications to a new or existing home without having to apply for a veteran loan program.
To qualify for any VA grant, veterans will need to have a permanent and total service-connected disability. Through these grants, veterans with disabilities can have a barrier-free home, which makes it easier to live independently. Below, learn more about the types of VA grants that disabled veterans can access and also the steps to apply and get approved for a grant.
Types of Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans
Currently, there are three main types of grants that veterans can receive to make their homes more accessible. It is important to note that some of these grants may sound similar, but they work a little differently from one another. The three types of grant programs that are available to disabled veterans are:
- The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant.
- The Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant.
- The Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grant.
First, the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant is available to help veterans built a specially-constructed home or remodel an existing home so that it can be more accessible. The funds from an SAH grant can also help cover part of the unpaid mortgage balance of an adapted home that was bought without the help of a VA grant. In other words, veterans who already owned their homes but had to modify them to accommodate a disability can still benefit from an SAH grant.
Second, the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant is available for veterans who already own a home that needs to be adapted or veterans who plan on purchasing a home that needs to be adapted. SHA grants may also help with the purchase of an already adapted home. For example, a veteran may use this grant to help purchase a home that already has all of the required accommodations for a wheelchair.
Third, there are Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grants open to veterans who are temporarily living with family whose home needs to be adapted to suit the veteran’s disability. To get a TRA grant, a veteran must be eligible for an SHA or SAH grant. However, note that using the TRA grant will not deplete the total amount of grant funds available to the veteran.
Eligibility Requirements for Veteran Grant Programs
Each veteran grant program has its own eligibility requirements. However, several of these requirements are shared between grant programs. For example, both SAH and SHA are only available to veterans who own their home. Other qualifications that must be met include requirements that are related to:
- Service length.
- The service-connected disability that the applicant is afflicted with.
- The number of times that the applicant has received a veteran grant.
After you apply for a veteran grant, you will be notified about the decision made on your case. If you are not found eligible for a grant program, your notice will also provide the reason that you did not meet eligibility requirements. It is essential that you review these requirements carefully. For example, if you are denied for failing to provide the necessary documentation or failing to fully complete your application, you could still be eligible for benefits and may need to reapply.
Learn How to Apply for a Veteran Grant
The application process for SAH, SHA and TRA grants is the same due to the fact that a single application form is used for these grants. These grants can be obtained any time by filling out VA Form 26-4555 online, over the phone, by mail or in person at your local VA regional office.
During the application, you will need to verify your eligibility based on your disability. Remember that you must have a permanent and total service-connected disability to qualify. The exact types of qualifying disabilities also vary depending on whether you are requesting the SAH or SHA grant.
It is also important to understand that the VA accepts a limited number of applicants during each fiscal year. If you are eligible for a grant based on your disability but did not receive funding before the cap is reached, you are encouraged to apply in the next fiscal year.
When submitting an application for a VA grant, you may be required to provide documentation to support your application. Where documentation is required, it is essential that you submit your documents in a timely manner to avoid a delay or denial of benefits.
Discover Veteran Grant Benefits
Before applying for a grant, it helps to understand what benefits you may receive under each of these VA programs. In 2019, the maximum amount awarded for a SAH grant was $85,645 and the maximum amount for SHA grants was $17,130 per recipient. If you are eligible for a temporary TRA grant, you may receive up to $37,597 depending on what type of grant you choose to use for your permanent housing needs in the future. Keep in mind that these amounts are subject to change from one year to the next.