This post was contributed by VA Home Loan Centers.
Of the 22 million veterans currently living in this country are 5.5 million living with some form of disability. 3.4 million of these veterans sustained their disability as a result of service. 2.9 million veterans receive service-related compensation yearly. As a result of 12 continuous years of war, qualitative advancements in medical technology and the influx of severe burns and amputations, the post-2002 number of veterans with a 70 percent or higher disability rating has exponentially increased. Nearly 590,000 veterans have been assigned a disability rating of greater than 70 percent by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The VA provides numerous benefits to military members who have sustained a service-related disability; many of these entitlements pertain to homeownership. The VA home loan allows for qualified applicants to receive housing adaptation grants. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) and the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grants enable owner occupied homes to be modified to the specific needs of the individual. The SAH grant as stated by the VA is to be used to “create a barrier free environment.” This grant is designed to make a home more wheelchair accessible. The SHA grant was tailor-made to assist veteran homeowners who have suffered reduced vision or blindness create a safer more inhabitable living space. Redeemable for $67,555 (SAH) and $13,511 (SHA), these grants can be used to customize already owned homes or homes being purchased. Examples of allowable adaptations include but are not limited to:
• Added Ramps
• Added Stair Lifts
• Specialized bathroom fixtures, toilets and baths
• Increased storage space
• Added stair rails
• Added outdoor lighting
• Paving/adding wheelchair paths
Furthermore, these adaptations are applicable to the home of a family member if the loan applicant makes the home their primary residence. Eligibility for these grants is based on the severity of the individual’s disability. Representing an additional cost savings benefit is that the VA home loan funding fee is waived for disabled veterans. In qualifying for a VA home loan, an applicant can use their disability compensation to meet income standards.
For veterans, disabled or able-bodied, no better option exists in aiding in the attainment of home buying than the VA Home Loan. For more information, visit vahomeloancenters.org or the VA HLC Home Loan Information page.