There are many different VA home loan benefits available to qualifying disabled veterans. They include special consideration for VA insured mortgages--qualifying disabled vets don't have to pay a VA loan funding fee, for example. There are also a variety of VA grants used to help qualifying veterans purchase and/or modify housing to suit their needs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers the Specially Adapted Housing Grant, or a 2101(a) grant intended for disabled veterans. This grant is meant to offset the cost of specially adapted housing. According to VA requirements, those eligible for this grant are those entitled to or currently receiving VA compensation for what the Department of Veterans Affairs defines as a "permanent and total" service-connected disability.
But what disabilities qualify for this VA grant money? According to the VA, every circumstance is different and while a veteran needs to have his or her case reviewed individually to be considered, the VA does publish a list that shows who is "basically eligible" for the 2101(a).
Veterans who meet the conditions on this list aren't automatically eligible--all medical conditions listed below do qualify "as determined by the VA.” This means the veteran must have VA documentation highlighting one of the conditions listed below:
- Loss, or loss of use of both lower extremities such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair.
- Blindness in both eyes having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity.
- The loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity together with residuals of organic disease or injury, or the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity. These injuries must, according to VA requirements, "Preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair."
- The loss, or loss of use, of both upper extremities, so as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbows.
- The permanent and total disability is due to a severe burn injury as determined by the VA.
According to the VA, the official disability rating is used to make the determination, but that rating is subject to review and is not considered "permanent" once the determination is made. This would indicate that a veteran has the possibility of appealing a decision to decline the grant, but chances are the VA would require a new review.
The VA 2101(a) grant was created to help qualified borrowers purchase a home already adapted for disabled access, and can also be used to modify a home to make it accessible. The cumulative grant amount can change on an annual basis.
There is a similar grant known as the VA 2101(b). This is intended for adapting a home and has an additional feature; the 2101(b) grant money is permitted to be used for the purpose of adapting a home owned by the disabled veteran's family where the veteran intends to live.
Another grant is the VA Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant, which is open to qualified veterans who may be eligible for the Specially Adapted Housing section 2101(a) (SAH) or the Special Home Adaptation section 2101(b) (SHA) grant.
The VA TRA grant was created to assist in modifying a family member's property "to meet the veteran's or service members special needs" according to the VA.
Grants like TRA and the 2101 programs have a diverse range of applications but the veteran must first apply for eligibility for the grant before applying for the grant itself.