Veterans and other service members who have service-caused disabilities may be eligible for a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to make their lives a little easier. The VA provides two grant programs – the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant and the Special Housing Adaption (SHA) grant.
The goal of both programs is to provide veterans with a barrier-free living environment that delivers a level of independence that the veteran may not normally enjoy.
With the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant, eligible veterans can use the grant to construct a specially adapted home – on both land that has already been purchased or is yet to be purchased – or can remodel an existing structure to make it suitable or can also use the grant to apply the funds against the unpaid principle of an already adapted home.
Now, with the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant, veterans with certain service-connected disabilities can adapt an existing home that the veteran or family already owns and lives in, adapt a home that the veteran intends to purchase and will live in or to help a veteran purchase a home that has already been adapted.
The SAH and SHA benefit amount is set by law, but may be adjusted upward annually based on a cost-of-construction index. The maximum dollar amount allowable for SAH grants in fiscal year 2014 is $67,555. The maximum dollar amount allowable for SHA grant in fiscal year 2014 is $13,511. No individual may use the grant benefit more than three times up to the maximum dollar amount allowable.
A temporary grant may be available to SAH/SHA eligible Veterans and Servicemembers who are or will be temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member. The maximum amount available to adapt a family member's home for the SAH grant is $29,657 and for the SHA grant is $5,295.
How to Apply
To apply for a grant, fill out and submit VA Form 26-4555, Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant. You can access this form by:
- Applying online via www.ebenefits.va.gov
- Download VA Form 26-4555, Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant and mailing it to your nearest Regional Loan Center
- Call the VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000 and request the claim form to be mailed
- Visiting the nearest VA regional office
For more information, visit the official VA site.