When returning from deployment, adjusting to life stateside may be difficult. For military members returning home with an injury as a result of their service, adapting to a new way of life has its own set of challenges.
The VA has three grant programs that allow Veterans with certain permanent service-connected disabilities to build or modify housing to meet their needs: Specially Adapted Housing (SAH), Special Housing Adaptation (SHA), and Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grant. Let’s take a look at how these three grants differ.
The first type of grant is for Specially Adapted Housing (SAH). This grant is provided to disabled Veterans to help ensure their home is sustainable for independent living. Qualified Veterans can be awarded up to $109,986 for expenses including:
Veterans who are eligible for the Specially Adapted Housing Grant must receive compensation for permanent and total disability under one of the following conditions:
The second type of grant is for a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA). This grant awards up to $22,036 for Veterans who have suffered service-related injuries and require some assistance, which may include the following expenses:
Veterans eligible for the Special Housing Adaptation Grant must meet one of the following requirements:
The third type of grant is for Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA). This 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 Veterans Service Center of jurisdiction is responsible for awarding SAH and SHA grants based on the VA Rating Decision. This rating decision will determine whether or not a Veteran meets the qualifications to obtain a grant.
It is important to note that these grants are distributed through the VA and do not directly affect the loan process.
The Veteran’s disability rating does play a role during the time of closing on a home. In fact, about a third of VA borrowers are exempt from paying the VA Funding Fee due to service-related disabilities. In addition, the income received for a service-connected disability can be considered in income calculations, which may lower the Veteran’s debt-to-income ratio.
Another perk of adapted housing grants is that they never expire. A service member that has endured a service-connected disability may apply for a grant whenever he or she wants. The grant may be used up to three times as long as it does not surpass the total initially awarded. Although that amount is generally the same for each recipient, the allocation of it varies. Some Veterans may just need certain areas such as the bathroom or bedroom to be improved. Others may need to completely renovate their home to accommodate a wheelchair user. As long as the changes fall within the VA standards, they will be covered by a SAH or SHA grant.
The VA offers a variety of other housing benefits to eligible Veterans. Understanding all of the available options will help you decide which one is best for your situation.
The easiest way to apply for SAH or SHA is to fill out the VA-26-4555 application online. The VA will review the application to determine if you are eligible to receive a grant and give further instructions. If you prefer to talk to someone in person about the process, you can visit your nearest VA office.
You can use the SAH and SHA grants a total of three times. The TRA grant you may only use once, however. It’s important to note if you use a TRA grant, that will count as one of your three SAH/SHA uses.
If you’re ready to move forward with your VA loan, a Veterans United Specialist is ready to help you with the VA loan process. Get started today or talk with a specialist at 855-870-8845