Specially Adapted Housing Changes Help Severely Disabled Veterans
Did you know that the VA home loan goes beyond a simple loan guarantee? In fact, the program provides additional assistance to Veterans with severe service-related disabilities. One of these programs is the Specially Adapted Housing Program (SAH).
SAH provides assistance to the most severely disabled military and veterans to pay for life-changing modifications and accommodations that enhance the independence of their homes and residences. New changes to the laws governing the administration of the SAH program provide an even greater opportunity for VA to fund these adaptations.
SAH grants are awarded by VA to veterans or severely disabled military personnel who meet narrow eligibility criteria for funding to adapt their homes to meet their special needs.
There are three types of adapted housing grants: the specially adapted housing grant (SAH), the special housing adaptation grant (SHA) and the temporary residence adaptation (TRA). Each type of grant has different criteria to determine grant eligibility. Eligibility criteria for these grants can be found here.
In August 2020, Public Law 116-154, the “Ryan Kules and Paul Benne Specially Adaptive Home Improvement Act, 2019” was enacted. This law makes significant changes to the SAH grant program and improves access to significant funding for Veterans with severe and very specific service-related disabilities.
Changes to the SAH program under PL 116-154 include:
- Veterans assessed with a service-related blindness disability – without loss or loss of lower limb use – are now eligible for the SAH grant. The statute now indicates that all disabilities eligible for SAH must be permanent. These changes came into effect on August 8, 2020.
- Use of the Lifetime Grant is no longer limited to three uses for each individual. Eligible military and veterans can now use the grant a total of six times.
- VA is authorized to approve up to 120 grants per year, an increase from the previous statutory limit of 30 per fiscal year for veterans and military personnel who have suffered loss or loss from the use of a lower limb after September 11, 2001.
- The overall maximum amount of the SAH grant was increased to $ 100,896, and the SHA grant was increased to $ 20,215.
VA encourages all veterans, as well as those who know severely disabled veterans who may encounter eligibility criteria for these specialized grants, to familiarize yourself with the SAH grant program. VA is here to serve those who have served our country, and this is especially true for those who can benefit from the SAH program.
Key points to remember from the passage and signing of Ryan Kules and Paul Benne Specially Adaptive Home Improvement Act, 2019 (PL 116-154): https://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/homeloans/SAHFactsheet.pdf
For more information on the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) subsidy program at VA, visit: https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants/.
For more information on the VA Home Loan Program, visit https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/home-loans/.
Jeffrey F. London is the director of the VA loan guarantee service.