100% Disabled Veteran Housing Allowance – What is It and Must You Have a 100% VA Rating to Qualify?

Disabled Veteran Housing Allowance

Veterans who receive a 100% Disability rate due to their service-connected health conditions are entitled to many forms of compensation from the VA such as monthly payments, healthcare, and employment benefits.

The 100% Disabled Veteran Housing Allowance is also a part of your VA benefits. It is a housing assistance program that includes several housing grants to help improve living conditions for you and your family if you have a 100% disability rate. 

In this Blog, we’ll cover how this program works, what it can provide, and the eligibility criteria for VA housing grants.

Overview – VA Housing Grants for Veterans

As part of the 100% Veteran Housing Allowance, the VA provides several housing grants for Veterans with service-connected disabilities to help buy or upgrade their homes in order to address specific health care needs:

  • Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant
  • Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
  • Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant
  • Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grant

These grants are designed to enhance disabled Veterans’ living conditions so they can be independent and ensure that they live in a safe and comfortable space. 

For example, you may need to install ramps and handrails in your house, widen the doors, or make some other changes to be able to move freely and safely in your house and have access to all the necessary facilities. VA Housing Grants will also assist if you live in crowded living space or need to move to a new home.

Veterans do not necessarily need to have a 100% disability rating to qualify for the housing grants listed below. However, some of them have very specific disability criteria to qualify for the compensation.

Special Housing Adaptation Grant (SHA)

The SHA Grant is meant for Veterans who need to refurbish their current home in order to address medical and health needs related to service-connected disabilities. As of 2024, the SHA Grant will cover up to $23,444 of the renovation costs.

It is important to remember that the SHA Grant is meant for renovations made in your permanent home. It means that you or your family member need to provide evidence of property ownership to qualify for this grant.

You also need to have a qualifying service-connected disability:

  • The loss or loss of use of both hands
  • Certain severe burns
  • Certain respiratory or breathing injuries

Special Adapted Housing Grant (SAH)

Unlike SHA, which is technically available to all qualifying Veterans, the SAH Grant is provided to only 120 Veterans and service members each fiscal year (October 1 – September 30).

Remember if you qualify for the SAH grant but did not receive it because of the 120-person limit this year, you can apply for it every year without any limitations until you receive the compensation.

The SAH Grant can be used not only for renovation, but also for the purchase or construction of a permanent house where a Veteran with a 100% disability rate will live.

Just like with the SHA, to receive the SAH Grant, you or one of your family members must prove ownership (or future ownership) of the property.

However, the list of qualifying disabilities in this case is a little different:

  • The loss or loss of use of more than one limb
  • The loss or loss of use of a lower leg, along with the residuals (lasting effects) of an organic (natural) disease or injury
  • Blindness in both eyes (with 20/200 visual acuity or less)
  • Certain severe burns
  • The loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity (foot or leg) after September 11, 2001, which prevents you from balancing or walking without the help of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair

For the 2024 fiscal year, the maximum compensation for the SAH Grant is $117,014.

Keep in mind that once you receive a SHA or SAH Grant, you don’t have to use the whole amount at once. Since you may need to make additional improvements and renovations to your house over time, the grant money can be used up to 6 times over your lifetime. 

The VA also adjusts the maximum amount of SAH and SHA Grants based on the changing costs of construction materials and services. In other words, in 10 years, when you may need further renovations in your house, you will most likely receive more compensation you received previously.

How do I Apply for an Adapted Housing Grant?

To apply for an SAH or SHA Grant you will need to fill out the Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant (VA Form 26-4555)

Also, you will need to provide your Social Security Number and VA File or Claim Number. It’s always best to seek professional assistance when you’re filing for the Adapted Housing Grant, since, like with any other VA Benefits case, your claim can be declined. This usually happens when the 100% disability rating is not considered permanent. The good news is, just like with any VA Disability Claim, you can also appeal this decision.

Home Improvement and Structural Alteration (HISA) Grant

The HISA grant is meant to help disabled Veterans make necessary home improvements and structural alterations for disability access or medical treatment. For example, it can help you adjust the lavatory and sanitary facilities, improve access to kitchen or bathroom sinks or counters, or change plumbing or electrical systems to install home medical equipment.

Veterans with service-connected disabilities can receive up to $6,800 through the HISA Grant. You can apply for this grant even if you have a service-connected disability rated at least 50%.

HISA Grant is also available for Veterans with non-service-connected disabilities. In his case, the maximum compensation is $2,000.

To apply for the HISA Grant, you will need:

  • Veterans Application for Assistance (VA Form 10-0103)
  • A prescription written or approved by a VA physician. This document should include:
    • A diagnosis and medical justification for the prescribed improvement or structural alteration
    • A description of the prescribed project, including the area of the home to be improved or structurally altered
  • An estimate of costs of materials, labor, permits, and inspections for the home alterations
  • A colored photo of the area that needs to be improved

Remember that the HISA Grant may not cover some alterations, such as external improvements, and home security systems. It is always better to contact qualified VA professionals when you file for this compensation. 

Also, since this benefit covers medically necessary improvements and structural alterations to homes of Veterans with limited mobility, the VA recommends addressing your local Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) for eligibility information and to understand whether this grant will fit your needs.

Temporary Residence Adaptation Grant (TRA)

If you don’t have a permanent house and are living at a family member’s home, you can apply for an Adapted Housing Grant (TRA Grant). 

To receive this grant, you need to meet the eligibility criteria of the SHA and SAH grants described above. The only difference is that in this case, you don’t have to own a house, but instead temporarily live in a family member’s home that requires improvements to address any special needs resulting from a service-connected disability.

As for fiscal year 2024, the TRA Grant can compensate:

  • Up to $47,130 if you qualify for an SAH Grant
  • Up to $8,415 if you qualify for an SHA Grant

The application process in this case is also the same as for the SAH and SHA Grants, except in this case your family member needs to provide evidence of home ownership, and you’ll need to attest that you are planning to temporarily live there.

Final Thoughts

The quality of your living conditions plays a great role in the process of your transition to civilian life, which is even more challenging for Veterans who live with service-connected disabilities. Accessibility modifications, such as ramps, widened doorways, and grab bars, give you safety and independence in your everyday life, minimize the risks of injuries, and give peace of mind to you and your family members.

Here at VCU, it’s our mission to help Veterans and guide them through the maze of claiming VA disability benefits. We bring almost a decade of experience, a large network of independent medical professionals and a team of experts who will guide you every step of the way, ensuring you get exactly what you deserve. Book your free 30-minute call with our Veterans Expert.

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