Many allowance and grant programs are offered by the VA along with compensation for helping the disabled veterans in getting the required tools for disability. Adaptations, automobiles, clothing and housing money are included in these allowances.
Many servicemen and veterans who have disabilities related to their military service have entitlement to construct a custom house or buy one that fulfills the needs of a disabled person under the VA housing grants.
Such grants are especially devised so that the disabled person may enjoy a hurdle free environment at their house like creation of a house accessible by wheelchair.
VA provides 3 programs for assistance of such persons with required alterations.
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant
Servicemen and veterans having certain disabilities related to military services have entitlement to this grant so that they may construct homes with facilities meeting their needs. Currently the grant has a limitation of $63,780.
SAH entitles servicemen and veterans having total and permanent disabilities as a result of:
- Loss or damage to both of the lower extremities like precluding locomotion without having the aid of crutches, braces, wheelchair or canes.
- Blind with both eyes with light perception only in addition to usability of a lower extremity.
- Loss or damage to a lower extremity along with organic injury/disease residuals or loss or damage to an upper extremity affecting propulsion/balance functions for precluding locomotion without having the aid of wheelchair, braces, canes or crutches.
- Loss or damage to two upper extremities like precluding arms use or above elbow.
- A severe injury caused by a burn (as so determined)
Details on SAH grant may be viewed at www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/docs/p
Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant
Up to max sum of $12,756 may be approved by VA in order to pay for the required modifications for a veteran or a serviceman to buy or construct a house with features facilitating disabilities. In order to fall under the eligibility criteria, the serviceman or veteran must have entitlement to compensation for total and permanent disability as a result of:
- Both eyes blindness along with a visual acuity of 5/200 or lower
- Anatomical loss or damage to usage of both hands
- Severe injuries caused by burning
A veteran may apply for SHA and SAH grant programs by submitting the completed VA Form 26-4555 to the local regional office of the VA. More info may be accessed by visiting www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/docs/p
Home Improvement and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant
The HISA program provides help to disabled veterans for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure in their homes in order to continue the treatment or meet other requirements. HISA grants are meant for veterans having medical determination that indicates that alterations on infrastructure are required for the treatment of the disability of the veterans. A serviceman may be eligible for receiving both the HISA grant and one of the SAH or SHA grants as well.
The HISA program covers both types of veterans either connected to the service or not.
- Benefits for improvement of home as much as $6,800 may be paid for:
- A condition related to the service.
- A condition not connected to the service of a veteran having a rating not below than 50% service-connected
- Benefits for the improvement of homes as much as
$2,000 may be given to the rest of the servicemen who have registration of the health care system by the VA.
One may apply for HISA grants by submitting the completed VA Form 10-0103 along with the veterans Application for Assistance in Acquiring Home Improvement and Structural Alterations to the local medical center of the VA. More information may be viewed at www.prosthetics.va.gov/HISA2.asp.
Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grants
TRA offers grants to veterans and servicemen who have eligibility for 2101 (a) of SAH or 2101 (b) section of SHA on single term basis.
Grants provided by TRA aims to assist the eligible servicemen or veterans so that they may be able to adapt the house of a family member in order to meet the special requirements of the disabled veteran or serviceman.
Servicemen and veterans having eligibility of TRA may utilize as much as $14,000 of the max sum for SAH grant’s 2101(a) section or as much as $2,000 of the max sum of SHA grant’s 2101(b) section.
Veterans who are eligible and temporarily reside in a family member’s home may also get help as a grant in order to have assistance in adaption of the home of a family member for meeting their special requirements. Veterans having eligibility of a total grant of $50,000 are allowed to utilize as much as $14,000, while those having the eligibility for a total grant of $10,000 are allowed to utilize as much as $2,000. However, VA has no authority to provide these grants for assistance of on duty servicemen.
The amounts provided by SAH grants remain the same for the fiscal year of 2012 like the amounts for the fiscal year of 2011.
More details may be accessed at www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/sah.as
Payment for adapting an automobile
Monetarily help is provided as a grant to provide the disabled veteran with a used or new vehicle to meet the inconvenience due to diseases or disabilities caused to them while serving the military.
The grant sum will also be paid in case the disabilities are caused from medical examination, treatment, work therapy or vocational rehabilitation provided by veterans authority.
Servicemen and veterans may have the eligibility of a one-time sum of as much as $18,900 for buying any vehicle in case they possess a service related disability to use both or one foot/hand, everlasting vision impairment of both eyes or any immobility caused to both hips or knees.
They may also fall under the eligibility criteria for getting any sort of adaptive apparatus, and for the repair maintenance, reinstallation or replacement required for safe running of the vehicle. Power steering wheel, power seats, power windows, power brakes and other required equipment to meet the requirements of a disabled veteran are included in the adaptive equipment along with other stuff. Before making any purchase of such equipment, the prosthetic local medical center of the VA must be contacted first.
Such grant may be provided for more than just one time. It may be paid to the veteran or to the seller directly.
In case the total price of the vehicle is as much as $11,000, the grant is directly provided to the vehicle’s seller. The servicemen or veterans may receive the vehicle grant for only one time throughout their life.
One may apply for this grant by submitting the completed VA Form 21-4502 along with an application to the local regional office of the VA. Form may be accessed at (www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-4502-ARE.pdf) The VA Form 21-4502 has a list of approved adaptive equipment in the instructions section.
After the submission of the completed 1st section of the application, the second section will be completed by VA and the original will be returned to you. It is your responsibility to collect the receipt form seller, update the third section and submit the form to the local regional office of the VA in order to get paid.
In case you have the entitlement of just the adaptive equipment (related to service for immobility of hips or knees)
The completed VA Form 10-1394 along with the application for Adaptive Equipment — Motor Vehicle may be submitted to your local medical center of the VA. Moreover, in order to get the approval of equipment not mentioned in the VA Form 21-4502, the completed VA Form 10-1394 may also be submitted.
Annual clothing allowance
A serviceman having military related disability for which there is a need to use orthopedic or prosthetic appliances may also be eligible for a year clothing allowance. Moreover, such servicemen who have military related skin conditions requiring some medicines damaging their outer clothes are also eligible for the annual clothing allowance. The prosthetic rep residing at your local regional medical center of the VA may be contacted in order to apply for this program.
Rehabilitation and Assistance Services
In addition to financial benefits, different initiatives and programs are also offered by the VA in order to help the veterans with military related disabilities. Such initiatives are discussed in the rest of this chapter.