Government and Regulations

Accelerated Process for Housing Loan


 

The VA offers Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants to disabled veterans so they can build or modify their homes to meet their personal needs. Now, veterans and active-duty military personnel who have service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have a faster track to getting an SAH grant. The VA has changed the rules of eligibility for the grants, which pay up to a maximum of $67,555 toward the costs of building, buying, or adapting a home.

Veterans with service-connected ALS no longer have to file multiple claims for increased benefits as their condition progresses. Many veterans and service members have service-connected ALS, but their symptoms are not yet severe enough to affect their mobility to the degree required for the grant. Before the SAH regulatory change, they couldn’t begin the process of modifying their homes to keep pace with an often rapidly progressive disease.

The VA estimates the change will save about 12 months in the automatic process of an SAH grant. “This change will make it easier for some of our most severely impaired veterans to receive speedy assistance adapting their homes to their unique needs,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki in a March 19, 2014, press release.

In 2008, the VA established a “presumption of service connection” for ALS for any veteran who develops the disease at any time after separation from service, making them eligible for monthly VA disability compensation benefits. The VA amended its disability rating scale in January 2012 to assign a 100% disability evaluation for any veteran who has service-connected ALS.

For more information, visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans or call (800) 827-3702.

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