Housing & vehicle grants.
Adaptive Housing Grants
To help purchase or construct an adaptive home or modify an existing home, the following must be met:
(a) General. A member of the armed forces serving on active duty must have a disability rated as permanent and total that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty. A veteran must be entitled to compensation for a disability rated as permanent and total.
(b) Disability. The disability must be due to at least one of the following:
* The loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair
* Blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus the anatomical loss or loss of use of one lower extremity
* The loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with residuals of organic disease or injury, which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair
* The loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity, which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair
* The loss or loss of use of both upper extremities such as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbow
* Full thickness or subdermal burns that have resulted in contractures with limitation of motion of two or more extremities, or of at least one extremity and the trunk
(c) Preclude locomotion. This term means the necessity for regular and constant use of a wheelchair, braces, crutches or canes as a normal mode of locomotion, although occasional locomotion by other methods may be possible.
(d) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. VA considers this condition satisfied if the veteran or member of the armed forces serving on active duty has service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis rated 100% disabling.
Last October, the VA increased the SAH grant to $73,768 for an eligible individual homeowner. In the event the benefit is partially granted, the veteran has an option to apply an additional two times for any remaining amount, along with any legislative increase.
A second grant, the Special Home Adaptation grant, provides for assistance in acquiring a residence already adapted with necessary special features.
This grant may be issued to a veteran or service member who may not be entitled to the SAH grant. On Oct. 1, this grant was increased to $14,754.
Any eligible veteran or service member may apply for these benefits by completing VA form 26-4555 or 26-4555b.
A certificate of eligibility for financial assistance in the purchase of one automobile or other conveyance in an amount not exceeding the amount specified by the VA (including all state, local and other taxes, where such are applicable and included in the purchase price) will be provided to:
(1) A veteran entitled to compensation for a disability described below
(2) A member of the armed forces serving on active duty who has a disability that is the result of an injury or disability incurred or disease contracted in or aggravated by active military, naval or air service
One of the following must exist:
* Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet
* Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands
* Permanent impairment of vision of both eyes: Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye
* Severe burn injury: Deep partial thickness or full thickness burns resulting in scar formation that cause contractures and limit motion of one or more extremities or the trunk and preclude effective operation of an automobile
* Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
A specific application for financial assistance in purchasing a vehicle or other conveyance is required, which must contain a certification by the claimant that it will be operated only by persons who are properly licensed.
The same application will be considered for the adaptive equipment to ensure the claimant will be able to operate the automobile in a manner consistent with safety.
Last October, the monetary rate for the purchase of an automobile was increased to $20,174.68. To apply for this grant, a veteran must complete section I of VA form 21-4502.
For more information, contact a Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) National Service Officer (NSO) from the list of offices on page 53.
RAYMOND PEASE, NSO
Raymond Pease is a PVA NSO in