Very few people, if any, hope to spend their final days in an institution. This is especially true among America’s proud, independent veterans. However, veterans are also more likely to suffer from the sorts of injuries and disabilities that make nursing home care necessary. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs designed the Specially Adapted Housing, or SAH, program to allow veterans to age with the dignity and comfort they have earned. If you or a loved one who served in the US military are facing the challenges of disability and aging, you may have questions about this program. We’ll do our best to give you some answers here.
1. What expenses does the SAH program cover?
The program assists with the costs of building, buying, or renovating a home to accommodate a veteran’s disability. This can be used for a variety of different purposes. They allow for minor changes, such as widening doorways and adding ramps, to major renovations, including full kitchen and/or bath remodels. Funds can also be used to purchase and install platform lifts, chair lifts, walk-in tubs, and other accessibility devices.
2. Who is eligible for SAH?
Of course, you must be a veteran of the US Military to qualify for this program. Additionally, veterans must suffer from a “permanent and total service-connected disability” to be eligible. Specific examples cited by the VA include loss of limbs, blindness, and severe burns. The home in question must also be owned by the eligible veteran, although some grants may also be available for homes owned by family members. There is lifetime limit of three SAH grants, so if you’ve received those already, you’re now ineligible.
3. What limitations does the VA enforce?
As mentioned above, there is a lifetime limit of three SAH grants. There is a limit of $81,080 on any individual grant, as well. That number is readjusted annually, and will likely increase in 2019. For homes owned by family members instead of veterans, the maximum grant is $35,593. There are several variations of these grants within the program, so not all recipients will see the maximum benefit.
4. How do I apply for the SAH?
There are several ways to start the application process. The easiest is probably to head over to www.ebenefits.va.gov and apply online. If you prefer, you can print out VA form 26-4555 from this link and mail it to the VA. If you have questions, you can call the VA’s national hotline at 1-800-827-1000. You can even apply in person at your local VA office (click here to find one).
5. What do I do once I’m approved?
If you’re building or renovating a home, you’ll need to find a contractor. The VA may provide some references or recommendations, but ultimately, this is up to you. Make sure to use someone with experience in disability renovations. This will ensure that you implement the right solutions to address your specific needs. Aging In The Comfort Of Home® performs all aspects of disability and aging-in-place remodeling, and can provide any accessibility products you or your loved ones need. No matter who you choose, make sure to verify their insurances and certifications prior to starting work. The VA will make payment directly to the contractor, so you can focus on getting what you need to live comfortably at home.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about the VA’s Specially Adapted Housing program. We hope this information can help you or your loved ones live better today and prepare for tomorrow. As the population grows older than ever before, these types of programs will be instrumental to protecting the future of the American Dream. We here at Aging In The Comfort Of Home® appreciate the sacrifices made by America’s service men and women, and thank the VA for helping these courageous veterans whose sacrifice keeps the USA safe, free, and prosperous.