A huge number of disabled veterans are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan with both mental and physical disabilities. Those with physical disabilities may be confined to a wheelchair, suffer from mobility issues, or have an amputation. For many returning home with serious and permanent physical disabilities, having a home that is modified to fit their new needs is essential to their comfort and survival. Veterans’ disability benefits may be important to the future of these veterans, but these benefits are unlikely to cover the costs of modifying their homes.
Several years ago, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas began administering the Housing Assistance for Veterans (HAVEN) program. The HAVEN program offers a grant of up to $7,500 to eligible veterans with disabilities so that they can modify their homes and make them accessible.
How the Grant Money Can be Used
The money may be used to modify a home that the veteran already lives in, to modify a home in which the veteran intends to reside, or to offset construction costs of a new home. The bank states that the modifications could include widening doorways, adding handicapped-accessible showers, installing handrails, installing wheelchair ramps, lowering countertops, or installing alternative doorknobs.
Who Qualifies for a HAVEN Grant?
To qualify for a HAVEN grant, the applicant must have become disabled while in active military service since September 11, 2001. The applicant must have also received one of the following military medals:
- Afghanistan Campaign
- Iraq Campaign
- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary
- Global War on Terrorism Service
- Purple Heart or higher
Additionally, the veteran’s household must not have an income that is more than 120 percent of the area’s median household income.
Act Now If You Want to Apply for a HAVEN Grant
As of July 28, 2017, there was $39,822 left available in HAVEN grant funds. Grants will be awarded to eligible veterans until the money has run out or until December 31, 2017, whichever occurs sooner. Accordingly, if you have been disabled in active service since September 11, 2001, then the time to act is now. Please contact the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas directly to learn more.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.