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Veterans Law

Specially Adapted Housing and Automobile Special Adaptive Equipment

May 7, 2018
Specially adapted housing automobile special adapted equipment|

Veterans who meet certain criteria may be eligible to receive VA grants for specially adapted housing (SAH) and automobile adaptive equipment (AAE).


What is Specially Adapted Housing (SAH)?

The VA offers Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants to veterans with certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities. According to the VA, a SAH grant can be used to:

  • Build “a specially adapted home on land to be acquired”
  • Construct “a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing”
  • “Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing”
  • Use the grant “against the unpaid principle mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired”

Who Is Eligible?

Veterans are eligible for SAH if they have a permanent and total service-connected disability, who have one or more of the following:

  • Loss of or loss of use of both arms
  • Loss of or loss of use of both legs
  • Blindness in both eyes, or only light perception, plus loss of or loss of use of one leg
  • Loss of or loss of use of one leg together with the loss of or loss of use of one arm
  • Certain severe burns
  • The loss or loss of use of one or more lower extremities due to service on or after September 111, 2001, which impacts the ability to balance or function of propulsion as to preclude ambulating without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair

What Is the SAH Grant Amount?

The SAH grant amount is set by law and may be adjusted based on the cost-of-construction index annually. As of 2018, the maximum amount allowable for SAH grants is $81,080.


What Is Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE)?

Automotive Adaptive Equipment (AAE) is a grant for veterans who have certain service-connected disabilities and need special equipment to aid them in operating a vehicle. According to the VA’s website, “adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and special equipment necessary to assist [the veteran] into and out of the vehicle.”

Veterans may receive AAE grants more than once, and the VA will pay the benefit to either the seller of the vehicle/equipment, or the veteran. Veterans must have approval from the VA before purchasing the adaptive equipment.

Who Is Eligible?

Veterans are eligible for AAE grants if they have one of the following service-connected conditions:

  • Loss or loss of use of one or both feet
  • Loss or loss of use of one of both hands
  • Permanent vision impairment in one or both eyes “to a certain degree”
  • Severe burns
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Ankylosis (immobility of the joint) of one or both knees or hips