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Veterans' Adviser: Grants help cover certain home modification costs

By George Compton
Sunday, January 20, 2008

Q. My father is a disabled veteran and the Department of Veterans Affairs qualified him to have his house modified because of his mobility problems. My mother recently died, and we are now going to have him stay with us until we can make other arrangements. Is it possible for the VA to make some limited modifications of our house to assist him? We expect him to be with us at least a year.

A. Until recently, modification grants could only be made to residences owned by the veteran. A change in the law created the Temporary Residence Adaptation grant, which allows for the adaptation of the home of a family member of eligible veterans and seriously injured active duty service members.

The monetary limitation of this grant is based on the type of home adaptation grant that the service member or veteran is eligible to receive. Under the Specially Adapted Housing grant the TRA would have up to $14,000, and under the Special Housing Adaptations grant the TRA would have up to $2,000.

We checked with the VA and your father qualified for the SAH grant. We will assist you with the application.

Q. My doctor prescribed a new medication, and before I see my VA doctor I would like to know if the VA can furnish that medication.

A. You can check if the medication is on the VA formulary by going to the VA Web site, Once there, go to benefits, scroll down to pharmacy benefits and then go to National Formulary.

Your VA doctor is still the best place to find out about your medication.

Q. I served in the Navy from 1978 to 1982, so I am not a wartime veteran. Am I eligible for a VA home loan?

A. There is no requirement for a veteran to have served during a time of conflict to be eligible for the VA Home Loan Guarantee. We are sending you a home loan information packet that includes both VA and CALVET loan information.

— George Compton, retired Army colonel, is the veterans service officer for the County of Ventura, Human Services Agency. Send your questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033; phone number: 385-6366; fax: 385-6371; or e-mail: