The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that both active duty and veterans diagnosed with service-connected ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)—also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—will automatically qualify for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant. These can assist with the costs of either purchasing a home that already has adaptions or modifying a current home in order to live with the disease as independently as possible.
There are also grants that can help pay down the mortgage on a house already modified, or that can help purchase one that has been adapted. Grants may be available for up to $67,555.
Prior to these changes, an active-duty servicemember or veteran had to go through a medical claims process to determine eligibility for this grant. By automating it, the VA estimates it will save about 12 months of time.
There is no cure for ALS, a disease that can quickly lead to severe impairment. The disabling symptoms of muscle weakness can eventually result in a total loss of mobility. With the automation of this grant, those diagnosed no longer have to wait until they reach the point of debilitation. Arrangements can be made ahead of time to at least prepare the individual’s home.
The VA categorized ALS as a medical condition that meets presumption of service connection in 2008—which means that it’s presumed to have occurred during military service, or made worse by it. This eliminates a lot of the red tape that many veterans have to go through to establish an illness as service-connected.
Then in 2012, the VA determined that any veteran with service-connected ALS would be assigned a disability rating of 100 percent. That increases the amount of benefits available.
If you have questions concerning your right to veterans’ disability, whether it’s this or any other condition, seek legal help. An attorney can advise of your rights, assist with filing a claim, or appeal a denied claim one. Contact the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group for help: 855-855-8992.