Mr. Zampieri also reported that current blindness standards are overly restrictive, hurting “functionally blinded” veterans from the Iraq and Afghan wars and some veterans with visual impairments caused by traumatic brain injuries requiring assistance and adaptive technology “because they would never qualify for this current 5/200 standard leaving them with no grants.”
Mark Bologna, director of Loan Guarantee Services at VA, discussed recent improvements: “Congress changed the program from a one-time to a three-time use program. This change has allowed individuals to make additional adaptations to their homes or upgrade existing adaptations. If they move to other homes and have remaining eligibility, they may now use the program to adapt the new homes as well. These legislative changes have significantly improved the benefits available to severely injured veterans and service members and have increased the overall flexibility of the [Specially Adapted Housing Grants] program.”
“Every year, we have a new pool of veterans returning from the combat zones with serious injuries that include losing a limb, loss of vision, or suffering from traumatic brain injury,” said Rep. Bob Filner, California Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “Now, more than ever, VA needs to actively advocate and provide support for wounded veterans, and the adaptive housing grant program is absolutely instrumental in the reintegration efforts of these heroes.”
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