Disabled veterans with any level of disability rating have benefits available to them they may not know about. Let’s help them out.
I am a disabled veteran, meaning I have a disability rating. Though my wife is convinced my hearing is degrading rapidly, my life is largely unaffected by my disabilities.
I am also the Founder and CEO of Constant Water, LLC. We manufacture a product that is benefiting many across the country. We had a particular interest in helping disabled veterans.
We donated a system to a local Gary Senise Foundation home build and knew we could do more. Since that donation, we launched an internal program to donate our systems to disabled veterans. Through our Water for Warriors program, we donate a system for every 10 that we sell. But, we donate in the name of the customers that purchased our systems.
We are now working with Patriots Four a non-profit supporting combat-wounded veterans and their families enjoy wilderness experiences in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. In partnership with Patriots Four we will identify disabled veterans and their families for future donations.
There are Disabilities, and There are Disabilities
When leaving the service, many of us were examined by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for medical disabilities and receive a disability rating on a scale from “NONE” to 100%.
A “None” rating essentially means the VA medical professional found no issues during the examination. You’ve go no issues. You get nothing. You get no benefits. Don’t call us again. There are still benefits available through the VA, but not based on a service-related disability.
Others may receive a rating along a scale of disability levels from 0-100%. Yes, “0” is a disability rating. A zero rating essentially means you have medical issues that aren’t impacting your life now but will likely impact your life later. These issues may be upgraded in the future. Let’s keep in touch.
100% disability ratings are self-explanatory.
In between 0% and 100% is where most veterans will fall.
This is an over-simplification, but these ratings are important because they have significant health, home, and business implications for veterans. You should know where you are on the disability rating scale.
We Wanted to Do Even More
Beyond our donations, we wanted to make our systems available to a wider group of veterans. We discovered grants available to disabled veterans for home improvements – The SHA, SAH, and TRA grants. We reached out to the VA Adapted Housing office to explain what we do and what we wanted to do. They stopped us halfway through our most professional pitch and said “First, we will cover all of the expenses for your system for qualifying veterans. Second, we can’t believe we never considered emergency water in our grant programs.” Good news! “But,” they continued, “you’re on your own to spread the word.” Not surprising news.
Obviously this is good for veterans. It’s good for us as well. But these grant programs are only for the most severely disabled veterans, those who have lost limbs, eyesight, etc. These grants are quite generous and covered a wide range of improvements– the bar is high for qualification, and there is an involved and lengthy process for these grants.
Veterans qualifying for these grants are richly deserving of these benefits, but many other veterans have severe disabilities that don’t qualify for these grant programs. We wanted to help them as well.
The 2021 Big Freeze
During the big southern freeze in 2021, many veterans reached out to us. They had been without water for a week, they didn’t know when water would return, didn’t qualify for the SHA, SAH, and TRA grants, and asked how we might help. We wanted to help these veterans that didn’t qualify for SHA, SAH, and TRA grants as well.
They needed help. We wanted to help.
We reached back out to the VA and explained what was happening. The VA recommended we direct the veterans to their closest VA hospital and the Home Improvement and Structural Alteration (HISA) grant. The HISA grant is available (in varying levels) to any veteran with a disability rating. The grant has specific provisions for “Plumbing Improvements.” We feel that ensuring a disabled veteran always has potable water for consumption and basic sanitation and hygiene rates as a qualifying “Plumbing Improvement.”
The HISA grant is managed at the individual VA hospital level, and, we are working with almost a dozen disabled veterans across the country to help them with these grants. in theory, the HISA grant is a faster process than for the SAH, SHA, and TRA grants. The veterans we are working with are not finding that to be the case. To date, no veterans have been denied, but none have been approved either. Some have been working with their VA hospital for approaching 6 months.
Many Veterans Don’t Know What’s Available
Some veterans praise the care and benefits they receive from the VA. Others are quick, and perhaps justified, with their condemnation. The VA is a large government entity. However, what has been apparent through our efforts is that many, many veterans simply don’t know what benefits are available to them.
We found the Adapted Housing grants because we were specifically look for programs through which we might make our product available to disabled veterans at low or no cost.
We found the HISA grant when we were asking for a faster approach that would make our product available to even more veterans at low or no cost.
We found these grants because had a purpose and were on a mission.
Many veterans might need your help finding them.
Just Tell a Veteran
We reached out to the “Big 6” veteran non-profits to help spread the word. If we got any response it was “No.” Most often, we received no reply to our emails or our voicemail messages. So, we would like your help.
Please, just tell a veteran about these grant programs. It’s about helping veterans know what benefits are available to them.
But don’t stop at telling the veteran about these grants. Encourage them, or help them, to explore the collection of benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans earned these benefits, they deserve these benefits, and these benefits can make a tremendous difference in their lives.
Help us help them help themselves.