Veterans and their family members in Florida are entitled to home loans, housing assistance and property tax breaks, under certain conditions. If you have a service-related disability, it is likely that you will qualify for additional benefits.
As the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs explains, Florida veterans have access to many benefits for homeownership, and spouses and family members may also be able to access these benefits.
VA-guaranteed home loans have increased amounts for prospective homeowners since the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008. For those who have a conventional loan, they may also be able to refinance with the VA.
Additionally, veterans with service-related disabilities can receive special housing assistance — both to cover the cost of their home or to pay for adaptations to make the home more accessible.
Benefits for disabled veterans
The VA keeps a growing handbook of recognized service-related impairments — including vision issues, burns or limb impairments. If your disability is service-related, you may be able to access these benefits regardless of whether they render you fully disabled. In many cases, your impairment need not be entirely service-related.
The VA also offers tax breaks including deductions on your home value if you have a disability that renders you even 10% disabled.
If you are the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may be entitled to the same or similar housing benefits as long as you have not remarried. Your eligibility will depend primarily on the length and status of your marriage and your late spouse’s condition.
Disputes with the VA
While you may be eligible for these and other benefits, sometimes the VA denies you the benefits you earned with your service. Whether the denial relates to misinformation about your status as the surviving spouse of a veteran, disputes about your service-related disability or an error in paperwork, you can appeal the decision.
State and federal law give recourse to request an in-person hearing where you may bring witnesses and evidence. You may also have a VA secretary review your claim. In many cases, after you appeal a decision, you may not be able to request a second appeal without additional evidence or a change in circumstance, so it is important to plan your claim and any appeals carefully.