Matt Boisvert, an Iraq War veteran residing in Pepperell, Massachusetts, was denied an adaptive housing grant by the VA needed to make his home more accessible. Boisvert, a former Marine Corporal, suffered both the loss of his leg and use of his right arm after a remote control bomb exploded under his Humvee in Fallujah six years ago.
Boisvert applied for the full amount of an adaptive housing grant, $63,780, last January with hopes of building a garage and an in-home rehab center with strength-building equipment and whirlpool tub. The harsh winters of Massachusetts have caused Boisvert to have many accidents getting out of his SUV, and the chronic use of his “good” side is causing arthritis without the proper physical therapy.
“I was told that disabled vets who are 30 percent disabled receive the grant, but I am 100 percent disabled,” stated Boisvert. “Having to deal with the VA is the worst part of losing my leg. People need to know how bad it is.”
Although Boisvert does not regret the time he spent serving his country, the injuries he sustained at 21 during his second combat tour with Fox Company have made his civilian life more difficult. Boisvert, who is now 27, has undergone 20 surgeries and must now use a prosthetic leg to get around. Due to his injuries, he lives on his disability pay and must split his mortgage – acquired with a VA loan – with his girlfriend.
“No one can tell me why,” Boisvert stated when referencing to the denial of his grant.
After questioning, a VA spokesman contacted the Herald: “Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. VA takes its responsibility seriously to ensure that every Veteran receives the benefits and services they have earned through their service of our Nation. We are thoroughly reviewing this case.”
Boisvert hopes the VA will reconsider their decision.
“I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining because a lot of guys don’t have a leg or a home,” he said, “but maybe by me going public with this, they’ll get help, too.”
The Specially Adapted Housing Grant Program is available to veterans and service members with specific service-related disabilities to provide a barrier-free living environment to maintain independent living.
The VA offers two types of adapted housing grants and they are the Specially Adapted Housing grant and the Special Housing Adaptation Grant. To apply for the grants, disabled veterans or active duty service members must submit VA Form 26-4555 to their nearest VA Regional Loan Center.
Photo thanks to The Boston Herald.