Veterans eligible for range of prosthetic, sensory aids
What types of prosthetics and sensory aids are available through the Department of Veterans Affairs?
Answer: Prosthetics and sensory aid items and services that are available include prosthetic appliances such as artificial limbs, orthotic devices, ambulatory aids and wheelchairs; sensory aids such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, speech devices and aids for the blind; durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, bathroom safety devices and other home health-care items; home oxygen therapy and respiratory equipment; and information and services relating to automobile adaptive equipment, clothing allowance, restorations, shoe program and home-improvement structural alteration. Call 433-0600.
Q: Can you explain how VA-guaranteed loan financing, interest rates and terms work?
A: Veterans obtain VA-guaranteed loans through banks, savings and loan associations and mortgage brokers. VA-guaranteed loans can have either a fixed interest rate or an adjustable rate, where interest might adjust up to 1 percent annually and up to 5 percent over the life of the loan.
Veterans may also choose a different type of adjustable-rate mortgage called a hybrid ARM, where the initial interest rate remains fixed for three to 10 years. If the rate remains fixed for less than five years, the rate adjustment cannot be more than 1 percent annually and 5 percent over the life of the loan. For a hybrid ARM with an initial fixed period of five years or more, the initial adjustment may be up to 2 percent. Adjustments thereafter are limited to 1 percent annually and 6 percent over the life of the loan.
If the lender charges discount points on the loan, the veteran may negotiate with the seller as to who will pay points or if they will be split between buyer and seller. Points paid by the veteran may not be included in the loan (with the exception that up to two points may be included in interest rate reduction loans). The loan can be for as long as 30 years and 32 days. For information concerning VA-guaranteed loans, call 800-827-1000. Press 1, then 2, then 2 again for home loans. You can also access the VA Web site at www.va.gov for information on home loans. Click on the benefits link, then home loans.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.