Have you been researching funding for accessible home improvements? Veterans have earned the respect of a grateful nation for their service to our country. But the challenges of everyday life don’t end once their service in the military is over. Modifications and accessible home improvements can help veterans meet their needs as they age. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several grants and assistance funding programs created with the veteran in mind.
One of the most comprehensive grants available for veterans is the HISA (Home Improvements and Structural Alterations) program. This grant allows service members and veterans to access medically necessary alterations and additions in their homes to increase mobility and comfort.
- Who is eligible? Any disabled veteran, whether their disability is service-related or not, may qualify for HISA. A recommendation and prescription from a doctor are required. It must specify which type of structural modifications or alterations would be necessary. With that VA doctor’s prescription in hand, the veteran is ready to apply.
- What is covered? Qualifying improvements could include adding grab rails in bathrooms, widening doorways or installing roll-in showers. Wheelchair lifts and ramps, as well as kitchen modifications for better accessibility, are also often covered.
- How do I apply? Applying for a HISA grant requires both an application and your VA doctor’s prescription. An itemized estimate of the costs of renovations should complete the process. Benefit amounts can be as high as $6800 for service-related disabilities and up to $2000 for all other service members and veterans.
The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant is designed to help service-related disabled veterans realize independent living through modified home construction. It assists in the remodeling, purchase, or building of an adapted home.
- Who is eligible? Eligibility for the SAH grant applies to specific severe veteran disabilities including blindness, burn injuries, and loss of limbs. The goal of this grant is to allow veterans with these disabilities to enjoy barrier-free and more comfortable housing options. The funds can be used to remodel an existing home or to build a new one.
- What is covered? Anything that helps to increase the mobility and independence of qualified veterans in residential situations is covered by the SAH grant. This could include roll-in shower stalls or walk-in bathtubs as well as customized kitchens with height adaptions for easy wheelchair access.
- How do I apply? A VA housing loan isn’t necessary to apply for an SAH grant to remodel your home. Once the VA has qualified your disability as permanent due to service-related injuries, you are able to apply online, by mail, or in person. The maximum grant amount is currently $90,364 though it varies from year to year.
Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grants provide funds for homeowners with service-connected disabilities who are in need of home improvements to make their lives easier. It is designed to enhance the quality of life for deserving veterans in need of adaptive installations.
- Who is eligible? The SHA grant, like the SAH grant, is available to service members who want to stay in their own homes despite severe service-related disabilities. The veteran can take advantage of the grant to adapt their existing home or that of a family member where the veteran lives to accommodate the disability.
- What is covered? Some of the renovations covered by the SHA grant include handrails, sliding doors, and shower seats. Depending on your VA doctor’s recommendations, a swimming pool or hot tub could also be deemed necessary for hydrotherapy purposes. Modified floors or walkways may also be considered to increase accessibility.
- How do I apply? To apply for an SHA grant, veterans must fill out the required VA Form 26-4555. The amount of funds allowable for the fiscal year 2020 is $18,074 with a maximum of three SHA grants over a lifetime. Veterans can call the VA’s toll-free (1-800-827-1000) for information and to have a form mailed to you.
Once you have approved funding for your accessible home improvements, you can decide on the right products. Freedom Showers from Accessibility Professionals is your comprehensive source of home improvement and adaptability products for your home. Contact us anytime and let us know how we can help you with your accessibility needs.