As veterans age, many of them may find that their homes are no longer able to accommodate their needs. Whether it's due to a service-connected disability or just the natural effects of aging, veterans may require home modifications to maintain their independence and live safely at home.
Fortunately, there are a variety of resources available to veterans who are interested in home modifications and ways to fund certain products that might require professional installation such as stairlifts, elevators or ramps.
In the following article we break down a few various programs veterans may be able to utilize to increase safety and mobility when aging in place.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a program called the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant that can help veterans make necessary changes to their homes.
The SAH Grant can be used to make a wide range of adaptations to the home, including the installation of wheelchair ramps, grab bars and roll-in showers. These modifications are helpful for all older adults but especially for veterans with any mobility issues.
Eligible veterans may receive up to $98,342 for home modifications through the SAH Grant. However, it is important to note that this program is subject to availability of funding, so we recommend families to apply for the grant as soon as possible.
When applying for the SAH Grant, families should have a detailed plan of the modifications they wish to make to their home. This plan should be developed with the help of a qualified professional, such as an occupational therapist, who can ensure that the proposed modifications are safe and meet all necessary building codes.
For assistance with forming this plan, we recommend you connect with an occupational therapist in our network. They’ll sit down with you to discuss your needs and find appropriate solutions.
To schedule a consultation, please give us a call at (212) 321-5113 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aside from the SAH Grant, veterans should know that the VA also offers other programs to help them age at home.
The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) program through the VA is designed to provide financial assistance to veterans who need to make necessary changes, especially to support independence with bathing/toileting tasks.
Examples of alterations that might be covered through this program can include
- Doorway widening to allow entrance and exit from the home
- Roll in showers for safer bathing
- Accessible bathroom sinks
Please note that the HISA program does not cover the cost for products such as:
- Hot tubs or Jacuzzis
- Any new construction in the home
In addition, through the HISA program a veteran’s disability does not have to be related to their time in the service. Currently, the benefit limit for veterans includes:
- $2,000 for those whose disability is not related to their military service
- $6,800 for veterans with a service-connected disability.
It is important for veterans to check with their local VA office for more information on the program and to see if they qualify.If you would like assistance finding the contact information for a local office, be sure to call our Client Care Team at (212) 321-5113.
And if you’re interested in applying for the HISA benefit you can do so by downloading the form here. Keep in mind a contractor bid is required for application so be sure to contact our team directly before applying.
Lastly, SHA grants, also known as 2101(b) grants, are an available option for veterans who experience/have:
- Limited hand mobility
- Burn injuries
- Respiratory injuries
As of 2022, the maximum SHA grant amount is $20,387. And if the eligible veteran is living with a relative in a temporary time period the maximum amount covered is $7,318.
For those interested in applying, please fill out the VA Form 26-4555. One completed be sure to submit the application to your local VA Regional Loan Center.
Keeping Veterans Safe At Home
In conclusion, the VA offers several programs to help veterans age in place safely and comfortably. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant, Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) program, and SHA grant are all funds that many veterans can be eligible for when looking to make necessary modifications, repairs, and improvements.
These programs can help veterans with a variety of needs including mobility issues, service-connected disabilities, and other challenges to maintain their independence and continue to live in their own homes. Veterans who are facing challenges as they age should contact our Client Care Team for additional resources and support.