Resources in the State of New Jersey
You or a loved one has spent time, energy, money and many well lived years in a New Jersey home and should continue doing - opting out of costly alternatives that only compound to the high cost of living in the state.
- Why aging in place is an affordable alternative to assisted living
- The variety of financial assistance programs available
- Renter rights and getting approval for modifying the home
- New Jersey license requirements for the occupational therapists and installers we use
Average cost of care alternatives in NJ
Cost of care such as assisted living in New Jersey ranges in price. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, in 2023 families can expect to pay:
- $6,058 Home Health Aide monthly (or $72,699 annually)
- $2,069 Adult Day Care (or $24,825 annually)
- $6,891 Assisted Living Facility (or $82,687 annually)
- $12,891 Private Nursing Home Room (or $154,689 annually)
Average cost of home modification project in NJ
Modifying the home is a very affordable alternative to care such as assisted living. In fact an average home modification project through Jukebox Health in the state of New Jersey, costs $1,800. Depending on one’s specific needs and home this amount can often cover the cost of purchasing and professionally installing products such as grab bars, shower chairs, motion sensor lighting and toilet seat risers.
Does Medicare Cover Home Modifications?
Families often ask how Medicare may cover the cost of home modifications. Unfortunately, it is uncommon for Medicare plans (Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement) to cover the cost of home modifications.
Most plans are primarily focused on products that they deem as “medically necessary”. This means that items such as grab bars, bathtub seats and stairlifts, although crucial to maintaining safety in the home, are unlikely to be covered. However this doesn’t mean yours or a loved one’s Medicare plan will always deny coverage. Because each case is unique we encourage you to reach out directly to the plan to understand the specifics of what they are willing to cover.
And if Medicare is unwilling to cover the cost of home modifications and you would like to explore alternative funding, a Jukebox Health Client Care Coordinator is more than happy to work with you to find options you or a loved one may be eligible for.
Does Medicaid Cover Home Modifications?
Most states offer Medicaid programs that cover home modifications to assist older adults or disabled individuals to remain living at home. Residents of New Jersey may be eligible for these options:
Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports
Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) refers to the delivery of long-term services and supports through New Jersey Medicaid's NJ FamilyCare managed care program. MLTSS is designed to expand home and community-based services, promote community inclusion and ensure quality and efficiency. MLTSS uses NJ FamilyCare managed care organizations (also known as HMOs or health plans) to coordinate ALL services. MLTSS provides comprehensive services and supports, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, in community residential services, or in a nursing home.
What does MLTSS cover?
- Care Management
- Home and Vehicle Modifications
- Home Delivered Meals
- Personal Emergency Response Systems
- Mental Health and Addiction Services
- Assisted Living
- Community Residential Services
- Nursing Home Care
Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)
New Jersey’s DDD administers two Medicaid waiver programs, the Supports Program and Community Care Program. Individuals enrolled in one of these programs can receive home and community based services based on their needs and budget that includes coverage for home modifications.
You can find more information about eligibility for the DDD program here.
New Jersey TBI Waiver Program
Under the state’s Department of Disability Services (DDS) the TBI waiver program is designed to provide resources for individuals with brain injuries currently in a nursing facility or who are at risk for placement in a nursing facility. Services covered include assistive technology, physical therapy, service coordination and home modifications.
Learn more about the TBI waiver program here.
Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC)
The JACC is a NJ-funded program that provides both in-home and community-based services to those 60+ who meet clinical eligibility for nursing home level of care but desire to remain in their homes. Participants in this program receive a plan of care that is personalized to one’s specific needs. Services covered through JACC can include meal delivery, chore services, home modifications and transportation services.
It’s important to note that there are funding caps for JACC participants.Services are limited to $929.88 per participant per month, or $11,158.56 per year. In addition to be eligible for JACC one must not be participating in other state-funded programs such as the TBI or Personal Assistance Service Program (PASP).
Learn more about JACC eligibility here.
Money Follows The Person Program
Lastly, some states such as New Jersey, offer a “Money Follows The Person” Program. This is a Medicaid program intended for people that are living in a nursing home, but wish to return home. This program supports any home modifications that will help the individual safely return and remain at home.
Learn more about eligibility here.
Other programs that cover home modifications
Rebuilding Together NJ
Rebuilding Together is a nonprofit that is focused on community revitalization. Collaborating with community partners, they repair homes for community members.
For the state of New Jersey Through the RTNJ’s Homeowner Assistance program this program is able to support eligible residents by improving the safety and health of their homes. If you’re interested in applying to this program you can do so at: https://rebuildingtogethernorthjersey.secure.force.com/HomeownerApplication/
Condition Specific Programs To Fund Home Modifications
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Foundation
For those living with Multiple Sclerosis, they may be able to apply to the Assistive Technology (AT) Program through the MS Foundation. This program, where income is not a disqualifier, is designed to partially fund or provide full funding for home modifications. Products that may receive coverage include:
- Communication devices
- Environmental control systems
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Seating, positioning, and mobility devices
- Aids for vision and hearing
If you are interested in pursuing potential funding through the MS Society we recommend you contact our Client Care Team at (212) 321-5113 who can walk you through the application process. You can also find the application and more information here
The American Parkinson Disease Association
If you or a loved one has Parkinson’s we recommend reaching out to your local chapter to inquire about a variety of education and support - including grants to fund home modifications. Application periods vary.
You can learn more about the New Jersey chapter here and if you have questions about the grants application process, please email Programs@Parkinson.org
Across the country families can find a local ALS Association chapter that offers a variety of resources and support for those living with ALS. Although there is not a specific chapter for the state of New Jersey residents are still encouraged to connect with either the Greater New York Chapter or Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
Currently the Greater New York Chapter offers assistance through the Jon Stone Durable Medical Equipment Loan Program. This program was established to provide access to medical equipment for those with ALS who are either awaiting insurance approval or are unable to receive insurance coverage for the equipment being requested. The Jon Stone program covers safety equipment such as:
- Tilt/Recline Power Wheelchairs
- Manual Wheelchairs
- Tilt Manual Wheelchairs
- Transport Wheelchairs
- Wheelchair Cushions
- Power Patient Lifts
- Full Electric Hospital Beds
- Sliding Tub Benches
- Lift Chair Recliners
- Transfer Boards
If you have any questions about the Greater New York Chapter’s loan program, contact their Equipment Loan Coordinator at Equipment_Loan@als-ny.org or call their office at (212) 720-3058
Funding Home Modifications for Veterans
Veteran Association Programs
There are three main grant programs Veterans may be eligible for through the Veteran Association.
Learn more about eligibility here.
The Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (RISE)
This program provides grants for veterans who are in need of modifying their home to support safe, comfortable and independent living. In addition some injured or aging veterans can be eligible to receive funding for mobility devices and adapted vehicles.
Learn more about eligibility here.
Renter Rights in NJ
Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants who need additional safety support at home. Unfortunately, renters are often unaware of their rights and it’s not uncommon for landlords to take advantage of this. We suggest you talk with Jukebox Health’s Client Care Team to learn more about your rights as a renter, especially if you will be needing more intensive modifications such as a door widening or ramp installation.
If you need any home modifications, there are a few steps that you can take to make sure you’re able to order and install products
Review the Fair Housing Act
Be sure to review Section 504 that provides you a clear understanding of what rights you have to make modifications within your living environment.
Know Your Pricing Options
Unfortunately renters typically bear the cost of modifications. Although the Fair Housing Act does require your landlord to allow reasonable accommodations, in most situations they are not obligated to pay your changes. If this is the case for you, we recommend you talk with a Jukebox Health Client Care Coordinator. We are more than happy to explore other financing options with you.
Explore Rent Approved Products
If you would like to start with simpler modifications that do not require landlord approval we suggest exploring products within our catalog that are affordable and do not need any major installation. You can find more information here.
Work with Jukebox Health
It’s important you work with a home safety expert to understand the home modifications available to renters. Please call us at (212) 321-5113 so we can discuss and provide advice on the best plan of action.
Requirements for Licensed Occupational Therapists and Installers in The State of NJ
All 50 states require that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants be licensed. Receiving a license grants a therapist the ability to practice in the state in which they are licensed.
In New Jersey occupational therapists must:
- Be 21 years of age
- Earn a Bachelor or Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) certified school
- Perform at least 6 months of occupational therapy work experience as part of an internship under a licensed Occupational Therapist.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Pass the NBCOT OTR examination.
- Provide at least two references in the form of Certificates of Good Moral Character
- Complete Continuing Competency contact hours as determined by the board for their lapse in licensure period.
Jukebox Health follows New Jersey requirements for all occupational therapists that work with our clients. In addition, many occupational therapists in our network have special certifications such as:
- CAPS Certification through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
- CLIPP Certification through the Living In Place Institute (LPI)
- Executive Certificate in Home Modifications through USC Leonard Davis (USC)
These are some of the top certification programs in the country for occupational therapists to specialize in fall prevention and safety at home.