As we mentioned in our first article on funding home wheelchair ramps, we know that access solutions can be a financial investment for your family, but we don’t want that to be the reason you and your loved ones don’t get the access solution you need. In the article linked above, we went over how to find funding through Medicare, Medicaid, non-profit assistance, and specific assistance for Veterans. As a follow-up, we’ve created an additional list below of government-specific loans and grants to help provide even more information on avenues to seek funding for wheelchair ramps.
Assistance for All Individuals:
Home Improvement Loans
This is the most common type of financial help homeowners receive from the government to cover the expense of home repairs. One national program is 203(K) Rehab Mortgage Insurance. Section 203(K) allows homeowners to purchase or refinance a home and rehabilitate it or to rehabilitate an existing home. Construction of a wheelchair ramp is considered an eligible activity for this loan because it is “enhancing accessibility for a disabled person.
To see what loans are available at the state level, you can contact your state Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Or you can reach out to your local or county government housing department.
State Assistive Technology (AT) Projects
Many states have created programs to help finance assistive technology that their residents may need. Equipment that falls under assistive technology for these projects includes:
- Trial Equipment
- Assistive Technology
- Home Modifications
Find contact information for your state’s AT program here.
Assistance for Veterans:
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
Veterans who have certain service-connected disabilities are eligible to apply for the SAH Grant to meet their adaptive needs.
The goal of the SAH grant is to provide a barrier-free living environment to allow Veterans to enjoy independent living. The SAH grant is typically used to create a wheelchair accessible home, which can be executed in a matter of ways such as the following:
- Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired
- Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing
- Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing
- Apply the grant against the unpaid principal mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired without the assistance of a VA grant
- The grant is limited to a dollar amount that is updated on an annual basis based on a cost of construction index to cover the expenses that come with creating a barrier-free living space.
Special Home Adaptations SHA Grant
- This grant also applies to Veterans who have certain service-connected disabilities. The SHA grant is used to assist Veterans with adapting or purchasing a home to accommodate their disability.
- You can use SHA grants in one of the following ways:
- Adapt an existing home the Veteran or a family member already owns in which the Veteran lives
- Adapt a home the Veteran or family member intends to purchase in which the Veteran will live
- Help a Veteran purchase a home already adapted in which the Veteran will live
Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA Grant)
A temporary grant may be available to SAH/SHA eligible Veterans and Servicemembers who are or will be temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member. A few important pieces of information regarding this specific grant are below:
- The TRA grant will not be deducted from the total grant funds available to a Veteran or Servicemember
- The TRA grant will be deducted from one of the three usages available to the Veteran or Servicemember
- There is a maximum amount available to adapt a family member's home.
- For full eligibility requirements, additional information, and application instructions for the SAH, SHA, and TRA grants, you can visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website here.
Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA Grant)
Under the HISA program, support is provided to Veterans with service-connected disabilities and Veterans with non-service-connected disabilities. This grant is used to provide medically necessary improvements and structural alterations to Veterans and Servicemembers’ primary residence for the following purposes:
- Allowing entrance to or exit from their homes
- Use of essential lavatory and sanitary facilities (e.g. roll in showers)
- Allowing accessibility to kitchen or bathroom sinks or counters (e.g. lowering counters/sinks)
- Improving entrance paths or driveways in immediate area of the home to facilitate access to the home through construction of permanent ramping
- Improving plumbing or electrical systems made necessary due to installation of home medical equipment
For more information on this grant, you can visit the following page on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs site: https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/psas/HISA2.asp
Assistance for Seniors:
Social Security Administration
The U.S. Social Security Administration provides a wide variety of retirement and disability benefits to citizens over the age of 80 years old. Visit ssa.gov to see what your benefits include.
As we mentioned above, there are also other ways to obtain funding home wheelchair ramps that are not through government assistance.
Once you are ready to research the type of access solution that is best for you, we have a large bank of resources to help you decide! And we are always just a call away to help you make an informed decision about the access solution and that fits your home and lifestyle.