Help for Veterans: Home Improvement Assistance Program

Aging With Grace, a service dedicated to offering solutions and resources to caregivers, recently posted a blog on the Home Improvement and Structural Alterations (HISA) Program.  Under this program, veterans may receive assistance for home improvements made to accomodate disability in the home.  As the article explains, these grants are typically provided to veterans who are receiving VA health care and who are service-connected disabled, although there are some benefits available for nonservice-connected veterans (see below). 

* Home improvement benefits up to $4,100 may be provided to service-connected veterans.
* Home improvement benefits up to $1,200 may be provided to nonservice-connected veterans.

A clause in the eligibility statutes opens the door for veterans who are on Medicaid or receiving pension with aid and attendance or housebound ratings (commonly referred to as the VA Benefit for Aid & Attendance) to also receive these grants. Also very low income — means tested veterans — may also receive the grant.  Although they are reluctant to provide these grants to veterans who are not in the health-care system, the medical center HISA committee will do so if adequate documentation is provided to justify the grant.
Below are some examples of what the HISA will and will not pay for, but for more information, visit http://www.va.gov.

Examples of what HISA WILL pay for:
* Allowing entrance or exit from veteran’s home
* Improving access for use of essential lavatory and sanitary facilities
* Improving access to kitchen and bathroom counters
* Handrails
* Lowered Electrical outlets and switches
* Improving paths or driveways
*Improving plumbing/electrical work for dialysis patients

Examples of what HISA WILL NOT pay for:
* Walkways to exterior buildings
* Widening of driveways (in excess of a 7ft x 6ft area)
* Spa, hot tub or Jacuzzi
* Exterior decking (in excess of 8ft x 8ft)

Aging With Grace frequently posts new blogs on senior-related topics, click here to visit their blog.

For help with planning your own long term care, contact the elder law attorneys at Janna Dutton & Associates.

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Filed under Aging Parents, Caregivers, Government, Medicaid

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