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VA help with home modifications

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    VA help with home modifications

    Does the VA help much with home modifications?

    I am searching for a house to buy and am wondering if I can receive some help with ramps, a roll in shower or other possible changes. It will be a cheap ranch and I have a power wheelchair so I will only need a short ramp to climb a couple steps. I may be living in the basement or in a garage like I do now.

    I am not service connected and am a catagory 4, CIV so I shouldn't expect much but the VA has been very good to me so I figured I'd check.

    Last edited by forestranger52; 27 Sep 2012, 6:05 PM.
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt

    They do, they offered me a bunch of modifications for the home which I turned down, didn't need them, definitely make use of the modifications, makes your life safer and less load on the va if you don't have accidents.
    "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"


      My husband is non-service connected category 4 as well. They installed a very nice ramp and platform at the back door when we bought our house 3 and a half years ago, installed a ceiling lift in the bedroom, and just in the past year with all of his new pain and functional issues they installed an automatic door because it had become too difficult for him to open it as he used to do. He also qualifies for a HISA grant (not sure that I have that spelled correctly) that pays a small amount toward modifications and we were getting ready to apply for it to assist with the cost to install a roll in shower. Every little bit helps.


        Being non-service connected you do qualify for a HISA Grant for $2000. Service connected Vets qualify for a $6800.00 grant.

        This grant can be used for accessibility like widening doors or bathroom remodel. I know it is not much but a year ago it was half that. A lot of the equipment you might need can be acquired through prosthetics as equipment and won't go against the HISA grant. Make sure you get a consult from your primary Dr for KT or PT to come out to your house to see what you equipment you may need. You also need to get a consult for the HISA grant.


          While the $2,000 NSC grant will not cover a roll-in shower, they will cover grab bars, a shower chair (even a slider), commode, etc. which is not covered under the grant, but instead under your PS&A DME coverage. The same applies to "temporary" (such as aluminum or modular ramping) vs. permanent ramps (concrete, brick, etc.) which do not fall under your DME coverage.

          Ideally you should work with your PVA NSO and SCI Clinic social worker to identify what resources you may be eligible for, and a home evaluation by a SCI PT/OT/KT may be invaluable in identifying where you can use equipment vs. actually making housing modifications.

          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


            There are three programs through the VA: Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant, Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant, and Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA).

            SAH and SHA have specific requirements and are only available to Vets that live in homes that they or a family member own. HISA may be used by renters with the permission of the property owner and only requires a prescription.

            The SAH Grant is designed to help provide a barrier-free living environment that affords the individual a level of independent living they may not otherwise enjoy, such as creating a wheelchair accessible home. Veterans and servicemembers with specific service-connected disabilities may be entitled to a grant for the purpose of constructing or modifying a home to meet their adaptive needs. This grant is currently limited to $63,780.

            The SAH grant is available to veterans who are and servicemembers who will be entitled to disability compensation for permanent and total disability due to:

            Loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair, or
            Blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity, or
            Loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with (1) residuals of organic disease or injury, or (2) the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity, which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair or,
            Loss or loss of use of both upper extremities such as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbow, or
            A severe burn injury (as so determined)

            The SHA grant is for modifying an existing home to meet adaptive needs, such as assistance with mobility throughout the home. Veterans and servicemembers with specific service-connected disabilities may be entitled to this type of grant. The grant is currently limited to $12,756. A temporary grant may be available to veterans and servicemembers who are/will be temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member.

            The SHA grant is available to veterans who are and servicemembers who will be entitled to disability compensation for permanent and total disability due to:

            Blindness in both eyes with 5/200 visual acuity or less or,
            The anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands or extremities below the elbow, or
            A severe burn injury (as so determined).

            Under the HISA program, veterans may receive assistance for any home improvement necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities. A HISA grant is available to veterans who have received a medical determination indicating that improvements and structural alterations are necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of their disability. A veteran may receive both a HISA grant and either a SHA or SAH grant.

            The HISA program is available for both service-connected veterans and non service-connected veterans.

            Home improvement benefits up to $6,800 may be provided to service-connected veterans.
            Home improvement benefits up to $2,000 be provided to nonservice-connected veterans.

            These benefits can only be used within each of the several States, Territories, and Possessions of the
            United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

            Your State may also provide grants. Contact your state veterans affairs advisor.

            Don't forget that Purchase & Cash-Out Refinance Home Loans and the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) waive the funding fee for disabled vets.
            Last edited by IsMaisin; 7 Feb 2013, 12:10 PM.
            Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.


              Haven't been in the forum in a bit..........In order to qualify for the SAH/SHA and $6800 HISA grant you have to be SERVICE CONNECTED with the conditions that IsMaisin listed. A lot of Vets get confused because they might be 100% service connected for lets say PTSD and Diabetes Type II and they have a spinal cord injury that they received outside of their military service. They wouldn't qualify for any of these grants because they are not service connected for the condition that led to the disability. You have to apply for the SAH and SHA through your regional office, the HISA grants are handled through the medical center you receive your medical treatment.