Over 60 million Americans are living with a disability that affects their everyday activities. Adapting a home to accommodate someone with a disability is often a costly endeavor. However, you may qualify for grants that reduce your out of pocket expenses.
Many grants are available for people with disabilities at the federal and state level. There are also private entities that provide home improvement grants for people with disabilities. This article outlines the various home improvement grants available to people with disabilities.
Federal Grants for People with Disabilities
There are several disability grants for home modifications available to people with disabilities at the federal level. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are two federal agencies that offer grants to people living with disabilities.
Disabled Veteran Housing Assistance
Veterans are eligible for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. These grants allow disabled veterans to modify their homes for independent living. Veterans can use these grants to construct a home adapted to their disability or make other modifications that help them live independently, such as making their home wheelchair accessible. For example, they may install ramps, widen doors, or modify bathrooms.
Suppose you’re a veteran temporarily living with a family member and qualify for the SAH or SHA grant. In that case, you may be eligible for the Temporary Residence Adaptation grant, which allows you to make changes to a family member’s home.
The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations grant is another grant specifically for veterans. Veterans can use this grant to make medically necessary changes and improvements to their primary homes.
The Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants Program
Homeowners aged 62 years or older living in rural areas can take advantage of the Rural Housing and Repair Loans and Grants Program. This program is part of the USDA’s Rural Development Program. Those who qualify are eligible for loans of up to $20,000 and grants of up to $7500. Residents can use this money to remove health hazards and make modifications to their homes.
Medicare Part B
State Grants for People with Disabilities
Many states offer disability grants for home modifications. These include programs that provide “age in place grants” to senior citizens and the disabled and programs through medicare that allow disabled people to modify their homes to ensure accessibility. The overarching goal of these programs is to prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of these groups. You’ll need to check with the offices in your home state to determine your eligibility.
Home Modification Grants for Aging in Place
Several states have programs designed to prevent the elderly from being unnecessarily placed in nursing homes. Some states refer to these programs as nursing home diversion programs. Accordingly, these programs offer grants to pay for modifications that allow the elderly and disabled to continue living in their own homes.
Disability modifications for home improvements under these programs often include:
Find a guide to states offering these grants here: Paying for Senior Care
Medicaid Waiver Programs
Medicaid is independently managed by individual states, although it is a federal program. Most states offer assistance for home modifications under Medicaid to the disabled and elderly, allowing them to continue living at home.
Medicaid waivers often provide financial support for the following:
- Home modifications
- In-home support
- Assistive technology
- Walk-in or wheelchair accessible bathtubs and showers
- Wheelchair ramps
Find more information on Medicaid Waivers here: Paying for Senior Care
Non-Profit & Private Grants for People with Disabilities
Suppose you or your loved one don’t qualify for disability grants for home improvements offered by your state or the federal government. In that case, you may be eligible for a grant through a non-profit or private entity.
Founded in 1973, Rebuilding Together is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help people in need repair their homes. Rebuilding Together’s corps of over 100,000 volunteers nationwide modify and improve the homes of low-income families in need, senior citizens, and the disabled.
Each year, Rebuilding Together’s volunteers modify and repair at least 10,000 homes.
Some of their disability home modification projects include:
Rebuilding Together’s goal is to make homes safer and improve the health of the neighborhoods they serve. 90% of those who received help from Rebuilding Together planned to age in place, the vast majority said the modifications improved their health.
Find more information on Rebuilding Together here: Rebuilding Together
Modest Needs’ Self-Sufficiency Grants
Modest Needs is a non-profit organization founded in 2002. Their goal is to provide short-term monetary assistance to families temporarily in need who don’t qualify for most social assistance programs. The self-sufficiency grant is for families who are one or two paychecks away from financial catastrophe or homelessness.
These grants can be used to pay for medical care that isn’t covered by insurance or home repairs. To complete the application, you will need your most recently filed tax returns or the most recent bank statements from each adult member of your household. The form takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete online.
Find more information on these grants here: Modest Needs
Disability grants for home improvements are available to help you modify your home to accommodate your or a loved one’s disability. These grants help reduce the financial burden of modifying your home. Your income, disability status, veteran status, and age will determine whether you qualify for them.
You may be eligible for state, federal, or private grants depending on your circumstances. These grants will allow you to make changes to your home by adding grab railings, installing wheelchair ramps or stairlifts, and widening doorways.
Having a disability should not limit your ability to continue living independently in your home. We hope these resources provide you with the information you need to embark on your home modification journey.