How To Fund The Home Modifications Your Disabled Vet Needs
Do you have a family member who was recently injured while serving in the military and will soon be returning home? Are you worried because you know that their injuries are life-changing and will require a lot of home modifications, such as wheelchair ramps and stair glides, and you're unsure of how to pay for these renovations?
Sadly, your family's situation is not uncommon. According to the Pew Research Center, one out of every ten veterans alive today has suffered a serious injury while serving in the military. And to accommodate a disabled vet, many families have had to make many, sometimes significant, renovations to their houses. Your home, too, will probably require significant, costly alterations to make it suitable for your returning vet. Fortunately, though, there is financial help available to you. You may just need to be proactive and seek out the aid that your loved one deserves for the sacrifices that they've made for this country.
Check with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
According to Caring.com, the VA will cover the cost of some durable medical equipment for home use. For example, in 2010, the VA provided a disabled vet in the St. Louis area with a wheelchair lift for his car as well as a stairway lift for his home. To help disabled vets, the VA also offers three grants that can be used for home modifications, including:
- Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants. This grant money is intended for use towards modifications to make a home more wheelchair accessible. Amount: Up to $63,780.
- Special Home Adaption (SHA) grants. SHA grants are intended to be used by vets with certain service-related disabilities to pay for modifications to their existing homes, or to build a home with suitable modifications or to pay off a mortgage on a modified home that the vet had already purchased. Amount: Up to $12,756.
- Home Improvement and Structural Alteration (HISA) grants. An HISA grant is intended for use towards modifications that will give the vet better access to their home, especially to its bathroom and other sanitary facilities. Amount: $4,100 for service-connected disabilities.
Contact the Media
In some cases, agencies, grants or insurance may cover part, but not all, of the expenses associated with the home modifications your disabled vet may need. And there is always a chance that some of your claims could be denied -- agencies and insurance carriers can be notoriously fickle about what they approve and don't approve as medically necessary. If you feel that your loved one is being denied equipment, such as a chair lift for your home or a vehicle adapted for your needs, you may want to consider contacting the local press. A media firestorm can sometimes "shame" an agency or insurance company into paying for equipment that they may not deem necessary but that your family really needs in order to care for your disabled veteran. The media could also bring attention to your financial plight and generate donations, which leads up to the next item.
Start a Social Media Fundraising Campaign
Sadly, you may find yourself being buried under debt. Deductibles from medical visits and medications can quickly add up, and you might also have to take time off from work to care for your loved one. To cover these costs, you may need to consider a social media fundraising campaign. Your friends and family members will probably be more than happy to help you out by donating funds toward your home modifications.
Don't Give Up
Getting the necessary funding for the home modifications your disabled vet needs can be frustrating at times, but it's important that you don't give up even when faced with denials from insurance companies or agencies. These renovations are incredibly important, not just for physical reasons but also for psychological ones. Not having a wheelchair lift, for example, can be very demoralizing to a vet who is suddenly limited as to where they can go in their own home. So even though it could involve hard work and time to get the funds, the end results will be well worth your efforts in the long run.
For more information and ideas, you may want to contact a local mobility aid supplier like All-Star Lifts and see what information they can give you on possible discounts and funding options.