8.1. Making a Veteran's Home Accessible
The need for structural modification of the Veteran's home and appropriateness of medical equipment for use in the home is to be evaluated by an SCI therapist and prosthetic representative. An on-site evaluation is recommended as needed. When the Veteran has a medical need for home modifications or equipment, referral to the Medical Center's Home Improvements and Structural Alterations Grant (HISA) Committee or Prosthetic Service for assistance needs to be made according to guidance in VHA Handbook 1173.14.
- An evaluation of home accessibility must be conducted before the discharge of an individual with a new SCI/D, and for other patients, when home accessibility issues are identified. Individuals with knowledge and training in home evaluations will complete the evaluation. NOTE: Arrangements with staff at non-SCI Center medical facilities may be needed to accomplish home evaluations and transition planning.
- For Veterans with disabilities, VA has three main grant programs to assist with necessary home modifications.
- Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH). Veterans who have specific service- connected disabilities may be entitled to a grant for the purpose of constructing an adapted home, or modifying an existing home to meet their adaptive needs. The SAH grant is generally used to create a wheelchair accessible home and is currently limited to $77,307, and is adjusted every October. This grant amount is reviewed and adjusted annually in October.
- Special Housing Adaptation Grant (SHA). Veterans who have specific service- connected disabilities may be entitled to a grant for the purpose of modifying an existing home to meet their adaptive needs. The SHA grant is generally used to assist Veterans with mobility throughout their homes. This grant is currently limited to $15,462.
- Home Improvement Structural Alterations Grant (HISA) Grant. Veterans with service-connected or non-service connected disabilities 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 the Veteran's disability.
In addition to a HISA grant, a Veteran can receive either a SHA or SAH grant.