Fortunately there are many sources of assistance for making modifications to a home to accommodate elderly and/or disabled persons. This webpage will be continuously updated when new options become available, or if qualifications change.
MEDICARE: Medicare and most other private insurance typically does not pay for the cost of home modifications. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Assistance may be available from Medicare if the home modifications are determined to be medically required. In rare instances, Medicare will pay for bathroom modifications. The vast majority of home modifications for the elderly are not paid for by Medicare.
Medicaid HCBS Waivers and Home Modifications: Funds may be available for home modifications if you receive assistance through a Medicaid waiver program. The program was originally intended to help the elderly who require nursing home level care to afford nursing home care. Most states have Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or offer at-home services through managed Medicaid programs or Medicaid State Plans. These programs provide assistance to help qualified individuals avoid nursing homes and remain living at home.The program pays for home modifications which increase an individual’s ability to live independently. Each state has different waivers and programs with different eligibility requirements and benefits. Medicaid refers to home modifications as "Environmental Accessibility Adaptations."
VETERANS PROGRAMS: There are home modification assistance programs available to veterans from both the Veterans Administration and from non-profit organizations serving veterans. The VA provides multiple grants including SAH Grants, SHA Grants and HISA Grants. Also available are Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services. This program provides veterans with financial assistance to help them remain living in their homes and provides them with a certain amount of discretion to use those funds. The funds are not based on whether or not their disability was connected to their military service. Veterans pensions, such as Aid & Attendance, offer one-time bonuses for “unreimbursed medical expenses”. If a home modification is medically necessary, veterans receiving a pension can receive a temporary increase in benefits to cover the cost. The national, non-profit organization, Rebuilding Together, offers home modification assistance both in the form of labor and some materials to US veterans through its Heroes at Home Program. A VA Home Loan can also be used to simultaneously purchase and improve a home.
NON-MEDICAID GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE: Many state governments and agencies in the federal government have programs that help seniors and the disabled with home modifications. The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers HUD Home Improvement Loans, and the US Department of Agriculture has Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Grants. The USDA Rural Housing Home Repair Loan and Grant Program provides loans and grants to very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes or to remove health and safety hazards. The program features low interest 20-year loans up to $20,000. Grants up to $7,500 are available to pay for repairs or removal of safety hazards. Eligibility requirements are homeowner-occupants must be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere and must have very low income, defined as below 50% of the area's median income.
NON-PROFIT AND FOUNDATION ASSISTANCE: Many non-profits and other organizations offer assistance in the form of financial aid or volunteer labor to help seniors and disabled with home modifications. Another options are community building projects which provide seniors with volunteer labor to help them make home improvements.