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Home Modification Tips

How Do I Pay for Accessible Home Modifications?

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Living in a house that doesn’t allow you to do the most basic of tasks is not ideal. For many individuals, the idea of home modifications is not on their radar. They may be too young, or they might not have had any experience with accessibility challenges. As people live longer, it can become harder to stay in their homes without adjusting for disabilities. Should you need your home modified for an accessible challenge, you may wonder how you can pay for home modifications. You could try to save up, but that will take a long time and you need your home accessible now. Don’t worry — we’re here to help!

 

In our latest post, we have compiled this list of funding options that may work well for you, whether you need help with funds for modifications like installing ramps or widening doorways, the list below walks you through several options

If you have any additional questions after reading this post, please reach out to us at support@accessrose.com.

Can I use Medicare Part B to cover accessible home modifications?

If an individual is eligible for original Medicare, start by reviewing their Medicare Part B benefits coverage. Medicare Part B includes financial assistance for durable medical equipment (DME), which includes patient lifts, commode chairs and a number of other assistive solutions. Typically, an eligible beneficiary will pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the equipment, and Medicare Part B covers the other 80%.

Though Medicare Part B does not directly cover home modifications, the program reduces out-of-pocket expense for an eligible member through coverage of additional goods and services.

Does Medicaid cover accessible home modifications?

If an individual is eligible for Medicaid, depending on the state’s Medicaid system, they may qualify for home modifications waivers (HCBS waiver). These waivers enable elderly and/or individuals with a disability to remain living at home. Some state programs pay for home modifications (structural alterations), adaptive equipment (shower chairs etc.), and assistive technology (devices & technology). Each state differs on the amount of cost that is covered.

For example, in the state of Louisiana, through their Community Choices Waiver, eligible members can receive home modifications (e.g. modify bathrooms. wheelchair ramps, and other accessibility adaptations) to aid them to live independently.

Please review your state’s Medicaid HCBS waiver to determine your eligibility and assistance level.

Is accessible home modifications a Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits?

If you signed up for a Medicare Advantage health plan, contact your broker or the health insurance companies’ member service department and ask if home modifications are covered through the Part C supplemental benefit coverage. Beginning in 2019, some Medicare Advantage health plans have begun covering home modifications as an evolution from in-home support services. The benefit normally includes either a $0 copay for equipment purchases or an allowance that goes to the total cost of the project. 

Are there Special Population Grants that cover accessible home modifications?

Depending on your state, individual organizations aid people with disabilities, older adults, and veterans with home modifications projects to improve accessibility:

Grants for Qualifying People/Seniors

Grants for Veterans

  • Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH): Helps veterans find a home or fund changes to a home that can accommodate a disability. For veterans who have a service-related disability, this extra funding can be critical in creating an independent living environment.
  • Special Housing Adaptation Grant (SHA): A SHA grant can help with housing costs related to accessibility. Veterans with service-related disabilities can use SHA grant funds to alter an existing residence, update a new home or help purchase an already-adapted home.
  • HISA Grant:  Helps medically necessary home improvements for veterans: wheelchair accessible ramps, lowering sinks and counters, and widening entrances and pathways.

Are accessible home modifications Tax Deductible? 

If any home modification made for medical care is made with out-of-pocket funds, PLEASE save the records for when you file your taxes. This is something many individuals fail to do. Many medical home improvements can be deducted from your taxes:

  • Door Hardware
  • Handrails and Grab Bars
  • Patient Lifts
  • Stairway Modifications

Recommendation: Bundle the home modifications into a single tax year if possible, which maximizes the tax deduction, as this is a threshold-based deduction.

What are my rights as a Renter to get accessible home modifications covered?

According to the Fair Housing Act, any person with disabilities who rents a residential dwelling is entitled to reasonable accommodation by their landlord. Housing providers cannot require people with disabilities to pay extra fees or deposits as a condition of receiving a reasonable accommodation. In addition to paying for home modifications, individuals with disabilities can access services and programs to offset the financial cost of renting:

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