Federal Program Provides For Disabled Veterans’ Home Improvements

When soldiers become disabled, the design of their home is probably the last thing on their mind. Many return home, however, and find their ability to navigate in their home is either limited or non-existent. The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Program is a federal grant program designed to help such veterans make the necessary modifications and/or repairs to their homes to make them negotiable.

The grants are awarded to veterans with disabilities, even if those disabilities are not service-related. Those grants are used to make home improvements, which are essential for the veterans’ daily functioning. The improvements will be used to either aid in the veterans’ treatment or to grant greater and easier access to the veterans’ homes.

The recently signed Caregiver and Veterans Omnibus Health Service Act of 2010 boosted the amount of money HISA grants can award. For those veterans rated at least 50% disabled, HISA grants provide $6,800. All other veterans who have registered with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care can be awarded up to $2,000.

There are limits, however, as to what HISA grants can be used to improve.

HISA grants can be used to:

  • allocate entrances and exits from the veterans’ homes;
  • grant easier access for necessary bathrooms;
  • grant easier access to kitchen and bathroom counters;
  • improve or construct handrails;
  • lower switches and plugs; and
  • improve driveways and/or walkways.

Although the grants do cover a good range of improvements, they are limited. Veterans cannot use HISA grants to improve paths to exterior buildings, to perform routine renovations, or to install hot tubs or jacuzzis.

To qualify for HISA grants, veterans must first obtain prescriptions from a physician documenting the need for the improvements. Those improvements must be necessary for the veterans’ disability treatment.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.