Financing Elevators and other accessibility products.
Most residential lifts are paid out-of-pocket. However, there are programs that make loans or provide services free of charge (or at reduced rates) for eligible individuals. Examples include:
- Area Agency on Aging: Some Area Agencies on Aging use funds from the Older Americans Act Title III to modify homes. To locate the Area Agency on Aging in your community, call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116 or visit www.n4a.org.
- Banks and Lenders: Some banks offer loans to finance home modification projects such as building ramps, installing lifts, widening doors, or lowering cabinets. Banks and lending agencies also offer reverse mortgages that allow homeowners to turn the value of their home into cash. Contact the local banking and lending organizations for more information. Free counseling on reverse mortgages is available from a HUD*-approved housing counseling agency. Call (888)466-3487 for a referral. (*HUD – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.)
- Department of Housing and Community Development: Many cities and towns use Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to help maintain and upgrade homes. Contact the local Department for more information. A listing of Housing and Community Development Agencies can be found by visitingwww.nahro.org/reference/internethousing.cfm or calling the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials at toll free (877) 866-2476.
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA): The FHA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers mortgage insurance programs (e.g., Title 1 and Section 203(k)) that can help homebuyers and homeowners secure loans to make home modifications. For more information, contact the regional HUD field office listed in the telephone directory, visit www.dtinational.org/training/hudinfo/hudoffices.aspor call (202) 708-1112. The local FHA-lender can be found by visiting www.hud.gov/ll/code/llplcrit.html.
- Health Insurance: Some private health insurance and long term care insurance plans also pay for limited home modifications. Check with your insurance provider.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS): If the home modifications meet certain conditions, they may be tax deductible. Part of the expense of installing lifts may be deductible if they increase the resale value of the property and have been prescribed as medically necessary. Consult a tax professional and order a free copy of IRS Publication 502 for more information. Contact the IRS by visiting www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf or call (800) 829-3676.
- Rural Housing Services (RHS) Grants/Loans: Part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the RHS offers various grants and loans for rural, low-income elders. RHS Section 502 Home Ownership Loans may be used to rehabilitate, repair, buy, build, or improve rural homes and related facilities. RHS Section 504, the Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program, provides loans and grants to very low-income persons 62 years and older to repair, improve, or modernize their dwellings or to remove health or safety hazards. To locate the local Rural Development area offices, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html. To learn more about the USDA Rural Housing Services programs, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/Individual/ind_splash.htm or call (530)792-5820, (530)792-5848 (TDD).
- State Assistive Technology Programs: Offer Loans/Grants for people with disabilities and their family members. Visit www.homemods.org/pages/statefunding.html for your state contact information
- Veterans Administration: The Veteran’s Administration (VA) offers programs that pay for lifts. For more -information contact the VA Office at 1-877-222-VETS or http://www.va.gov
Additional Funding Sources How to Get Started – Three Steps
- You must set the groundwork by determining the specific product model required. Consultation with a therapist or physician may be required.
- Second is to gather the information you may need in the funding process. Whether assistance is sought from an insurance company, community organization, government agency, service club or other funding source they will require the following information.
Having the following information available will help alleviate frustration and unnecessary delays:
- Primary Disability
- Time of Onset
- Cause of Disability
- Employment History
- Family Gross Income, Monthly Expenses (Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, loans and bills, medical expenses etc.)
- Health Insurance Information
- Names, ages and relationship of dependents.
- Prepare a Justification Statement – Most funding sources require a justification statement. When the funding source is a public or private insurance policy a physician or a therapist usually must submit a statement indicating necessity of the purchase.
The Key to Successful Funding
- Government programs – Funds for home adaptations, wheelchairs, walkers, power chairs etc.,
- Service Clubs – Funding on an individual basis for needy families. This source should only be approached after all details of specific need has been determined by a healthcare professional,
- Agencies – depending on your condition funding could be available for some products.