InfoQuest Spring 2011: Assistive Tech and Home Modification Funding

by Quest Staff on March 31, 2011 - 10:35am

QUEST Vol. 18, No. 2

Need help confronting the costs of home modifications such as a bathroom redo (see Bidets: A Disability Friendly Way to Go)?

To help lessen the financial burden of paying for home modifications (including adaptive bathroom equipment and bathroom modifications as well as other home modifications), the resources listed here provide a good starting point in your search for more information about funding resources at the national, state and local levels.

If you can't print this list, contact your local MDA office to be mailed the complete list, as well as any other MDA publications.

Quick Links
Alternative funding
General resources
Get private insurance and Medicaid to cover AT funding
Home modifcations
IRS (tax deductions)
For an extensive look at these and other AT funding sources that can help lessen the financial burden of paying for home modifications and equipment, check out these articles:
Help Where You Live: Finding Funding for Home Mods Quest Extra (September-October 2008)
Playing the Money Game (May-June 2008)
Funding Freedom (May-June 2006)
InfoQuest — Accessible Housing (July-August 2007)

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IRS (tax deductions for home modifications)

Publication 907 — Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities (PDF) (HTML)
Covers deductions for such things as wheelchair purchases, service animals and home accessibility modifications.

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Aging & Disability Resource Centers
(800) 677-1116
Referrals to local funding agencies.
(800) 333-4636
Type “home modifications” into the search engine of this wonderfully rich source of up-to-date information about all topics related to disability.

Eldercare Locator
(800) 677-1116
Locate local area agencies on aging, and obtain referrals to local funding agencies.

Independent Living Research Utilization Directory of Centers
(713) 520-0232
Centers for Independent Living (CILs) often can provide information about local financial assistance programs. Independent living specialists and counselors work with people to determine their eligibility for various programs.

Information and Referral Service
Programs connect people with appropriate organizations. Check local phone listings.

Patient Advocate Foundation
(800) 532-5274
The site links users to the “National Financial Resources Guidebook for Patients,” a state-by-state directory of local financial resources.

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
(877) 267-2323

National Assistive Technology Advocacy Project
(716) 847-0650
Sponsored by Neighborhood Legal Services, the project assists people seeking funding for AT devices through Protection & Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) programs, which provide free help to those denied coverage of AT devices and services by Medicaid and private insurances.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners
State Departments of Insurance
(866) 470-6242
Consumers can file a request for assistance in resolving an insurance problem, as well as file a complaint against an insurance company.

National Disability Rights Network Protection & Advocacy Systems
(202) 408-9514
Legal representation and advocacy services for people with disabilities, including cases of assistive technology coverage.

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Administration on Developmental Disabilities
(202) 690-6590
These agencies often cover children who have physical disabilities; home modification funds may be available to established clients, even those who don’t have cognitive disabilities. Users can locate their State Councils on Developmental Disabilities to find the agency in their area.

Bank of America Access Loans
(800) 900-9000
(888) 457-2543
Access Loans offer flexible terms for people with disabilities who need to finance home improvements. Click on “Access Loans” or call to locate a local banking center.

City Community Services Departments
Check your local phone book listings.
City departments often operate programs to assist low-income homeowners with repairs and modifications. Many programs are geared toward the elderly, but they also may apply to people with disabilities.

Digital Credit Union
(800) 328-8797
Members can receive loans for assistive technology devices and home modifications. To be eligible for membership, you must be connected to a participating employer, organization or community (lists are available on the site).
(800) 333-4636
Complete a brief, confidential online questionnaire, and this U.S. government site will provide a custom list of federal and state benefit programs.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers
HCBS waivers can help state Medicaid recipients receive funding for big-ticket assistive technology items like home modifications. Waiver programs vary from state to state, but some have approved funding for “other services” that include home modifications.

RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America)
Alternative Financing Loan Programs
(703) 524-6686
Alternative Financing Programs (AFP) offer low-interest loans for assistive technology equipment, including home modifications, used by people with disabilities.

State Departments of Vocational Rehabilitation
Check your telephone directory under “state listings.”
State departments of vocational rehabilitation may help pay for home modifications related to a disability. Although geared toward established clients, and those with educational or employment goals, it also may provide help for other individuals in some cases.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(800) 827-1000
VA offers the Specially Adapted Housing Grant Program to veterans or service members who have service-connected disabilities for the purpose of constructing an adapted home or modifying an existing home.

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National Council of State Housing Agencies
(202) 624-7710
Use the feature “Find Housing Help in Your State” to find housing finance agencies.

National Association of Home Builders
Check out “Funding for Home Modifications and Programs.”

National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification
(213) 740-1364
Click on your state to find funding resources for home modifications.

Rebuilding Together
(800) 473-4229
This free home repair and modification program run by volunteers assists people with disabilities and the elderly. The program can build ramps, install grab bars, modify bathrooms, widen doorways or perform general repair.

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
(202) 708-1112
The nation’s source for housing information, the site provides tips on Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines, financing resources and more.

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