If you’re a senior citizen on a tightly fixed income, and if you desperately need to have a stairlift installed in your home, you’re certainly in something of a tight spot. You know that having a high-quality stair lift will significantly improve the quality of your life. But if you’re on a fixed income, it’s unlikely that you have much left over at the end of the month after paying the bills and buying groceries.
If that sounds at all like the situation you’re in, a stair lift—which can range anywhere from $3000 to $5000 for a standard model, and much more if you happen to have a curved staircase—is almost certainly not in the stars, right? Well … not necessarily.
The truth is that there are funds available for people in positions just like yours. Of course, not everyone knows that financial assistance—for stairlifts, of all things!—is actually out there. And even those that do might not necessarily know where to look. You, however, have come to just the right place. Keep reading for a primer on where to go and what to do to acquire the funds that could make a new home stair lift a very distinct reality.
Did You Serve in the U.S. Military? The Veteran’s Administration (VA) May Have You Covered
If you’re veteran of the U.S. military, there’s a decent chance you may be able to get the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to pay for part, or even all, of your stairlift. (Bear in mind that the VA refers to stair lifts as “stair glides.”)
Your first step should involve an in-person visit to your local VA branch. Click here if you’re not sure how to find the VA located nearest to you.
It’s likely that the first question you’ll be asked when searching for VA “stair glide” funding will have something to do with whether or not your disability—the disability you suffer from that requires your use of a stair lift, that is—was caused as a result of your military service. If it was, you’ll naturally have a much better chance of having your stairlift Philadelphia paid for entirely by the U.S. military—installation and all. In most instances, the VA will require that you undergo a home visit and a skills evaluation before your stair lift funding is fully approved.
And what if your disability has nothing whatsoever to do with your past military service? You’re not necessarily out of luck altogether. The VA Aid and Attendance Benefit is worth looking into, and depending on your own unique circumstances, it may apply even if the stairlift Philadelphia you need is for your spouse who has no military experience. Click here to learn more about applying for the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
The Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans program is another option worth looking into. The VA offers Home Improvements and Structural Alterations grants, for instance, with which the installation of a stair lift may be approved. For more information about locating your nearest VA, call 1-800-827-1000.
Look Into State-Based Stair Lift Assistance Programs
There are currently 34 different financial assistance programs in 22 different states that cover stair lift funding of some sort, but do be prepared to do a fair bit of online research. Each program’s eligibility requirements are slightly different, which means you’ll also need to take the time required to read all the fine print.
Start by visiting the home modification assistance section of the Paying for Senior Care website, which is also a great resource for other senior-based financial help situations. As you’ll see on the Paying for Senior Care page, three different organizations exist here in Pennsylvania that offer home modification help: the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), the Pennsylvania Access Home Modification Program, and the Pennsylvania Options Program. Delaware, unfortunately, has no such programs. But New Jersey is home to the New Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC) organization.
Speak With a Medicaid Representative
Contrary to popular belief, Medicare does not fund stair lifts. Medicaid, however, is a different situation altogether. Naturally, you’ll need to be on Medicaid to begin with if you hope to receive help with stairlift funding. And the organization’s policies do vary depending on the state in which you live. But if you can prove to Medicaid that the installation of a stairlift will allow you to remain in your home and avoid having to move into a nursing home, you should—technically—be able to secure funding.
Medicaid will require you to fill out a waiver known as a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) form, which covers a number of different home modifications. Make sure to ask about this waiver when you speak with a Medicaid rep.
To find out whether or not your state participates in the Medicaid home modification program, click here to view the 2015 list of State Medicaid HCBS Waivers and Coverage for Home Modifications. Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey can all be found on the 2015 list.