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HISA grants.

Certain disabled veterans may have disabilities that prevent their access to the home or essential lavatory or sanitary facilities or that require special home installation of therapeutic equipment, rehabilitative devices, or other equipment associated with medical treatment. If so, they may be eligible for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Improvement and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant. The HISA grant cost-limitation may not exceed $2,500 for eligible veterans with a service-connected disability or $600 for veterans with a nonservice-connected disability.

Eligibility for a HISA grant is established when it has been medically determined necessary or appropriate for effective and economical treatment of:

* A service-connected disability (including any disability of a Spanish-American War veteran)

* A disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty (any veteran discharged or released from active military service for such a disability)

* A veteran with a service-connected disability or disabilities rated at 50% or more

* Any nonservice-connected disability of a veteran receiving authorized posthospital care

* Any nonservice-connected disability of a veteran of the Mexican-border period or World War I or a veteran receiving aid and attendance or housebound benefits (or who would receive them except for receipt of military retirement pay)

Home improvements and structural alterations chargeable against the veteran's cost limitation include but are not restricted to:

* Construction of permanent wheelchair ramps

* Widening of doorways for wheelchair access

* Lowering of kitchen or bathroom counters and sinks to permit access

* Improving otherwise inaccessible entrance paths or driveways

The HISA grant may be provided to a veteran who has received the specially adapted housing grant if improvements and structural alterations were not furnished at the same home as part of the specially adapted housing grant. Veterans who rent their homes are also eligible for the grant. The owner of any property benefiting from HISA must submit of VA a statement acknowledging that VA assumes no responsibility for the improvement, alteration, or installation of equipment.

The cost limitation for the total amount of improvements or structural alterations is a once-in-a-life-time benefit, and eligibility terminates when that cost limit is reached. If anticipated costs of necessary home improvements or structural alterations exceed the allowable grant, the veteran must agree to pay the difference or the benefit will not be authorized.

VA must provide heir written authorization before any home improvements or structural-alterations project is initiated. When submitting your application, be sure to include the following:

* An itemized estimate signed by the contractor of your choice for all alterations you are requesting

* A medical justification signed by your physician (private or VA)

* Sketches with measurements of the alterations (for wheelchair ramps not more than 44" wide, a gradual incline of not more than 1" per linear foot of incline, a blueprint sketch, and location of the proposed ramp are required. For bathroom alterations, a detailed sketch of the existing bathroom showing its inadequacy and a blueprint sketch including measurements of the proposed bathroom modifications must be provided.)
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Title Annotation:Home Improvement and Structural Alterations grants for handicapped veterans
Author:Brusstar, Jacob
Publication:PN - Paraplegia News
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Words:488
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