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  • Home Improvements/Structural Alterations (HISA)

       (2 reviews)



    Home Improvements/Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant

    This benefit provides medically necessary improvements and structural alterations to Veterans/Servicemembers’ primary residence for the following purposes:

    • Allowing entrance to or exit from the primary residence
    • Use of essential lavatory and sanitary facilities (e.g., roll-in showers)
    • Allowing accessibility to kitchen or bathroom sinks or counters (e.g., lowering counters/sinks)
    • Improving entrance paths or driveways in the immediate area of the home to facilitate access to the home through the construction of permanent ramping
    • Improving plumbing or electrical systems made necessary due to the installation of home medical equipment

    HISA will not pay for:

    • Walkways to exterior buildings
    • Spa, hot tub, or Jacuzzi
    • Exterior decking
    • New Construction

    HISA Benefit Amounts

    Lifetime benefits for Veterans and Servicemembers.

    $6,800 will be approved to:

    • Address a service-connected disability
    • Address a compensable disability treated “as if” is a service-connected disability and for which the Veteran is entitled to medical services under 38 USC 1710(a)(2)(c) (e.g., disability acquired through treatment or vocational rehabilitation provided by VA)
    • Address a non-service-connected disability if the beneficiary has a service-connected disability rated at least 50 percent disability (no combining or combination of disability percentages is allowed).

    $2,000 will be approved to:

    • Address a disability that is not covered above

    Note: All HISA projects must be medically justified for the service-connected and/or non-service-connected disability. Don't hesitate to contact your local Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service to determine your available lifetime HISA benefits.

    What does HISA exclude?

    Some excluded HISA structural alterations are exterior decking, the purchase or installation of spas/ hot tubs/Jacuzzi-type tubs, home security systems, removable equipment or appliances such as portable ramps, porch lifts, and stair glides, and routine repairs as part of regular home maintenance, like replacing roofs, furnaces, or air conditioners.

    HISA Process Map

    A copy can be downloaded here for a complete map of the HISA process.

    Additional Information

    Applying for a HISA Benefit

    When applying for the HISA benefit, a completed HISA application package must include the following:

    (1) A prescription written or approved by a VA physician which includes:

    (a) The beneficiary’s name, address and telephone number;

    (b) A description of the prescribed project, including the area of the home to be improved or structurally altered; type of modification and all alternatives to the modifications; and items requiring installation.

    (c) The diagnosis and medical justification for the prescribed improvement or structural alteration. The medical justification should demonstrate the project’s clinical appropriateness, that is, the beneficiary’s clinical needs should support the type of home improvement or structural alterations being prescribed.

    (2) A completed and signed VA Form 10-0103, VETERANS APPLICATION FOR ASSISTANCE In Acquiring Home Improvement and Structural Alterations

    • If applying for an advanced payment, request on the application

    (3) FOR RENTERS: A signed and notarized statement from the owner authorizing the improvement or structural alteration

    (4) A written itemized estimate of costs for labor, materials, permits, and inspections for the home improvement and structural alteration

    (5) A color photograph of the unimproved area

    NOTE: An inspection of the site by VA may be warranted.

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       1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

    You may well need this with a power chair.  Of course, I have not seen your home.  For ME, I love the idea of a walk in shower/tub, because I know lots of people get injured falling in the shower.   And, I read where a broken him, sometimes caused by falls in the shower, can be devastating.  

    I read somewhere that about 50 percent of people over 70 who break their hip do not survive more than 2 years.  

    My father in law broke his hip.  He was gone in less than a year.  

    Having a very safe bathroom/shower so that you dont have to step high over a tub can literally be a life saver for some vulnerable people.  I think the walk in shower/tub would do that, if correctly installed.  

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    I received all of the granted things from HISA through VAHA OT.  The only thing HISA would do that I am not getting is door way widening which I do not need.

    If you have a bathtub and no walk in shower HISA will change that as it did for my former Marine brother-in-law.  My sister is happy with the walk in shower because, with her breast removal, she can no longer take baths.  I have a walk in shower that is outside the tub.  I could have had HISA do that. because I already had a nearby drain to connect a floor drain to.  

    My advice to everyone is to look at that HISA grant maximum.  When it is gone it is gone.  Do not use it for things that VAHA will provide through OT like an aluminum wheelchair ramp with hand rails like I am getting.  

    If I had opted for the HISA approved ramp, I would still be waiting for an architect to design it and it would have to be permanent like two of my neighbors.  Both cost a lot more than the grant meaning they had to come up with the difference themselves or not get it.

    I would have ended up there if a Occupation Therapist had not clued me in.  I would still be waiting for the design, which was done in a few minutes by the team that will install the removable ramp.  It is like my oxygen therapy concentrator.  When I no longer need it the sections that are being put together for me will be retrieved and used for another veteran who is opting for a quicker easier way.

    Before deciding, look at the options online.  Do not have part of your HISA grant go for a design plan and then decide to go with a removable unit from VAHA.

    The above report on HISA is great.  It details the plan.  Just be aware that there is another option for most of the items including permanent grab bars and non permanent toilet hand rails.  Get all the information possible before deciding which way to go.  VAHA is much faster than HISA.  I had already been waiting more than a year and had not yet seen a HISA contractor.  The VAHA contractor was at my house in two weeks after I agreed with the OT to cancel my HISA application and use their alternative instead.

    I had access to a storage place for my wheelchair with a power source or I would not have been able to get it ordered until the HISA grant had been approved which would not have happened until a design had been submitted.

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