Options for Home Modifications

Veterans, service members and their families have several options when it comes to modifying their homes to accommodate a physical disability or mobility restriction. Some of the forms of assistance below provide financial support while other organizations perform home modifications directly.

VA Grants

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides three types of grants for veterans to help them make home modifications.

Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant

Veterans and service members with certain disabilities linked to military service can apply for the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant. This grant provides financial resources for individuals to buy or build a specially adapted home or remodel a current home to accommodate a disability.

Eligible service-related disabilities include:

  • The loss or loss of function of both legs, both arms or an arm and a leg that prevents movement without the aid of assistive technology
  • Blindness plus the loss or damage of one leg
  • Severe burns
  • Loss or damage to either an arm or leg and the lasting effects of natural disease or injury related to military service

The amount of financial assistance received by a VA grant cannot exceed more than half of the cost of the specially adapted house, up to a maximum determined amount.

Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant

Similar to a SAH grant, the Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant can help veterans and service members buy or construct a house to accommodate a disability or buy an already modified home.

Eligible service-related disabilities include:

  • Blindness
  • Loss or damage to the use of both hands
  • Severe burns

Generally, the benefit amount provided by a SHA grant is less than a SAH grant.

Applying for a SHA or SAH Grant

Application for a SAH or a SHA grant can be done in three ways:

  1. Apply online through eBenefits.
  2. Download and complete the VA Form 26-4555. Mail it to the nearest VA regional loan center.
  3. Apply in person by completing the above form and bring it to the nearest VA regional loan center.

Find a regional loan center online here or call 1-800-827-1000.

Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant

The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant allows eligible veterans and service members financial assistance to modify their home to accommodate a disability or mobility restriction.

A HISA grant may cover home modifications that allow for access to the entrance or exit of the home, improve the use of lavatory and sanitary facilities and provide access to kitchen counters. Some modifications HISA may cover include:

  • Handrails
  • Ramps
  • Door latches
  • Electrical outlets and wall switches
  • Central air systems
  • Windows

This grant is given to individuals with a diagnosis and medical reason to need the home modifications for the continued treatment of their disability. The prescription must include the specific items required and the applicant’s name, address and phone number.

The applicant must provide a quote from a licensed contractor and their contact information. The contractor must obtain all permits required to make the home modifications.

Depending on the type of modification required, the veteran or service member may have to provide additional documentation such as a photograph of the area before HISA modifications are approved.

Download and complete the VA Form 10-0103 to apply for a HISA grant. Submit the application to the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service at the nearest VA Medical Center. Find a VA Medical Center here.

View a map of the HISA process here to see the steps required to apply and pay for service.

VA Programs

VA Veteran-Veterans Directed Care:
This VA program allows eligible veterans the opportunity to self-direct the long-term services and supports they need to continue living independently. Veterans are given a flexible budget to spend on services such as case management, assistance with activities of daily living and some home modifications. For more information, visit the Veteran-Directed Care page.

VA Aid and Attendance, Housebound and other Pensions:
This VA program provides additional monetary payment. To qualify, veterans must be eligible for a VA pension and be confined to their home or require the aid and assistance of another person. The funds may be used to cover the costs of home modification. Learn more about pensions or apply here.

Non-Profit Programs

Rebuilding Together Heroes at Home:
This organization assists low-income military families with critical repairs and home accessibility modifications. To register for assistance, call (847) 286-2500. Go here to find Rebuilding Together affiliates across Connecticut, including contact information.

The Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E):
This foundation helps veterans and their families by constructing or remodeling homes to accommodate a disability or mobility restriction. They provide home modifications, mobility devices and adapted vehicles. To seek support, visit the Gary Sinise Foundation website and fill out their online form.