According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, one in four (26%) adults in the United States have a disability, about 61 million adults. Furthermore, about 14% of those have a mobility disability with problems walking or climbing stairs, and the number will continue to grow.
Installing a stairlift can not only help people with disability become more independent, but it can also prevent potential accidents. However, the cost of getting a stairlift installed can be a limiting factor for many Americans.
Government and private grants and other funding opportunities can help such individuals to improve their quality of life. However, searching and applying for funding opportunities can be stressful. Here at Harmar, we are committed to providing all the help possible to help you maintain your independence and stay safe. Therefore, we have compiled an inclusive list of grants and other funding opportunities that may be available when installing a stairlift in your home.
How to Access Government Grants for Stairlifts?
Before we begin exploring government grants available, it is important to remember that Medicare does not cover the cost of getting a stairlift installed in your home. Additionally, standard Medicare is not an option as a stairlift is considered a home modification and not a piece of medical equipment.
However, it is still possible to get funding under Medicare Part B, covering wheelchairs and walkers (durable medical equipment). However, just the seat lift mechanism can be potentially covered. Standard stairlifts rarely qualify as durable medical equipment (DME) and usually don’t qualify.
Medicare Advantage Plans (also called Medicare Part C) can cover stairlifts in some situations. However, while the federal government administers standard Medicare (Part A and B), private insurance companies often sell Medicare Advantage Plans. As a result, Medicare Advantage Plans generally offer better coverage and mobility devices and transportation devices are also covered.
You can find more information about the Advantage plans on the official Medicare website.
How do I get a Grant for Stairlift?
Thankfully, Medicare is not the only option for funding stairlifts. Several funding opportunities can offer financial assistance for individuals wanting to install a stairlift in their homes. The following is a list of all the available options outside Medicare that you can explore. Just keep in mind that as the eligibility criteria are different for each grant, some of them might not apply to everyone.
Medicaid is a healthcare program jointly run by the federal and state government. It is specifically designed to help low-income individuals and seniors, and if you qualify, it has quite a comprehensive coverage. However, qualifying for Medicaid can be difficult as the criteria for qualification can be stringent and involves several factors. The requirements and eligibility criteria also vary from state to state.
You can learn more about Medicaid eligibility criteria by clicking here.
Veteran Health Administration
If you are a veteran and have served in the US military, you can apply for a stairlift grant through the VA. The VA Health Care program offers funding for medical devices (including stairlifts) that standard Medicare does not.
Whether you received assistance through Medicare or Medicaid should not impact your chances of securing the VA Health Care funding. Another government program called TRICARE also aims at providing financial aid to retired veterans for medical equipment.
Department of Housing and Urban Development Office (HUD)
Some states have funding programs for home modification for the elderly or the disabled that offer financial assistance in installing stairlifts. You can learn more about these home modification grants by contacting your local Department of Housing and Urban Development Office. Although the funding is limited, it is worth exploring. Some states also have local organizations that might offer assistance for medical equipment purchases.
Additional Resources for Mobility Equipment Funding
Apart from the programs mentioned above, you can also explore additional funding opportunities to install a stairlift in your home.
Private Medical Insurance Companies
If you have health insurance coverage from a private company, you might want to check whether mobility equipment is covered. You will need a justification statement from a medical professional to establish the need for the equipment. Some plans do cover stairlifts, so it is worth enquiring.
Local Area Agencies on Ageing (AAA)
Area Agencies on Ageing is an organization that has more than 600 agencies working to serve the elderly population. They are a great source of information and support and offer help in funding program applications. In addition, as the AAAs receive direct federal funding through the Older American Act, they can assist you financially.
You can locate your local AAA office by visiting their website.
You can also find valuable information and assistance from the following agencies that may help you find the right grant-
- Center on Technology and Disability: It is a great resource for finding information on mobility equipment.
- gov: It is a good starting point to find and apply for all available government grants.
- RESNA Catalyst Project: A repository of loans and financial funding opportunities in every state.
Stairlifts are not just for convenience; they are a necessity for many. While it might not be easy to secure funds to get one installed, financial assistance and funding opportunities exist.