VA Benefits For Buyers Of Walk-In Bathtubs
Are walk-in tubs covered by the VA?
When calculating VA income, walk-in tubs can be considered unreimbursed medical expenses. The cost of the walk-in tub is deducted from one’s income, and the veteran will receive an increased pension benefit to cover the amount of the deduction.
Is a walk-in tub worth the cost?
Some companies aren’t forthcoming about how much they charge for walk-in tubs. Many customers, however, find that the price is well worth it. Cost Pros: If you live in a retirement community, a walk-in tub will increase the value of your home.
What is a VA HISA Grant?
A Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant can be used for any home improvement necessary for continuation of treatment or for disabled access to the home and essential sanitary and lavatory facilities.
Over a third of people over 65 suffer injuries due to slips and falls each year, and 81% occur while showering or bathing, according to National Institute on Aging studies. One of the best preventative measures against bathroom injuries, which drastically increase with age, is to install a top-quality, professionally installed walk-in tub.
Walk-In Tubs Benefits For Veterans
Whether a veteran is disabled or not, this high-quality home medical equipment is essential to them. However, it may not be affordable for everyone who relies on it for their bathing safety. Veterans and their surviving spouses can receive financial assistance from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the purchase and installation of a walk-in bathtub. Take a closer look at how Veterans Benefits can be used on a walk-in tub.
Veterans benefits: VA Loans Walk-in tubs
The VA currently offers three types of grants to disabled/aging veterans and military service members, namely the Special Home Adaptation grant, the Home Improvement and Structural Alteration (HISA) grant, and the Specially Adapted Housing grant. HISA grants are provided for home improvements and modifications deemed medically necessary to veterans with medical conditions/disabilities at least 50% related to their military service (the lifetime grant amount is up to $6,800) as well as to veterans with conditions unrelated to their military service (a lifetime grant of up to $2,000).
Veteran applicants must submit a prescription either written or approved by a VA doctor (which includes the diagnosis as well as the medical justification for the walk-in bathtub). The completed and signed VA form, as well as an estimate of materials, labor, inspections, and permits for the home improvement and structural modification.
Veterans Directed – Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)
The VD-HCBS program is modeled after Medicaid’s Consumer Directed Health Care Benefits program. It is also referred to as Cash and Counseling for Veterans and Veterans Community Living Program, and it permits veterans who are candidates for nursing home placement to prioritize their care needs, receive care in their own homes, and choose their care providers. Veterans who qualify for VD-HCBS receive an established budget and some flexibility in spending it on the supplies and services they deem necessary. Veterans may use a portion of this allowance to purchase and install a walk-in bathtub.
Aid & Attendance and Housebound Allowances
Veterans or their surviving spouses who are housebound (have permanent disabilities) or who require assistance with daily activities may be entitled to Housebound and Aid and Attendance Benefits on top of their VA pension benefits. Veteran or surviving spouse can get these benefits in one of two ways (but not both at once) – by applying in person or by applying in writing to their Pension Management Center (a doctor’s report that provides evidence is required). As these allowances possess no specific limitations, you can use them to finance the purchase price and installation costs for a much-needed walk-in tub.
In addition, recipients of these VA allowances can receive financial assistance above and beyond their current benefits to cover the cost of a walk-in tub. This is because such durable home medical equipment can be considered an unreimbursed medical expense (UME) when calculating VA income. The cost of the walk-in bathtub is deducted from the veteran’s or surviving spouse’s VA income. Therefore, they will receive a higher pension benefit in the amount of that specific deduction, which will be used to purchase and install the walk-in tub in their home.
One of the eligibility criteria for these additional pension benefits is having income within the VA’s limit, since the VA sets the maximum annual pension rate (M APR) a wartime veteran who meets certain disability or age requirements can receive (as of 2018 this is about $22,000). In the example above, if a veteran’s VA income is $12,000, then they will receive around $10,000 in VA pension benefits that can be used toward a walk-in tub. Veterans with incomes above this limit can still qualify for benefits because UMEs exceeding 5% of their MAPR can actually be deducted from their incomes.
Please contact Ella’s Bubbles customer service team by phone at 800-480-6850 (toll free) or via the online contact form if you have any questions about Ella walk-in tubs and for FREE information on pricing and financing.
For FREE information on walk-in tub prices, features, and options, call 800.480.6850 or fill out the contact form.