How to Access Government Grants for Stairlifts

In this article...
  • For some Americans, the cost of a stairlift in the home is too high, even when it's a necessity. That's where government grants for stairlifts can help improve your quality of life.
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How to Access Government Grants for Stairlifts

For some Americans, the cost of a stairlift in the home is too high, even when it's a necessity. That's where government grants for stairlifts can help improve your quality of life. 

Will Medicare Pay for Stairlifts?

Standard Medicare does not typically cover the cost of a stairlift purchase or installation for a residential home. A stairlift for your home is considered to be a home modification by Medicare, not medical equipment, which is why it will not cover this cost even with a recommendation from a doctor.

In some cases, just the seat lift mechanism might be covered by Medicare Part B. This is because Part B does cover wheelchairs and walkers under DME (durable medical equipment). In this instance, 80% of the cost could be reimbursed by Medicare, while you would be responsible for the remaining 20%. However, chairlifts usually do not qualify.

Some Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans may help cover things like stairlifts or bathroom grab bars, which aren't typically covered by Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B). While Original Medicare is administered by the federal government, Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover everything Original Medicare covers, and many plans offer additional benefits, which could include things like prescription drug coverage, dental, hearing, vision, transportation and more.

How Do I Get a Grant for a Stairlift?

Outside of Medicare, there are several funding options that could offer financial relief for individuals seeking a stairlift for their homes. While not available to everyone, each option on this list has different criteria that you might meet to help you qualify for financial aid. 

Medicaid 

Medicaid is another option for financial assistance that is a joint federal- and state-funded program. Specifically designed for low-income individuals, disabled people and seniors, it can provide medical care and support that is almost completely covered for those who meet eligibility criteria. In order to qualify for Medicaid, you will be assessed on different factors such as income, assets and your ability to perform daily tasks. Criteria vary from state to state. 

Veteran Health Administration  

Those who served in the United States active military, naval or air service and never received a dishonorable discharge may be eligible for VA Health Care benefits. Through VA Health Care you may be able to get government grants for home medical equipment that's not available through Medicare. 

When registering for VA Health Care you will be assigned to one of eight groups that will ensure you get the attention you need based on your application information. Receiving benefits from Medicare or Medicaid should have no impact on the benefits you can receive from VA Health Care.  In Addition to VA Health Care, the government also offers TRICARE, which is targeted towards assisting retired veterans. 

Tax Credit 

A stairlift can typically be considered a medical expense that you can deduct from your taxes if you've covered the cost of it yourself. Further information about what medical expenses are tax deductible can be found on the official IRS website.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Office 

In some cases, you might be able to get government grants for stairlifts by contacting the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office in your area. There may also be organizations within your state that offer assistance with medical equipment expenses, such as chair lifts for your home. 

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Stairlift?

The cost of a stairlift for your home will vary depending upon the kind of staircase you have. For a basic, straight staircase you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $3000-$5000. For homes with a winding or curved staircase, the cost increases to roughly $9500 or more. While this may seem like a hefty sum, it is usually a more affordable option for seniors or disabled people than moving to an entirely new home that better suits their mobility needs. The length of the staircase may also have an impact on its cost. While the width of your staircase won't directly affect the cost, it might limit the model of stairlifts that are available to you if the stairs are too narrow to accommodate a larger chair or lift mechanism.

Typical home stairlifts are designed for riders weighing between 200-300 lbs. A special bariatric stairlift can support up to 600 lbs., but this will add to the overall price. Other features that might increase the cost of a stairlift include folding rails to accommodate hallways or landings, folding seats, or swivel chairs and footrests. In the event that you need an outdoor stairlift for steps leading to a front door, you might pay extra for weatherproofing. 

Thankfully, with financial assistance options available in the United States, government grants can often help ease the burden on those struggling with the staircases in their home.

Additional Resources for Mobility Equipment Funding 

While it might seem overwhelming to locate government funding or state-funded grants for your mobility equipment, there are a few places you can begin your search outside of those already mentioned above. If you require a stairlift but are also seeking other ways to make your home more accessible you might be interested in additional mobility equipment. 

Home Modification 

  • Roll-in showers
  • Wheelchair lifts 

Mobility Aids 

  • Walker
  • Power Wheelchair 
  • Mobility Scooter 

Funding Resources 

Some mobility equipment is covered up to 80% under Medicare Part B. Other resources that may provide grants you qualify for include:

  • Ford Mobility Motoring Program: This program provides helpful conversions to a Ford vehicle that is purchased or leased to make it more accessible. 
  • Grants.gov: This is a resource where you can search for available government grants. 

By checking out some of these resources, you can make an informed decision about which grants you qualify for and how much financial aid you might need to complete your stairlift installation or purchase another mobility device. 

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