Veterans with spinal cord injuries are a special breed of individuals we are especially glad to help. For these veterans, modifying their homes as well as providing for their families can stretch their wallets. Fortunately, there are several nonprofits that offer free ramps for veterans with spinal cord injuries. We've identified the best below.
Just remember, many nonprofits may have a waiting list. In the meantime, there are portable ramps you can buy, as well as helpful DIY wheelchair ramp videos available on our web site (see below). We wish you luck in securing accessibility in and out of your home!
There are a lot of places to start when looking for funding for ramps for your home, but the first place you should go to is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They offer two grants that help pay for ramps for disabled veterans. The first is called the Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH). This grant will pay for ramps and other needed remodeling of existing homes, as well as pay for newly constructed homes. To be eligible for this grant, you must have lost the ability to move one or more of your extremities. The max you can get from this grant is a very generous $73,768 (for 2016).
The second grant offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the Special Housing Adaptation grant. This additional grant is only available for those with spinal cord injuries where they've lost the use of their hands (quadriplegics), but it will also help pay for home modifications like wheelchair ramps. The max available per person for this grant is $14,754. You can apply for either of these grants here: http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-26-4555-ARE.pdf. You can learn more about VA grants here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/adaptedhousing.asp
There are several amazing organizations that donate free ramps to veterans with spinal cord injuries. Here are four organizations you should definitely check out before all others:
Wounded Warriors Fund (http://www.woundedveteransfund.com/how-we-serve/): This nonprofit's main focus is providing housing alterations to veterans. Not only will they pay for a wheelchair ramp, they will pay for much more, even a new home in many cases.
Rebuilding Together (http://rebuildingtogether.org/whoweare/): Based in Washington, DC, this nonprofit also pays for home adaptations for disabled veterans, low-income newly disabled veterans and low-income disabled veterans of years past. They help over 10,000 veterans each year too.
Semper Fi Fund (http://semperfifund.org/assistance/): For injured Marines, a separate foundation exists just for them. The Semper Fi Fund will pay for adaptive housing through their grant system, and awards these grants based on financial need. They will even help pay for your mortgage payment if you fall behind.
The Home Depot Foundation (http://www.homedepotfoundation.org/page/grants): Home Depot, your friendly chain of home repair stores, has a foundation that awards disabled and non-disabled veterans housing grants based on their financial need. Called the Veteran Housing Grants Program, this part of their foundation will pay for wheelchair ramps plus much more in regards to modifying the home for accessibility purposes. Their grants typically range from $100,000 to $500,000.
Need more ideas on funding a ramp for your home? Contact your local Center for Independent Living. They are known for being a great resource for local help. And for a more interactive learning experience, please watch the following video on securing ramp funding with the VA. Afterwards - check-out the Takeaway Points below.