Here are some general articles that you may find helpful before we jump into the categories of insurance, government assistance, local assistance, Care Credit/FSA/HSA, and grants and funds.
- Paying for Senior Care – Guide to Paying for Wheelchair Lifts
- Funding Your Wheelchair Lift
- For Veterans: Veteran-Directed Home & Community Based Services (VD-HCBS) Program
- Personal Loans
- Benefits Checkup. This website, made by the National Council of Aging, helps you find all kinds of programs and benefits, both government and non-government, based on your location and your need. They have a category for housing, which could be beneficial for you, especially if you or your loved one is a senior citizen.
Affordable Wheelchair Lifts is not responsible for ensuring coverage or eligibility. We recommend that you first discuss our lift with any applicable insurances, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare etc. We do not currently have a contract with any insurance. It is your responsibility to check your insurance regarding reimbursement before purchasing your lift.
An often-overlooked source of funding for a wheelchair lift is the value of a life insurance policy. Permanent life insurance builds a cash value over time and often can be used for this purpose. You may be able to get a loan against its value, make a withdrawal, or get “living benefits”.
“Living benefits” allow the policyholder to have some percentage (often up to 50%) of the death benefit paid in advance. While these accelerated benefits will vary by plan, they are commonly available for expenses related to:
- Chronic illnesses (for those needing assistance in at least two of six daily living activities such as dressing, bathing, eating, etc.); or
- Terminal illnesses (for those who have been physician certified with a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months).
Some Life Insurance policies also can have other benefits that might help you.
As in any insurance related matter, it is wise to consult an experienced professional whom you trust to understand all your options and their related consequences.
A good place to start with government assistance is with the IRS. Here is a web page outlining which expense can be counted towards your medical expense tax deduction. A good place to start is the paragraph labeled Capital Expenses, which lists porch lifts as a qualifying expense. Here is a web page where you can search the IRS for active tax forms, which you may need as well.
If you are looking for financial assistance for a senior, a veteran, or someone with disabilities, research local government departments for aging, disabilities, and veterans. The department may have funds that can help you and they also might connect you with other charities who may be able to assist you. This assistance commonly is either financial or for installation work.
- If you are a senior citizen in a rural area, see if your area has a local Rural Development office. Sometimes, they can offer assistance through grants or loans. They may also recommend you to other resources as well.
- If you or your loved one is a wounded veteran, Military One Source, which is part of the US Department of Defense, has several government, non-government, and service organization resources that are geared towards home modification, which could include the installation of your wheelchair lift.
Many times, you can get a tax benefit from purchasing a wheelchair lift. Various states provide various levels of assistance to their citizens – here are some links that might help you (Disclaimer – You are responsible for verifying that you qualify for any tax breaks or programs that you benefit from):
- Many states waive sales tax on durable medical equipment such as wheelchair lifts. In Virginia all you need to do is fill out this form, checking box #4: Form ST-13. Your state may have a similar exemption.
- Many states give tax credits or tax deductions for the purchase of equipment such as this. In Virginia you can get a tax credit of up to $5,000 through this program: Livable Home Tax Credit Program. Your state may have a similar program.
- In West Virginia a wheelchair lift is exempt from consumers’ sales and use tax if the user has a prescription for it. But there is no tax credit. View West Virginia Consumer Tax Exemption Form (PDF).
- For Maryland, consult this: View Maryland State Government Tax Website
- For Pennsylvania, consult this: View Pennsylvania State Government Tax Website
If you live in a different state than the ones listed above, see if your state has similar benefits and programs. You can also research whether adding a lift or other mobility accommodation(s) would qualify for a home improvements tax deduction (keep in mind that there may be limitations. If you are unsure if your mobility accommodations would qualify for any tax deductions, consult with a tax professional).
Many states and counties have offices and agencies geared towards helping those with disabilities and other difficulties. Research what your state, county, or other local area of government has available for your situation.
As in any government related matter, it is wise to consult an experienced professional whom you trust to understand all your options and their related consequences.
Local Assistance/Charity Organizations
You can also look for local churches or community oriented groups to seek assistance. They might be willing to offer some financial assistance or to assist in installing your lift. If you are not already connected with a local church, you can see if Love Inc has an affiliate in your area. Love Inc seeks to connect churches together to better serve their community with volunteer work. They would be able to help you with your lift. You can search for your local Love Inc affiliate here.
Here is a link to organizations that help with ramp and other accessibility needs: Community Ramp Building Programs
- Habitat for Humanity has helped people with low income afford and install wheelchair lifts. Contact your local Habitat office to see if they can help and if they have other organizations they can recommend to you.
- Rebuilding Together is an organization that helps low income families and individuals have a safe house and community to live in. They have a focus on helping people stay in their homes and maintain independence. They have local offices all over the United States, see if one of them is near you.
- Help Hope Live is an organization that can help with medical fundraising. This may be especially relevant to you if you have significant long term medical expenses.
- Compassionate Care ALS is an organization seeking to provide support and resources for those diagnosed with ALS, their families, doctors, and communities.
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society is an organization that provides supports and resources for those diagnosed with MS by helping them to navigate the complexities of living with MS.
We do not currently accept CareCredit, but we are exploring that possibility. HSA and FSA accounts can often help with the cost of wheelchair lifts, especially if the end of the year is coming and you have some “use or lose money” in your HSA/FSA account.
Here is a list of some of the grants that could contribute towards the cost of your lift. Most, but not all, of the grants listed are aimed towards those with physical disabilities or spinal cord injuries. Many of these websites might also help you with more than just your wheelchair lift. Funding is not guaranteed until the grant has chosen you. Some of these grants require you to show financial need. State specific grants are noted. Most are for US citizens/residents (if you are not a US citizen/resident, please see the Tyler Schrenk Foundation below). Websites are included to help you determine if you qualify.
- The Mary Beth Benison Foundation: This foundation is geared towards helping people diagnosed with ALS. They offer financial assistance towards medical costs, household repairs and expenses, as helping give emotional support by helping these individuals and their families to go on vacations.
- Brighter Tomorrow Grant (MS Foundation): This is a grant aimed towards adults with MS to improve their quality of life.
- Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation Grant: This grant is for those with a neurological disorder, with preference for those with spinal cord injuries and financial need. Lift installation is an item that can be requested.
- Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation: This financial assistance application is aimed towards those living with neuromuscular diseases in Indiana. They also have occasional Accessible Van Giveaway Programs.
- Tyler Schrenk Foundation: This foundation has two different grants for people with disabilities to obtain greater independence in their lives. This foundation has helped people in many countries, not just the United States.
- High Fives: This non-profit organization’s grants are geared towards people who either have sustained life-changing injury while participating in outdoor sports or veterans with a disability who wish to participate in outdoor sports.
- Horizon Hope Grant (Association of Horizon): This grant is for active members of the Association of Horizon who have a physical disability requiring specific accommodation.
- Ian Burkhart Foundation Fund: This fund is for those with a spinal cord injury who have financial need. This grant lists home modifications as an eligible item, which can include installing a wheelchair lift.
- Providing a WAY To Help (PATH-WAY): This fund is for helping people with disabilities achieve their dreams when the financial cost might stop them from doing so.
- SCORE Spinal Cord Opportunities for Rehabilitation Endowment: This endowment has grants for those with a spinal cord injury, were paralyzed while participating in sports, and have financial need. Preference is given to applicants in the United States, but people from other countries will still be considered.
- Triumph Foundation: This foundation seeks to improve quality of life for those with a spinal cord injury and financial need. South Carolina applicants are preferred, but applicants from other states will be considered.
- Kaite Beckett Waiver: This waiver is aimed towards children under the age of 18 with significant developmental disabilities or complex medical needs in Tennessee and who are not eligible for Medicaid because of their parent’s income.
These grants are just some of the financial assistance available. You can look up more state specific grants on this website here. We also recommend searching for grants if there is a significant event contributing to your need for a wheelchair lift. If you are not a US citizen/resident, we certainly encourage you to see what is available in your area. We wish you luck with the application process!