Federal Grants for Disabilities

by Rod Howell

Federal grants are available to help people with disabilities. The money can be used to provide financial assistance to state programs that help those that are disabled, purchase adaptive equipment and remodel homes and buildings to make them more accessible. Although federal grants do not have to be repaid, applicants must meet the requirements set by the federal agency in charge of the grant. The following are examples of the types of federal grants available for those with disabilities.

Specially Adapted Housing for Veterans

Veterans who have disabilities can apply for grants to help renovate their homes, in order to make them more accessible. The Specially Adapted Housing for Veterans Grant program is sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There are different types of grants available under this program for veterans who have service related disabilities. The Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH) provides $50,000 for making your home more accessible, and the Special Home Adaptions Grant (SHA) provides $10,000. In addition, the Home Improvement and Structural Alterations Grant (HISA) can be applied for by veterans with service ($4,100 per applicant available) and non-service ($1,200 per applicant available) related disabilities. HISA grants can be combined with SAH and SHA grants. Veterans are eligible if they are blind in both eyes or have very low visibility, have loss of use of both hands and/or one or both lower extremities, or have a combination of these conditions.

Assistance for Indian Children with Severe Disabilities

The U.S. Department of the Interior oversees the Assistance for Indian Children with Severe Disabilities program, which provides grants for such services as speech, physical and occupational therapy, and educational and administrative support. Children of Native American descent need to be enrolled in a school funded by the Bureau of Indian Education in order to be eligible. Applicants may include parents, teachers and Tribal educators.

Developmental Disabilities Basic Support and Advocacy Grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers grants to state programs that help individuals with developmental disabilities lead independent and productive lives. According to the grant program, a developmental disability is a severe and chronic disability that is attributed to physical and/or mental impairment, first appears before the age of 22 and will last indefinitely. A developmental disability limits a person’s daily functioning including self care, mobility, learning and communicating. Grant recipients need to coordinate services and activities for those with developmental disabilities and their families, and provide support in defending their legal and human rights.

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