New Survey: Ohio Veterans, Service Members May Be Missing Out on VA Housing Benefits

Posted on 05/31/24

Ohio’s 696,981 military veterans and active-duty service members might be missing free financial aid to modify their homes.

According to a new AARP survey, more than half (60%) of veterans ages 45 and older are unaware that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers grant funding to modify their homes. Nearly a quarter (24%) of veterans need financial assistance to make home modifications to continue living in their homes safely and independently.

AARP launched the Veterans Home Modification Benefits Guide to help veterans and service members navigate the VA’s $150 million in funding to buy, build or modify a home to meet their long-term needs. These grants can provide eligible veterans with up to $117,000 to pay for renovations, such as adding grab bars in bathrooms, installing ramps or widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair or walker.

“Now more than ever, connecting Ohio’s veterans with the benefits they have earned and need can make such a difference,” said Robyn Kaltenbach, AARP Ohio Associate State Director. “This tool simplifies the application process and helps veterans access critical financial support to help them live independently in their homes for as long as they can.”

AARP’s Veterans Home Modification Benefits guide provides veterans, military families and their caregivers with detailed information on:

  • Eligibility requirements and how to apply for the VA’s home modification grants and related programs.
  • How to identify necessary home modifications to meet current and future care needs.
  • How to get help from certified veterans’ representatives who are experienced and knowledgeable of the VA’s benefit process.

“A majority of veterans want to receive long-term care at home, but often lack the means to adapt their homes to meet their needs,” said Tim Lockwood, AARP Senior Advisor for Communications and Wyoming Air National Guard veteran.
Other key takeaways from the AARP survey include:

  • A majority (91%) of veterans 45+ say it is important for them to stay in their homes if they need long-term care.
  • Over 3 in 4 (77%) veterans ages 45+ surveyed are not familiar with the VA’s adaptive housing grants for disabled veterans.
  • Nearly half (46%) of veterans ages 45+ need bathroom modifications to age in place or provide care for a loved one at home.
  • Current veteran caregivers ages 45+ report an even higher need for bathroom modifications (55%) to continue providing care.

View the full survey results and methodology here.

To learn more about eligibility and how to apply for the VA’s Specially Adapted Housing and home modification grant programs, visit AARP.org/VetsHomeBenefits or download the guide.

For more information on AARP’s resources for veteran and military caregivers:

This story is provided by AARP Ohio. Visit the AARP Ohio page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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