Need a New Stairlift? Here's How You Can Afford One

Adding a stairlift to your home can make it much easier to navigate your staircases. If you are a senior citizen, a stairlift may enable you to safely access your upper floors and to potentially remain in your home for much longer.

While stairlifts are expensive to install, there are some programs available that might help you to pay for the costs.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a program that is jointly funded by both the federal government and the states. Each state administers its own Medicaid program and establishes guidelines for what it will cover and who is eligible.

Medicaid policies are different from state to state. To learn whether Medicaid might help with the cost of installing a stairlift in your home, you will need to check with your state's Medicaid program. If your state does help to pay the cost of installing a stairlift, it will do so through its home and community services waiver program.

The home and community services waiver programs can be developed by individual states to provide services in the home when it would cost less to do so than it would cost to provide services in an institutional setting such as a nursing home. If the inability to install a stairlift will lead to needing to move to a nursing home, Medicaid may be willing to pay for your stairlift. They’ll pursue this option so you can remain in your home rather than paying the much higher costs of nursing home care.

To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet income and asset eligibility guidelines. In 2019, seniors who are 65 or older may qualify for Medicaid if their monthly incomes are less than $2,313. In most states, seniors also are limited to $2,000 in countable assets in order to be eligible for HCBS waivers or nursing home care.

State-Based Programs

Around one-half of the states have state-based programs that are designed to help elderly adults to remain in their homes. These programs are not Medicaid-based. As such, not all of them will pay for home modifications, including stairlifts. However, they are worth checking if you live in one of the states that have these types of programs.

These programs each have their own eligibility requirements. In most cases, both your income and assets will be considered.

Another state-based option might be available through your state's assistive technology program. Some state assistive technology programs offer conditional or low-interest loans to elderly people to make home modifications. Some also have equipment lending programs, so it is possible that your state's assistive technology program may have stairlifts available for long-term lending. However, there would still be the cost to install the chairlift.

Veteran’s Administration

If you are a veteran who has a disability that is connected to your service, you may be eligible to have the Department of Veteran Affairs pay for the cost of your chairlift and its installation. Veteran Affairs (VA) will pay for stairlifts for veterans who have service-connected disabilities to enable them to navigate their homes. Before a stairlift will be authorized, VA will conduct a home visit and skills assessment.

If you are an elderly veteran or the spouse of an elderly veteran and have trouble climbing your stairs for a reason that is not connected to military service, help from VA may still be available. The Veteran Directed Care Program is meant to provide assistance to veterans and their spouses so they can remain in their homes instead of having to move to a nursing home. This program is specifically available to veterans and their spouses who would require nursing home care without assistance.

If you have a disability or an age-related reason that makes it difficult for you to manage your stairs, a stairlift may be the answer. In fact, installing a stair lift in your home may allow you to remain in your home much longer.

While purchasing and installing a stairlift may cost several thousand dollars, there may be assistance available to you from one of these programs. To find available sources to help you to pay for a stairlift, you should search for the different types of programs online.

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