So how can you get wheelchair ramps for homes free? This was a highlight of a recent conversation with local ramp builders during a construction project at my house.
Unfortunately, an access ramp is very expensive, and some people can’t afford it. Read on to find out how to get the accessibility tool for free.
CHECK: 5 Best Adjustable Ramps for Wheelchairs
Table of Contents
- Two federal programs offering free wheelchairs exist — Medicare & Medicaid.
- You can get wheelchair ramps for free if you cannot meet the cost.
- Each wheelchair organization has its qualification requirements.
How To Get a Wheelchair Ramp for Homes Free?
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts it, 26% of American adults live with some disability. (1)
This number includes low-income families and seniors who may not have the resources to meet their medical care needs.
For that reason, most rely on grants and aid from charitable organizations looking to better low-income people’s lives. Check out this YouTube video from AMWheelchair on how non-profit organizations help the needy.
Programs Offering Wheelchair Ramps for Homes Free
Several programs help veterans and older adults with critical home repairs. Through these ramp programs, people who cannot meet the cost of wheelchair ramps enjoy this accessibility equipment.
Here are federal programs offering financial aid for ramps.
This ramp program covers medical assistance for 65 years and above seniors. It operates in two parts: Part A for health insurance and B for medical insurance.
Typically, wheelchair ramps fall under the durable medical equipment in medical insurance. Although quality ramps for seniors are essential, they are not reimbursable like wheelchairs. (2)
For that reason, Medicare does not usually cover the cost of wheelchair ramps. But if a physician declares the ramp as a medical necessity, the plan becomes the funding source.
Private insurers offer Medicare Advantage plans as extra coverage. The plans differ with the specific service provider, so you should know about them beforehand.
Check out this YouTube video from MobilityDeck on whether Medicare covers wheelchair ramp costs.
This federal program helps seniors and the general public meet their medical care budget. Medicaid operates like Medicare, and its benefits are: (3)
- Standard Medicaid.
- Home and Community Based Services Waivers (HCBS).
- Nursing home benefits for a long-term level of care.
The program does not offer financial assistance to build ramps for people. But they can offer the funding after a physician recommends the ramp as medically necessary.
And although court cases challenge ramp construction eligibility, they are expensive and uncommon. Senior people qualify for these home modifications through the HCBS to avoid nursing homes.
If you do not meet the legal requirements needed by the government programs, you also have other choices. Here is a list of organizations that offer a durable wheelchair ramp structure.
1. Habitat for Safe Seniors
This program helps low-income seniors living with physical disabilities improve their lives. The organization relies on volunteer labor to repair unsafe ramps and loose handrails and install the feature.
Typically, the support person does a site visit to the ramp recipient’s home to determine the necessity of the feature. They estimate the materials, labor, and everything needed for the project.
The Habitat for Safe Seniors accessible ramp program targets people with disabilities aged 55 years and over.
Safety improvements include plumbing repairs, outdoor lighting, and free deliveries of perishable and non-perishable food.
2. Habitat for Humanity
The Habitat for Humanity program aims to provide repair assistance to homeowners to avoid assisted living.
The program requires you to have paid your taxes in full and own a home and offers all kinds of repairs, like electrical, plumbing, and others. (4)
The A Brush With Kindness program provides exterior beautification to the recipient’s home. The program also helps veterans who meet the program’s qualifications.
3. Texas Ramp Project
This 501 (c) (3) organization helps low-income people with physical disabilities enhance accessibility. The Texas Ramp Project depends on referrals from physicians to determine ramp recipients. (5)
A certified surveyor usually visits the family homeowner’s home to design the ADA-compliant ramp. A Texas Ramp Project volunteer team then follows up the ramp installation process to allow ease of mobility.
4. Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization that aims to help veterans after serving. The organization provides mental and physical wellness, counseling, interactions, and an independent living program.
Through the programs, these veterans can adjust to civilian life with ease. The organization has a team of experts who can help you seek your Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits.
5. AccessABILITY Program
Formerly known as Push America, this is a Pi Kappa Phi charity program to help people with disabilities. It usually offers a $1,000 grant to cover the material cost.
Moreover, the Ability Experience program also holds fundraising events to finance its operations. Here is a YouTube video from The Ability Experience on how the program raises awareness.
Why Wheelchairs Ramps Are Important for Elderly People
The primary reason older adults need home modifications is to enhance accessibility. Most American homes have stairs that are risky to navigate, limiting movement around the house and outdoors.
According to a study, approximately 25% of elderly falls result in minor injuries to severe hip fractures. But you can prevent these cases by using accessibility features like wheelchair ramps. (7)
Wheelchair ramps can also allow older persons with disabilities to live independently. This is because the ramp will enable them to carry on with their daily living and attend social service programs outdoors with little to no help.
Home ramps can also help emergency responders quickly access elder and nursing homes in dire situations. This makes it easy to move the disabled senior in and out of the house for medical care like dialysis treatments.
Will Medicare pay for my access ramp project?
The Medicare program does not offer to pay the financial cost of wheelchair ramps. But the program funds the project when a physician declares the ramp a medical necessity.
How much does a wheelchair installation ramp cost?
The ramp installation project averages $2,093, according to HomeAdvisor. But factors like the cost of material used, labor rates, and design significantly affect the total cost. (6)
Do ramp organizations make portable ramps?
Most ramp programs use a designer to evaluate a recipient’s property before laying the ramp. This assessment will tell whether to build a small ramp permanently or temporarily.
What is the ADA-compliant pitch for a wheelchair ramp?
According to ADA wheelchair ramp regulations, the standard slope should be 1:12. There should be 12 inches of ramp length for every inch of rising.
Getting wheelchair ramps for homes free can help low-income people’s daily living. If these social service programs didn’t exist, a ramp would probably be costly, leaving a dent in your pocket.
Finding an organization to help is crucial.
So there you have a list of options to get an accessible wheelchair ramp with the requirements to do so. Share this knowledge with someone looking to have a ramp but cannot meet the installation cost.
Do you still need any help getting wheelchair ramps for homes free? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments section!
- 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disability Impacts All of Us Infographic [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/infographic-disability-impacts-all.html
- 2. Medicare. What Part B covers | Medicare [Internet]. Medicare.gov. 2019. Available from: https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/what-part-b-covers
- 3. Medicaid.gov. Medicaid [Internet]. Medicaid.gov. 2015. Available from: https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/index.html
- 4. Habitat For Humanity | Europe, Middle East, Africa [Internet]. www.habitat.org. Available from: https://www.habitat.org/emea
- 5. Request a Ramp – The Texas Ramp Project [Internet]. https://www.texasramps.org/. [cited 2022 Oct 19]. Available from: https://www.texasramps.org/requesting-a-ramp/
- 6. Learn how much it costs to Build a Disability Ramp. [Internet]. www.homeadvisor.com. Available from: https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/environmental-safety/build-a-disability-ramp/
- 7. Elliott DB, Foster RJ, Whitaker D, Scally AJ, Buckley JG. Falls and stair negotiation in older people and their relationship with vision [Internet]. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. NIHR Journals Library; 2015. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK305246/