HISA Grants for Veterans

Veterans and military personnel with service-related medical issues may qualify for the VA Home Improvement and Structural Alterations grant (HISA), which offers funding to veterans who need to make alterations to their home, even if it’s a rental.

Written by: Craig Richardson

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It’s widely known that the VA housing program offers a direct and accessible path to homeownership that’s been used by hundreds of thousands of qualified service members and veterans over many decades. Should you need to make alterations to that home to make it more accessible because of a service-related injury or disability, there are also grant programs for disabled veterans for which you might qualify.

Disabled veterans with service-related medical issues may qualify for the VA Home Improvement and Structural Alterations grant (HISA), a VA home improvement grant that offers funding to veterans who need to make alterations to their home, even if it’s a rental.

HISA won’t cover the costs of cosmetic projects like a fresh coat of paint or vanity upgrades to lighting and plumbing fixtures. Instead, this program is meant to make access to and use of the home easier and more livable.

What Are Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grants?

Money from a HISA grant can help pay for modifications and improvements to a home that are considered medically necessary to the occupant. Typically, the need for these modifications is due to service-connected medical issues, with a physician prescribing specific changes.. Alterations can be made to a home that is owned or even rented by, or for, a veteran. There is no list of qualifying conditions for the grant; instead, the modifications must be deemed medically necessary by a physician.

What HISA Can Be Used For?

Again, to be awarded a HISA grant, the VA mandates that all changes be “medically necessary improvements and structural alterations.” Alterations can typically include:

  • Modifications to access points (doorways) of the structure
  • Essential bathroom and self-care upgrades, such as a walk-in shower
  • Modifications to sinks, counters, surfaces in a kitchen or bathroom
  • Changes to entrance paths or driveways to include the addition of ramps
  • Improvement to plumbing or electrical systems to better accommodate medically necessary equipment

Whether or not you are already settled in a home or are in the market to buy or rent one .and believe you would qualify for a HISA grant, it’s best to understand the limitations of the program. In other words, there are many examples of improvements and structural changes that are not covered by a HISA grant.

Will HISA Cover a Hot Tub?

Funds from a HISA grant cannot be used to pay for a spa, hot tub, or Jacuzzi-type tubs, even though these devices offer some health benefits.

Will HISA Cover a Kitchen Remodel?

HISA funds can be applied toward certain aspects of a kitchen remodel, but the changes must be medically necessary. Examples would include modification of the sink, counters and other surfaces, and changes to the plumbing to accommodate medical equipment.

Will HISA Cover an Entrance Ramp and Deck?

HISA grant money can be used to modify the access points of a home (entrances and exits). The funds can also be directed to improving entrance paths or driveways in the immediate area of the home to allow better access to the structure through construction of permanent ramps.

HISA funds can’t be used toward exterior decking, or any removable accessibility equipment like portable ramps, porch lifts or stair glides.

HISA Grant Amounts

Just how much money is available through HISA grants for veterans? The answer depends on a few factors.

A veteran with a disability must be examined by a physician, who will assess whether their condition stems from military service. Assessments may determine that a disability is wholly service-related, wholly non-service-related, or somewhere in between, and the amount is designated by a percentage. That percentage will affect your eligibility for HISA grants.

Those with service-connected conditions or disabilities can receive a lifetime benefit of up to $6,800 through HISA grants. Veterans with disabilities that are 50% or more connected to military service can also receive up to $6,800. Those with disabilities rated at below 50% service connected can receive a lifetime benefit of up to $2,000.

Qualifying for a HISA Grant

Having a physician  determine whether (or to what degree) a disability is service-related will determine how much money you will qualify for under a HISA grant, but this isn’t the last step in the process. Next, you must receive a doctor’s prescription that indicates what types of structural improvements and changes are medically necessary. The prescription will include the medical diagnosis and the recommended changes for the veteran’s home. The next step will be to apply for the HISA grant.

Applying for a HISA Grant

Once you’re ready to apply for the HISA grant, you’ll need to round up several pieces of documentation, starting with your prescription. Next, download and fill out a Veterans Application for Assistance in Acquiring Home Improvements and Structural Alterations, known as VA Form 10-0103. If you are a renter, you’ll need to get a signed and notarized statement from the owner of your property that authorizes the needed work and alterations.

You’ll also need to produce an itemized estimate of the cost of the renovation, including costs for labor, materials, permits, inspections, and more. Finally, you must include a color photograph of the area you plan to modify.

A complete packet and application are then submitted to the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service at the nearest VA medical center.

Other Home Renovation Grants for Veterans

If you’re worried that you won’t qualify for a HISA grant or that $6,800 isn’t enough to cover the full slate of needed modifications, there are a number of other programs that offer money for free home repairs for veterans. As with the HISA, there are requirements for eligibility, but it’s worthwhile to familiarize yourself with what’s available.

Special Adaptive Housing (SAH) Grant

One option is the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant, a program that supports veterans with severe burn injuries and impaired mobility related to military service. With a maximum award of $100,896, the SAH grant can be used on six different occasions over a lifetime. Veterans must have permanent and total disabilities as a result of service, and a number of conditions may qualify.

Funds can be used for home construction of a specially adapted home, renovation of a current home, and even toward payment of a mortgage balance on an already adapted structure.

Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant

Another option is the Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant, which is for veterans who have lost the use of their hands, those with severe respiratory or burn injuries, or those who are blind. The maximum offered through an SHA grant is $20,215, and can be used on six different occasions over a veteran’s lifetime. The grant can be used toward adapting a home that is yet to be purchased, adapting a home that is already owned, or purchasing or applying the money to the unpaid balance of a pre-adapted home with necessary changes prescribed by the VA.

About The Author

Craig Richardson

Craig Richardson is a military veteran who started his journalism career while serving in the Navy. Following overseas deployments to the Med and Middle East, including service in Operation Desert Storm, he left for the private sector but continued with journalism. He has worked for several publishers and news organizations over nearly 30 years and continued to cover stories with ties to veterans and military affairs throughout his career.


  1. N.A. (ND) Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services. Retrieved from https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/psas/HISA2.asp
  2. N.A. (ND) Disability housing grants for Veterans. Retrieved from https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants/
  3. N.A. (ND) Home Improvement & Structural Alterations (HISA) Program. Retrieved from https://servicecuimpactfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/HISA-overview-2-Patricia-Kulhoff.pdf
  4. N.A. (2022, December 24) Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA). Retrieved from https://veteran.com/home-improvements-structural-alterations/
  5. Meyer, S. (2024, April 4) A guide to home repair grants for veterans. Retrieved from https://www.thezebra.com/resources/personal-finance/home-repair-grants-for-veterans/