HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.14 - Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) ProgramNon-chargeable Improvement and Structural Alterations

14.6. Non-chargeable Improvement and Structural Alterations

Improvements and structural alterations, which are not chargeable against the veteran's HISA limitation include:

a. Exterior decking (in excess of 8 foot by 8 foot or the area necessary to accommodate wheelchair access).

b. Construction of pathways to exterior buildings such as barns or workshops.

c. Widening driveways (in excess of 8 foot by 8 foot, or an area necessary to accommodate wheelchair and van lifts).

d. Purchase or installation of spa, hot tub, or jacuzzi-type tubs.

e. Purchase of removable equipment or appliances such as portable ramps, porch lifts, and stair glides. NOTE: These removable items are chargeable as a prosthetic item and not HISA.

f. Projects which would duplicate services previously or currently being provided by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant, such as: ramping, central air conditioning, and roll-in showers. HISA and SAH are mutually exclusive of each other; however, they may be used concurrently.

(1) Prosthetic Service needs to work closely with the SAH agent to ensure the veteran's grants are used in the most efficient way possible. Prosthetic Service is only to give the HISA grant for a specific project within the SAH construction or renovation. All the rules and requirements for obtaining HISA still apply, except for acquiring three bids and plans, as that has already been performed by the SAH agent and veteran for the larger SAH project.

(2) The SAH agent is responsible for providing Prosthetic Service all pertinent information under subparagraphs 12b(3) and 12c of this Handbook.

(3) The SAH agent must notify Prosthetics when improvements have been inspected and approved by the VA compliance inspector.

g. Purchase or installation of home security systems.

h. Routine repairs done as part of regular home maintenance, e.g., replacing roofs, furnaces, air conditioner, etc. NOTE: Repairs or improvements to previous HISA projects can be authorized within the benefit limit; however, the veteran must reapply to use remaining grant allotment.


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