Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) introduced the bipartisan Autonomy for Disabled Veterans Act, which would help disabled veterans and their families make accessibility and safety improvements to their homes. Specifically, this bipartisan bill would help disabled veterans build accessible bathrooms, widen their doors, and install wheelchair ramps, grab bars and handrails in their homes.
“Nevada veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, and we must ensure they can access the necessary resources to have more freedom in their homes,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “My bipartisan legislation will help them afford the home improvements they need to enhance their accessibility and safety. I will continue working across the aisle to stand up for our veterans and their families.”
“With rising costs of construction materials, it’s necessary to increase funds available for veterans to adapt their homes. This legislation will help enhance their quality of life and help them live more independently. I’m pleased to champion improvements to services and benefits for the men and women who served in our nation’s uniform,” said Senator Boozman.
“VA’s Home Improvements and Structural Alterations grant program provides medically necessary improvements and structural alterations to a veteran or service member’s primary residence. However, years of inattention have diminished the effectiveness of this program, and it is long past time to update grant rates to realistic levels. We appreciate the efforts of Senator Cortez Masto and Senator Boozman to correct that by increasing grant rates and tying them to a formula, so they remain current for years to come,” said Heather Ansley, Chief Policy Officer of Paralyzed Veterans of America.
The Department of Veteran Affairs’ Home Improvements and Structural Alterations program (HISA) offers funds to help eligible disabled veterans with service-related medical issues make alterations to their homes to accommodate their medical needs. But HISA grants have not kept up with the current cost of materials and building. The Autonomy for Disabled Veterans Act would increase the amount available under this program from its current ceiling of $6,800 to $9,000 for veterans with disabilities.
The Autonomy for Disabled Veterans Act has been endorsed by Paralyzed Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Project, and The Disabled American Veterans. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Don Bacon (R-Neb.-02) and Chris Pappas (D-N.H.-01).
Senator Cortez Masto is a champion for our service members and veterans. Last year, Cortez Masto passed her the Brian Neuman Act to remove roadblocks for disabled veterans accessing their benefits. She helped pass the PACT Act to ensure veterans suffering from toxic exposure in the line of duty get the medical care they need, and she worked across the aisle to get legislation helping veterans exposed to Agent Orange and expanding benefits for women veterans signed into law.