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Home modifications

 Quick Summary

Home modifications are changes to the fittings, layout or structure of a home or dwelling. You may need changes or additions to a home to enable you, or someone you are caring for, to get in and out of and move around the home safely and easily. You may hear people call these changes home adaptations and home modifications. Examples of home adaptations are: ramps for access to and in the home, repositioning power outlets, adding non-slip tiles, increasing shower size, grab rails, portable ramps, environmental control units. Examples of home modifications include: removing load - bearing walls and /or building additional space. Repairs, maintenance or redecoration are not considered by funders as home modifications or adaptations.

You can choose to:

  

How to get home modifications
Before any modification or adaption to your home can take place an occupational therapist must assess the home environment. The occupational therapist will assess you to see how you move around the home, and if you are safe in the home and also getting in and out of the home.

The occupational therapist will then write a report that will include their recommendations for changes and additions that need to be made to improve safety, access and movement in and around the home for you.

The report will have pictures and measurements of the modifications or adaptions that are needed. The report will explain why the modifications are needed, what alternatives have been considered, and how they will improve the situation for you.

What funding is available?
You may be eligible for funding from different sources. Consider the different funding sources and your eligibility:

– Home and Community Care Program (HACC) – The Minor and Major Home Modification Program;

– The National Disability Insurance Scheme;

– Compensatory systems (Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Motor Accidents Insurance Board, Personal insurance claims);

If you are a tenant of Housing Tasmania, contact and apply directly to Housing Tasmania for home modifications;

Under some circumstances, the state government will fund home adaptions so that you are able to remain living in your home or return home safely from a stay in hospital;

Each source of funding has different guidelines for eligibility that you will need to explore.

 

If you think you meet eligibility criteria make sure to ask the funder:

– if you must be a homeowner to gain funding for modifications or adaptions;

– what kinds of modifications or adaptions they will consider funding, for example, if you need assistive technology like an environmental control unit, will they consider this as an adaption?

– what their usual reasons are for not granting approval for funding modifications or adaptions, for example, property condition, suitability or alternative and more cost-effective means for a modification or adaption;

– what the maximum amount is that they will contribute for modifications;

– if they expect you to make a minimum financial contribution and if so, how much;

– the reports they require to evidence the need for adaption or modifications;

– if they use preferred providers for occupational therapy assessment and building works;

– if anyone is available to help you with advice on the process, and who they are and how you can contact them;

– how long you can expect the process to take from the time that you apply to works beginning.

GET STARTED

Consider the different funding sources and your eligibility.

Have a look at the Get Ready for your conversation with Home Modification funders Information Sheet in Word and PDF.

Further links:

Commonwealth Home Support Programme

Home and Community Care Program (HACC) – The Minor and Major Home Modification Program

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Compensatory systems:

For information from Veterans Affairs go to their website.

For MAIB go to their website.

If you are a tenant of Housing Tasmania, contact and apply directly to Housing Tasmania for home modifications.

 

When your eligibility is determined, to apply for funding for the modifications you will need an occupational therapist (O.T.) to inspect your home and assess your needs. They will provide report and recommendations to send in with your funding application.

If you are not eligible for any of the above schemes to fund an occupational therapist, you can access a state-funded Occupational Therapist.

Under some circumstances, the state government will fund home adaptions so that you are able to remain living in your own home or return home safely from a stay in hospital.

You can make a referral yourself or ask for assistance from family, community organisations, allied health or doctors.

See if you are ready to apply for your home adaption or modification by using this checklist in Word or PDF versions.

ACTION STEPS

Here you can find a simple list of the best actions to take if you are interested in this topic:

1 . Work out what you think needs to be changed in the environment to make it easier for you or the person you are caring for to be more independent or safe

2 . Research the different funded sources in the Get Started section to work out where your likely source of funding will come from

3 . Seek a referral or make contact with an Occupational Therapist to ask if they are able to complete an assessment. Find out what the process is.

4 . When you have received an O.T. report with recommendations you can contact a builder or relevant service to receive quotes on these recommendations.

5 . Apply and provide quotes to the funder.

6 . When funding is approved, on approval from the funder, proceed with the home modifications. Vehicle modifications are usually considered as equipment, not home modifications, although access from your car to your home can be considered when needed home modifications are being assessed.