There’s good news for your lower-income clients from Alberta who have mobility challenges: money is available from the government. The Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) is a way for your clients to get funding to modify their homes to make it easier to move around. Your clients could get up to $15,000 within a 10-year period with the annual limit currently set at $7,500.
Meeting the Requirements
There are a number of eligibility requirements regarding the health conditions of your client. The person has to have lived in Alberta for at least 90 consecutive days. They’re eligible if they use a wheelchair or have progressive neurodegenerative diseases. Alternatively, they’re eligible if they’re at least 65 years old and using a four-wheel walker. Other than this last requirement, there’s generally no age limits. The person could be your client or somebody for whom your client is filing an application.
In addition to health requirements, there are also income restrictions. Your client’s total gross adjusted household income can’t be higher than $36,900. But the threshold is raised by $9,600 if your client is married. Also, if your client has children under 21 still living at home, they can add $9,600 for each child. If your client is applying for a dependant child under 18 who is using a wheelchair, the AGI base can be further increased by $7,131.
Requirements of Your Client’s Home
To qualify, the modifications must be permanent and they must facilitate your client’s entry and movement within the home. In addition, your client’s home has to be in Alberta and it must be a primary residence–either owned or rented by your client. If your client is a tenant, the landlord must approve the requested modifications to the property. The landlord will have to complete the Property Modification Approval form, and this has to be included in your client’s application. .
The Application Process
There’s a Residential Access Modification Program application package available that outlines all of the required forms. In addition to the application, your client has to have multiple quotes on their project, photos of the project area before the modification, and current property tax assessment documentation. There’s also a number of requirements your client has to meet if applicable. For instance, your client has to provide a copy of their lease agreement if they’re renters, a copy of their condo association approval letter if they own a condo, and a sponsor’s income verification form if they’re a sponsored immigrant.
Temporary and Priority Applications
If your client just wants to put in temporary modifications, that’s fine. The modification has to be a temporary wheelchair ramp, porch lift, or stair lift. Alternatively, there might be cases where your client needs to get their application processed quickly. If your client is applying for someone who’s about to be discharged from an institution, their application can be looked at on a priority basis. Just have your client check the red boxes at the top of the first page of the application that apply to their situation.
There are ways for you to secure some grants for your clients in Alberta who are looking to modify their house to make it easier to get around. If they meet the health requirements and income requirements, and modify their home in a certain way, they might be able to get government funding through the Residential Access Modification Program.