BC RAHA: How an Occupational Therapist can help with home modifications

If you need home modifications to make your home safer for independent living, you might qualify for government-based BC RAHA program.  

What is BC RAHA? 

The BC Rebate for Accessible Home Adaptations Program (BC RAHA) gives financial assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income households to complete home adaptations for accessibility. The program allows seniors and people with permanent disabilities or diminished ability to access greater independence within their own homes. As of March 2021, this program replaces the Home Adaptations for Independence Program, or HAFI. The revised program offers greater opportunity and simplified application processes. 

Who can apply? 

Homeowners, tenants and landlors alike can apply for the program. You may be eligible for BC Rebate for Accessible Home Adaptations (BC RAHA) help if you, someone in your household or a tenant has permanent disability or loss of physical abilities and you meet all the application requirements. 
Please check the eligibility requirements at BC RAHA’s website: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/BC-RAHA 

How can an Occupational Therapist help? 

For some home adaptations, the program requires a completed assessment from an Occupational Therapist (OT). 

A home assessment by an Occupational Therapist can help identify special equipment, design features and ways to make your home safer and more accessible.  

An in-home assessment carefully considers the layout and features of your home with information about your disability or ability loss. An assessment identifies areas that could benefit from changes that allow you to continue living safely in your home as long as possible. Some recommendations may be simple like moving furniture to clear walking paths. Reducing your fall risk is a good start. By removing items that block your walking paths, you can improve mobility in your home without any extra cost.  

Other recommendations may need more effort. You may have to buy equipment or hire a contractor to make home adaptations. This is where BC RAHA program can help. The home assessment findings can be used to assist with planning and help guide decisions and discussions. This makes sure any adaptations made to your home will meet your needs.  

What are the home modifications that require an OT assessment? 

All adaptations will be assessed based on how they address a household member’s permanent disability or loss of ability. If it is not clear how the requested adaptations will help the household member maintain independence in the home the requested adaptations may not be approved, or medical documentation may be required.  

Not all modifications require an Occupational Therapist assessment. Please refer to the BC RAHA’s website (https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/BC-RAHA) to see the complete list of adaptation types and maximum rebate schedule.  

Will BC RAHA cover the cost of the assessment? 

BC RAHA will not cover the total costs of the assessment but will provide you with a rebate of up to $250, even if you do not qualify for the program or do not have any adaptations done. 

Do I need a doctor’s referral to be assessed by an Occupational Therapist? 

No, a doctor’s referral is not required for OT assessments for BC RAHA. 

Why should I choose OT Works? 

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and are skilled in assessing clients for their home modifications with BC RAHA program.  

Our OTs serve the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sea-to-Sky and Vancouver Island.  To learn more about our services, contact us.  

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