Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) Loans & Grants for Home Modifications and Aging in Place

Program Description

The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), a non-profit organization, provides supportive assistance to elderly and / or disabled Pennsylvania residents in the form of zero interest and low-interest loans. Through this program, financial assistance in obtaining assistive technology, such as wheelchairs and hearing aids, and making home modifications, such as widening doorways and adding grab bars to improve access are available. Partial grants of up to 50% of the loan amounts are also available via the PATF program, as is financial education. 

 

Eligibility Guidelines

The eligibility guidelines for this program are not very restrictive. In fact, there are no age requirements, no income limitations, nor restrictions on functional ability. However, one must be a resident of Pennsylvania and include a statement as to how the desired assistive technology is indeed, assistive technology. The applicant must also have the means to be able to pay back the loan.

Applicants are not required to own the home in which a modification will be made, but permission may be required from a landlord if significant changes will be made to the property.

 

Benefits and Services

Through the PATF loan program, two types of loans are available:

1) Mini-Loans
Mini-Loans allow eligible applicants to borrow between $100 and $1,500 at 0% interest. This loan requires a monthly payment of at least $20, with a maximum of 3 years to pay off the loan. With a Mini-Loan, it is possible to receive a grant of up to 50% of the amount of the loan. However, the individual must have exhausted all other financial options and have an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to receive a grant. As of 2017, this amount is equivalent to $24,120 / year or $2,010 / month for a single (widowed, divorced or otherwise unmarried) applicant. For a married couple, this amount is higher at $32,480 / year or $2,706.66 / month.

2)Low-Interest Loans
Low-Interest Loans are available for amounts over $1,500, with a maximum borrowed amount of $60,000 at an interest rate of 3.75%. The period of time allowed to repay the loan varies, based on how long the assisted device is expected to last. Unfortunately, there are no grants available for this type of loan.

The PATF loan program offers flexibility in deciding what assistive technology the loan should be used for, as well as to what vendor to use. The following are examples of how an elderly individual might choose to spend an approved loan:

  • Wheelchair or motorized scooter
  • Mobility and daily living aids – walker, hearing aids, etc. 
  • Home modifications – stair lift, lift chair, wheelchair ramp, walk-in bathtub, roll in showers, lowered counter tops, widening of doorways, etc. 
  • Vehicle modifications – hand controls, ramp, etc. 
  • Personal emergency response system – LifeAlert, Medical Guardian, etc.
  • Automatic lighting / Door openers

Make note, these loans cannot be used to reimburse oneself for an assisted device that has already been purchased.

 

How to Apply / Learn More

The PATF loan program is available throughout the state of Pennsylvania. It is not required that the individual needing the assistive technology apply himself or herself, as a family member may apply on behalf of that individual.

To apply for a loan, call the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation at 484-674-0506 or 888-744-1938 for an application, or print one here.  One may also apply online here.  Some documentation is required with the application, such as two forms of identification, proof of income, and a vendor quote for the desired assistive technology.

 To aid in loan application process, one can obtain free, vendor quotes for stair liftswheelchair rampsemergency response devices and walk-in tubs.