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Disabled Facilities Grants - introduction

A Disabled Facilities Grant is a local council grant to help towards the cost of adapting your home to enable you to continue to live there. A grant is paid when the council considers that changes are necessary to meet your needs, and that the work is reasonable and practical.

Who can get a Disabled Facilities Grant

You can claim if you, or someone living in your property, is disabled and:

  • you, or the person on whose behalf you are applying, are either the owner or tenant (including licensees) of the property
  • you can certify that you, or the person on whose behalf you are applying, intend to occupy the property as your/their only or main residence throughout the grant period - currently five years

A landlord may apply on behalf of a disabled tenant.

Disabled Facilities Grants are available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only. Scottish residents should contact the social services department of their local council for information on any grants that may be available.

What you can use it for

A grant can be used for adaptations to give you better freedom of movement into and around your home and/or to provide essential facilities within it.

If you are disabled, acceptable types of work include:

  • widening doors and installing ramps
  • providing or improving access to rooms and facilities - for example, by installing a stair lift or providing a downstairs bathroom
  • improving or providing a heating system which is suitable for your needs
  • adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
  • improving access to and movement around the home to enable you to care for another person who lives in the property, such as a child

An occupational therapist will look at your circumstances and can recommend the type of adaptation(s) needed.

How much you can get

The amount paid is usually based on a financial assessment - a 'means test' - of your average weekly income in relation to your outgoings. There is no means testing for families of disabled children under 19.

Means testing will take into account savings above a certain limit. Certain benefits including Disability Living Allowance and Income Support are generally ignored.

If you have a partner, your combined income will be assessed jointly. Capital is included in the means test. The first £6,000 of savings is disregarded.

A range of premiums and allowances is used for all essential outgoings, for example, rent/mortgage and personal expenditure. Actual outgoings are not taken into consideration.

Depending on the outcome of this assessment the amount of financial assistance offered can vary from 0 to 100 per cent of the cost.

How the award is worked out

The award works as follows:

  • if your income is less than your assessed needs you will not normally need to contribute to the cost of the works
  • if your income is more than your assessed needs, a proportion of your income will be used to calculate how much you could contribute towards the cost of the works
  • if this assessed amount is less than the cost of the works, the difference between the two is paid as a Disabled Facilities Grant

Maximum grant amount

The maximum amount of grant that a council is required to pay is £25,000 in Northern Ireland, £30,000 in England and £36,000 in Wales per application less any assessed contribution from you. If the cost of the eligible works is more, the council can use discretionary powers to increase the amount.

Effect on other benefits

A Disabled Facilities Grant will not affect any benefits you are currently receiving.

Applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant

Follow the link for information on how to apply, how the Disabled Facilities Grant is paid, and what to do next.

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