A Disabled Facilities Grant is an assessed need and means tested grant. It is designed 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.
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
Effect on other benefits
A Disabled Facilities Grant will not affect any benefits you are currently receiving.