For example, the grant could be to:
- widen doors and install ramps (to improve access to rooms and facilities)
- buy and install a stairlift
- convert a downstairs room to a bathroom
- provide a heating system suitable for your needs
- adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
What is more, a Disabled Facilities Grant will not affect any benefits that you may already be getting.
How much you get depends on your household income and whether you have any household savings over £6,000. The following grants are available:
- England Up to £30,000
- Wales Up to £36,000
- Northern Ireland Up to £25,000
Depending on your income, you may need to pay towards the cost of the work to the property.
Disabled children under 18 can get a grant without their parents' income being taken into account. Please contact your local council for more information.
Please be aware that you might not get any grant if you start work on your property before the council approves your application.
The Disabled Facilities Grant will be paid to you either:
- by instalments - as the work progresses
- in full - when the work is finished
- or the council may pay the contractor directly, or give you a cheque to pass on - they'll agree this with you when they approve your application.
And you'll be paid either:
- when the council is happy with the finished work
- when you give the council the invoice, demand or receipt for payment from the contractor
Normally, if you (or a relative) does the work the council will only accept invoices for materials or services you've bought.
Eligibility for a Disabled Facilities Grant
You or someone living in your property must be disabled. Either you or the person you're applying for must:
- own the property or be a tenant
- intend to live in the property during the grant period (which is currently 5 years)
You can also apply for a grant if you're a landlord and have a disabled tenant.
The council needs to be happy that the work is:
- necessary and appropriate to meet the disabled person's needs
- reasonable and can be done - depending on the age and condition of the property
Please bear in mind that you might not get any dsiabled facilities grant if you start work on your property before the council approves your application and you may need to apply separately for any planning permission or building regulations approval.
The council may ask you to employ a qualified architect or surveyor to plan and oversee the work. If you get a grant, you can use it towards the cost of their fees.
You'll need to find out:
- what changes are needed to your property
- the type of work that needs to be done
- the cost of the work
An occupational therapist can look at your circumstances and recommend the type of changes needed.
Application Form for a Disabled Facilities Grant
To get an application form, contact the housing or environment health department of your local council.
The council will normally need 2 written estimates for the work (please note that Complete Care Shop can provide quotes as well for you). The council may be able to give you a list of builders or advise you about employing one.
Return your completed application to your local council before work starts on the property and you'll get the result of your application in writing within 6 months of the application date.