What are Disabled Facilities Grants?
If you or someone living in your property has a disability and your home needs adapting to enable you to continue living there you may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant
The grant is provided by the Council to go towards the cost of providing the adaptations and facilities.
The proposed works must be necessary and appropriate to meet the needs of the person with a disability, based on an assessment by an Occupational Therapist, and also be reasonable and practicable.
Work could include:
- Changing your bathroom and toilet facilities
- Helping you to get into and out of your home
- Making it easier to get up and down stairs
- Helping you to get to the main parts of your home and garden.
The amount of grant payable depends on the cost of the work and the average weekly income of the person with the disability. Income is not taken into account for children with a disability who are under 19. The maximum grant is £30,000. A Disabled Facilities Grant will not affect any benefits you are currently receiving.
Is a Disabled Facilities Grant right for you?
Before approving a grant the Borough Council require an Occupational Therapist’s (OT) assessment to ensure that the proposed work is necessary and appropriate to meet the needs of the person with a disability.
- You can ask Staffordshire County Council for a free Occupational Therapist assessment before applying for a grant by calling 0300 111 8010 (Adults) or 0800 13 13 126 (Children). You can apply for a grant (see below) before having an assessment. The Borough Council will then ask Staffordshire County Council for an assessment. However if the assessment is not carried out within six months, the Borough Council will not be able to approve a grant. There is also a risk that the proposed work may be assessed as unnecessary or inappropriate.
- You can decide to pay a suitably experienced private Occupational Therapist for an assessment before applying for grant. The cost of the assessment can be taken into account when calculating your grant but you will have to fund the cost yourself to start with and it may not be reimbursed. The College of Occupational Therapists can help you find a private Occupational Therapist or telephone them on 0800 389 4873. The Borough Council will still consult Staffordshire County Council about the assessment.
A grant is not the solution for everyone’s needs.
- Staffordshire County Council may be able to provide equipment and arrange minor adaptations if this is what you need (telephone numbers above).
- You may be able to afford to pay for adaptations yourself. In this case, Revival Home Improvement Agency can help you by drawing plans, finding a reputable builder and applying for planning and building control approval. You can contact Revival on 0333 014 3389, or email email@example.com.
- Alternatively, moving home to somewhere more suitable could be considered. Revival can provide advice about this option.
How to apply
To apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant you will need to complete and submit the application form to the Borough Council with full details of the proposed work and two estimates (unless the work is of a particularly specialist nature).
You can do this on your own or ask an agency to help you fill in the forms, draw plans, find a reputable builder and apply for planning and building control approval.
Most people in East Staffordshire use the Revival Home Improvement Agency who can help you once you have already had an Occupational Therapist assessment. There is usually no charge for using the agency because the cost is included in the grant. For more information about Revival please see the Revival HIA website http://www.revivalhia.org.uk, telephone 0333 014 3389, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to apply on your own, please call us on (01283) 508847 or email email@example.com (link sends e-mail) and ask for an application form and information pack which we will send to you.
What happens next?
Once the Council receives the relevant paperwork, including all necessary consents and approvals, we will make our decision on how much grant you are entitled to.
This will be based on what we consider to be the most cost-effective scheme to provide the necessary facilities.
If you want a larger scheme or a more expensive builder, you will have to pay all the additional cost. We will reach our decision within 6 months.
Land Charges on Disabled Facilities Grants
The Council will register a local land charge on properties in relation to applications for a Disabled Facility Grant.
- The charge will only apply to any home owner receiving a disabled facilities grant of more than £5,000.
- The charge will be the amount of grant you receive over £5,000 up to a maximum charge of £10,000.
- The charge will be registered for 10 years.
- Subject to particular exceptions the charge would have to be repaid if the property is disposed of within the 10 year period.
- If your grant is less than £5,000 this charge does not affect you.