What type of improvements are covered?
If you are disabled, a grant is mandatory for essential adaptations to allow better freedom of movement into and around your home and to access essential facilities within it. For example:
to install level access showers for those who have difficulty using the bath
to install ramps or widen doors to accommodate a wheelchair
to improve or provide easier access to the living room and kitchen
to improve or provide better access to the bedroom or bathroom facilities by installing a stairlift
to improve or provide a heating system suited to the needs of the disabled person
to adapt heating or lighting controls in order to make them easier to use
to generally improve access and movement around the home to allow a disabled person to care for another person who lives at the property.
What is the maximum grant available?
The maximum grant that it is possible to award is £30,000. If the cost of the works exceeds this, limited additional funding must be sourced and agreed prior to the commencement of the works.
How do I know if I am eligible for a grant?
When you have submitted a grant enquiry form, the information from this will be used to carry out the required means test and to determine the type of adaptation or facilities that you may need. Once this preliminary assessment test has been made, you will be notified in writing if you are eligible. The grant is also subject to an occupational therapist report recommending that the works are carried out.
How will I know if I have to make a contribution?
You will be notified in writing and a copy of the calculation can be sent to you on request. Where a contribution is payable by the grant applicant, this is always the first amount to be paid and the level of contribution remains the same even if the cost of the works reduces or increases, after the work has commenced.
What can I do if I think I will have difficulty in meeting my contribution?
If you are unable to meet your contribution, Social Services may be able to help you with financial assistance subject to a separate assessment. Please contact the Housing Grants Team on 01372 732000 who will make the referral on your behalf. We can also offer advice on sourcing funding through charities.
How will I know if the grant is being offered?
Once the preliminary investigation has taken place, the Council will send you a formal offer. This will include a schedule of works itemising the works eligible for grant aid, a formal application form and details of additional documents required, such as proof of title etc.
How do I make a formal application?
There is an information booklet produced by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister which offers guidance to the process.
Disabled Facilities Grant booklet (pdf - 271kb)
The process can be lengthy and involves a sizeable amount of paperwork which we can help you complete. Securing the services of a suitable surveyor and obtaining the two necessary quotations for the works are part of the process. We can also help you with this or you may wish to use the services of an agent. In most cases, any fees are met via the grant assistance on completion of the works.
What happens after I submit my formal application?
Once the valid application is received, the details will be checked as well as the quotations to ensure that they are competitive, and then the formal approval notification will be issued either directly to yourself or to your appointed agent. If further works are highlighted during the original contract, the Council will advise you of this and whether they are eligible for inclusion in the grant. We will undertake regular inspections and, where necessary, make interim payments. Once the works are complete, a final inspection will be carried out prior to the final payment being made to the contractor in order to ensure that the works have been carried out satisfactorily.
Will the works affect my buildings insurance?
Whilst the building works are being carried out, this may affect your buildings insurance and you should contact your insurers and seek their advice.
Who is the contractor employed by?
As the legal recipient of the grant, you are the employer of the contractor and are ultimately responsible for all contractual matters. These include any costs incurred that are not met by the grant fund and ensuring that the works are completed to your satisfaction.