What is a Disabled Facilities Grant?
If you or someone in your home is disabled you may qualify for help towards the cost of providing adaptations and facilities, so that you or the disabled person can continue to live in your home.
These grants are administered by local authorities on behalf of the Government. If you do not live in Epsom & Ewell, you should contact your own local authority.
Who can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant?
You can apply for a grant if you are:
- A tenant or owner of a property
- A landlord on behalf of a disabled person.
The person who applies for the grant does not have to be the disabled person who needs the adaptations. For example, a parent or guardian can apply for adaptations for the benefit of a disabled child or a landlord can apply on behalf of a disabled tenant. Their needs must be assessed by an occupational therapist. Decisions on any grant work are based on the occupational therapist's recommendations.
The person applying for the grant will be asked to sign a certificate stating that the disabled person intends to occupy the property as their main residence throughout the grant period of five years.
What type of work is eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant?
Disabled Facilities Grants are given for essential adaptations that give a disabled person easier and more independent freedom of movement around their home such as:
- Access to and from the home, for example, installing ramps or steps
- Providing or improving access to rooms and essential facilities, for example, Improving or providing a suitable heating system
- Adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
- Improving access to and movement around the home to enable the disabled person to care for another person such as a child or elderly parent.
How do I apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant?
To request an assessment of your needs contact the Adult Social Care Team on 0300 200 1005 and for children aged 18 and under contact Surrey County Council on 0300 200 1006. If they feel an adaptation is needed they will forward their recommendations to the Housing Grants Team for consideration under a Disabled Facilities Grant.
Three sets of criteria are applied to determine whether a grant can be given:
- Is the adaptation 'necessary and appropriate' to meet the disabled person's needs? This is determined by an occupational therapist
- Is the adaptation 'reasonable and practicable' taking into account the nature, layout, age and condition of the property? This is determined by the Housing Grants Team
- Based on a test of resources, does the applicant qualify financially? This is determined by the Housing Grants Team.
How is the Disabled Facilities Grant calculated?
The financial means test is prescribed by Central Government. Epsom & Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) is not given any flexibility on the means test. On receipt of an occupational therapist report, you will be asked to complete a Grant Enquiry form. Based on the information supplied, a provisional means test will be applied based on these financial details:
The means test does not apply to applicants aged 18 or below.
- For married couples and those who co-habit, both partners will be financially assessed
- A disabled person has only their financial details assessed, even if they are living with parents/children
- The maximum grant is £30,000 in England, less any contribution required after the financial means test.
What is needed to make a grant application
The following must be submitted to make a valid application:
- Completed application form and related certificates of ownership and tenure
- Minimum of two detailed and itemised estimates and details of any ancillary fees
- Planning and building control approval where necessary
- Proof of ownership and/or consent from all owners
- Appropriate supporting financial documentation to support the test of resources
- Any works started prior to formal grant approval can not be grant aided.
Once you have received the formal notice of approval you have 12 months to complete the works.
Support and assistance with the whole grant process is available from the Epsom & Ewell Home Improvement Agency who can be contacted on 01372 732000.
How will the Disabled Facilities Grant be paid?
EEBC may pay the grant in instalments as the work progresses or make one payment once all the work has been completed. The grant is usually paid directly to the contractor.
Your grant will only be paid when EEBC is satisfied that the work has been satisfactorily completed in accordance with the grant approval and on receipt of an invoice, appropriate safety certificates, warranties and completion notices.
Do I have to repay the Disabled Facilities Grant?
Only if you own your own home, the DFG is for more than £5000 and you sell your property and it is no longer your main residence within 10 years of the work being completed. You will only have to repay any part of the grant in excess of £5000, and the maximum repayment is £10,000. For example, if you had a grant for £8000, you would repay £3000.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For further information
Telephone: 01372 732000