A Disabled Facilities Grant helps towards the cost of adapting your home to help you to be more independent or your carer manage more easily. This may be getting about your home, doing everyday tasks such as bathing, going up and down stairs, or getting in and out of the house.
If you need any alteration (we call it an "adaptation") to your home to help you to be more independent or your carer to manage more easily, then a Disabled Facilities Grant may provide funding for this.
Adaptations can only be considered after your difficulties have been assessed by an Occupational Therapist, and are usually the last resort after such options as rehabilitation or provision of equipment are considered. Adaptations costing less than £1000 are usually arranged by Adult Services through the Occupational Therapist.
The government legislation which allows councils to award Disabled Facilities Grants says that the Housing Departments must check with the Occupational Therapy department to confirm that adaptations are ‘appropriate and necessary’.
At Bradford Council, Disabled Facilities Grants are administered through the Adaptations Team, which is based in the Housing Service. The Housing Technical Officers in the Adaptations Team will, in consultation with the Occupational Therapist, decide what scheme of adaptations can be considered. The legislation says that the scheme must be ‘reasonable and practicable’. Housing Technical Officers can only offer the most cost-effective option to meet the disability needs even if there are several ways of doing this. If everyone agrees that the adaptations will meet your needs and can practically be done you may be able to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant to see if you can get help to pay for them.
The legislation only allows the council to meet the disability needs of the disabled person. Although we can take into account the impact any alterations may have on the rest of the family, we cannot consider other needs such as accommodation needs where there is not enough space.
First you will need an assessment from the Occupational Therapy (OT) Service. They accept referrals from service users directly.
Anyone living in (or caring for someone in) the Bradford Metropolitan District, who has a ‘permanent and substantial disability, and who has significant difficulties managing everyday tasks within the home.
The grant is provided for essential adaptations to give you better freedom of movement into and around your house so that you can use the essential facilities in it, for example:
We will also consider changing things to make it easier for your carer, such as installing ceiling track hoists to help carers with moving and handling.
The legislation requires us to carry out a ‘means test’ to see if you have a contribution to make to any grant for adaptations to be carried out. This means you will have to provide us with details of your income, benefits, savings etc.
With this information we will then be able to tell you if you have anything to pay towards the grant and if so how much it will be.
If the disabled person is on income support or pension credit, or is a child, in most cases there is no contribution.
Work must NOT start until the grant is approved by the Adaptations Team
If you are a homeowner and the grant you get is more than £5,000, then a Local Land Charge, for a proportion of the grant, will be registered for a ten year period. This means that if you sell your home within 10 years of the works being completed you will have to pay back a proportion of the grant. The maximum amount you will have to pay back is £10,000. The following gives examples of the amounts that would be repayable:
|Grant||Local Land Charge (amount to be repaid to the Council if the house is sold within 10 years of the DFG works being completed|
(£10,000 is the maximum amount any homeowner will have to pay back)
These Land Charges are in line with Government regulations that came into force on the 22 May 2008, and the Council's Comprehensive Housing Renewal Policy.
Please note that if the ‘means test’ shows that you need to make a contribution towards the cost of the adaptation works, you will have to pay this in addition to the Land Charge.
You may wish to obtain independent advice about Local Land Charges and how this may affect you.
The client may wish to make use of our Adaptations Agency.
The Adaptations Agency offers a full service, from drawing up full plans and specifications, obtaining all permissions and certification to appointing approved contractors and supervising the work through to completion.
Alternatively, the client or their family can arrange their own contractor to carry out the work. If they choose this option they are fully responsible for all aspects of arranging and carrying out the work. This includes submitting quotes, together with supporting documentation (including architects plans, schedules, specifications, costings, Planning and Building Regulations permissions etc) for assessment and approval by the Housing Technical Officer who will, if the documentation is satisfactory, then determine the amount of Grant allowed.
Work must NOT start until the grant is approved by the Adaptations Team.
Once an offer has been made the client will be given 12 months to complete the work. This time limit is set down in legislation. The client will be responsible for ensuring the work is completed on time and in accordance with the approved quote. The Housing Technical Officer will revisit once the work has been completed to check that it is satisfactory before the final payment is made to the contractor
If you are considering this option you should not underestimate the complexity of managing the project or the time it will take. For further guidance please follow the links at the bottom of this page.
It may be possible to use the grant to put towards a more expensive option. You need to discuss this with the Housing Technical Officer and the Occupational Therapist. This is called off-setting costs. You will be awarded the amount which the scheme offered by the Council would have cost (less any means tested contribution from you).
Your scheme must show that your disability needs will be met. For example if you have been offered a stairlift (to get you to a bedroom) and a shower (to enable you to wash), and you are considering building an extension, the plans must show a bedroom, toilet and shower.
There must also be enough living space left remaining for the rest of the family, and there must be natural light and ventilation to the rooms used. We cannot reimburse you anything for any costs you might incur looking into doing your preferred scheme e.g. plans, and we cannot support a planning application to the planning department where there is an internal scheme of adaptations which would meet the needs.
Please note that if you choose to off-set costs you cannot use the Adaptations Agency to organise the work. Payment of any grant is made directly to the contractor and can only be made when the work is fully and satisfactorily completed.
The grant will only be paid if you carry out the scheme which has been approved by the Adaptations Team and, if the work has been completed within the 12 month timescale.
If you change the plans without approval from the Adaptations Team you will not get any financial assistance towards the cost of the works!
Sometimes it is not possible to adapt properties to make them suitable for a person’s disability needs.
The Occupational Therapist will discuss options with you if it is decided that your property cannot be adapted. If you want to buy a property an Occupational Therapist will look at it first before you decide to go ahead, to see if it is suitable or can be adapted.
We cannot guarantee planning consents or any future Disabled
Facilities Grant assistance.
Adaptations usually make a big change to a person’s home and it can be quite an upheaval to have the work done. If you want to see what the adaptations will look like you can visit the Bradford Equipment demonstration centre in Shipley.
Please telephone first for an appointment.
You will be able to see a wide range of things there, including level access showers, stair-lifts, through floor lifts, hoists and a wash dry toilet. It is also possible for you to try the lifts if you have any worries about how you will manage to use one.
There may also be someone who lives nearby who has had adaptations done and who would be willing to let you visit them to see the work and talk about going through the Disabled Facilities Grant process.
The Occupational Therapist will help you find out more about the adaptations being proposed.