Adapting your home - Disabled Facilities Grant
Local authorities have funds to help you remain in your home and adapt it to suit your child’s needs. Minor adaptations, such as handrails, are available through Social Services. In most cases, community equipment, aids and minor adaptations that help with living at home and cost under £1,000 should be provided free of charge in England by your local authority. This is a duty imposed on local authorities under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. Every trust also has the loan equipment service which can provide equipment such as shower chairs, specialist beds etc.
If you own your rent your home you will need to start to think about making your house suitable for your child as they grow up. The good news is there is help to do this.
The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is a grant available to help you pay for necessary adaptations to remove the physical barriers that prevent your child living safely and independently in your own home.
Who can apply for a DFG
Disabled people can get a grant if they are owner-occupiers or tenants of privately owned and housing association properties. The parents or guardians of a disabled child under the age of 19 are also eligible. Any grant for the benefit of a person under 18 is exempt from means testing.
Type of work covered
Any works must be specified by the Occupational Therapist (OT). In general they should improve freedom of movement around the house and use of the facilities for the disabled person.
This work may include:
- replacing a bath with a walk-in shower or fitting an over-bath shower
- installing a wet room including specialist toilet such as a closomat
- fitting a ground floor bathroom
- fitting a stair lift or through lift
- adapting your home for wheelchair use (e.g. widening doors, adapting kitchen units installing ramps or a ceiling track hoist)
Each local authority is responsible for administering the disabled facilities grant. The grant ranges from £25,000 to £36,000 depending on where you live in the UK.
You will need to get an assessment from your Occupational Therapist who will work with a member of the home improvements agency within your local authority who administers the grant. Together they will draw up a plan that meets your child’s requirements.
You need to be clear what it is in your own mind that you want as sometimes the plans drawn up do not always take in the needs of the family as a whole. Councils may rather put in a through floor lift than build an extension and that may mean losing space in your living area or losing a bedroom upstairs or you may find that they won’t consider your child’s access to all living areas downstairs.
The adaptations process can take a while so speak to your Occupational Therapist and talk through your options as soon as you can.
To find your local council please use this link:
For more information on the DFG visit:
For advice from parents that have been through the adaptation process use our Facebook group:
If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail one of us at Duchenne Now