Disabled facilities grants
Disabled facilities grants (DFGs) are available from the Council to help with the cost of work required to adapt private homes for occupation by a person with a disability. By making grants available, we hope to ensure a better quality of life for disabled people in Hackney and to help more people to remain in their own homes as part of the community.
Who can apply?
- owner occupiers
- private tenants (who must have their landlord’s permission to carry out the work)
Council tenants can apply but may want to ask first at their local neighbourhood office about having the work done through the Council’s own adaptations programme. If the Council do the work, tenants will not have to make any financial contribution and the Council will be responsible for maintaining and repairing the adaptation.
What work will the grant cover?
Adaptations are recommended by the Council’s occupational therapist to make it easier for the disabled person to get in and out of their home, move around inside their home and carry out normal everyday activities such as washing, bathing and using the toilet.
This may include works such as:
- internal stairlifts, external steps lifts and through-floor lifts
- specialised toilets, baths and showers
- door widening to allow wheelchair access
- installation of hoists or other lifting equipment
- ramps, inside and outside
The disabled facilities grant is not available to adapt homes in which disabled persons are receiving respite care. The grant is only available for adaptations to the main or only residence.
How much grant is available?
The maximum amount of grant available is £30,000. However, if the cost of work (including any fees) is greater than £30,000 you may be able to get a disabled facilities top-up grant for up to £5,000 more.
Will I have to pay any money?
Possibly. The Government expects everyone who could afford to contribute towards the cost of this work to do so. Therefore, by law, every adult applicant for DFG must undergo a test of financial resources (means testing). However, there is no means test where the application is for adaptations for a child under 19 years of age or an adult who receives the following passported benefits:
- universal credit
- income support
- income based employment and support allowance (not contribution-based ESA)
- income based jobseeker’s allowance (not contribution-based JSA)
- guarantee pension credit (not savings pension credit alone)
- working tax credit and/or child tax credit (where your annual income for the purposes of the tax credits assessment was below £15,050)
- housing benefit
When you apply for a DFG, you will be asked to provide details of your income, savings and investments and any benefits you receive. These details will be used to calculate how much money you could raise as a loan towards the cost of the work.
For example, if the result of the means test showed you could afford to get a loan of £5,000 this would affect the grant you receive. In this case, if the cost of work was £5,000 or less, you would receive nothing in grant aid. If the cost of the work was more than £5,000 you would receive the difference in grant assistance, up to a maximum of £30,000.
When can the work start?
We will write to you to notify you when the grant approval has been issued. Work must not start until the grant is approved and no money will be paid for any work that is carried out before grant approval is given.
How much time is allowed to do the work?
Once grant approval is issued, applicants are allowed 12 months to do the work and claim the grant.
Are there any conditions attached to the grant?
Yes. Applicants must sign a certificate confirming that they intend the adapted property to be their main of only residence for at least five years after the work is completed. In the case of tenants, their landlords must also sign a certificate which states that they intend to allow the disabled person to live in the adapted property for at least five years.
Owner occupiers who receive a grant of more than £5,000 may be required to repay some of the grant if they sell the adapted properties are sold within 10 years of the grant being paid. The maximum amount they will be asked to repay is currently £10,000.
There are also conditions relating to the way the application must be made and the way payments must be claimed. For example, proof of ownership and financial details must be provided and original (not photocopied) estimates and invoices must be submitted.
If you want to apply for a DFG or need help in applying, contact us by using the details on the right.
If you need extra help
Support for safety and independence at home including adaptations and a handypersons service is available from our home improvement agency provider, Millbrook Healthcare at Unit 3, Waterhouse, 8 Orsman Road, London N1 5QJ. Tel: 0330 124 4487. Referrals for the Home from Hospital handypersons service can be accepted over the phone.