A Disabled Facilities Grant makes a home more suitable for a disabled person. This grant pays towards changes that make it easier for a disabled person to continue in their home, rather than having to move into a care facility such as a care home.
Local councils and authorities determine your eligibility for this grant, along with how much money towards work you can get.
Keep reading to learn more about Disabled Facilities Grants, including what it can pay for, how much you’ll get, whether you’re eligible and how to apply.
Use our directory to find a care home near you.
The Disabled Facilities Grant is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It exists to make day-to-day life easier for disabled people by providing new or modifying current facilities within their homes.
Disabled people and older adults need to live in homes that can meet all their needs, with Disabled Facilities Grants aiming to bridge this gap.
A Disabled Facilities Grant is most commonly used within a house, but could also be used in a houseboat, caravan or somewhere else where somebody permanently lives.
Your local council will pay for work up to a certain amount if you (or the disabled person you’re applying for) meet all the requirements. Local authorities are obliged to provide this funding under the Care Act 2014.
Your local council will only approve any work that they consider essential (and if they generally think it’ll be of benefit).
‘Essential’ can be thought of as making changes which will help the disabled person lead an independent and fulfilling life.
Here’s what a Disabled Facilities Grant could be used for in your home:
Here are the maximum grant amounts throughout the UK:
England - £30,000
Wales - £36,000
Northern Ireland - £25,000
Bear in mind, these are only the maximum amounts you can receive. Exactly how much you or your loved one is eligible for depends on the results of a financial assessment. This will look at the income and savings of the disabled person (and that of their partner if they have one).
Disabled Facilities Grants are paid when the local authority has seen the finished work. They must be happy that it’s been completed to a good standard, and in line with whatever work they approved in the first place.
Local authorities can provide further financial support if the cost of work goes beyond the maximum grant amount. Whether or not they choose to do this is at the discretion of the individual council or authority.
In Scotland, local authorities can provide grants, loans, practical assistance and information to homeowners for similar repairs and adaptations. This is done under The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.
Disabled Facilities Grants aren’t always required. In some cases, the work required by a disabled person (or older adult) is smaller and not as expensive.
After having a care needs assessment, the local authority may deem you eligible for smaller home adaptations. These are classed as costing £1,000 or less - such as things like minor adaptations or new equipment for your home. Specific common examples include grab rails, dropped curbs, outside lights, lowering kitchen worktops and fitting a wet room. Many of these can often be installed free of charge as well.
If specialist disability equipment is recommended during the care needs assessment, this may then be provided free of charge (such as hoists to help you get in and out of bed and mobility aids for easier movement around the home).
Larger home adaptations are where Disabled Facilities Grants come in. These grants require a financial assessment to check whether or not you’re eligible (and how much you’ll be required to pay towards the works, modifications or improvements).
Again, the part of the UK you live in will determine the maximum amount you’re eligible to receive.
Through a Disabled Facilities Grant, work is carried out by your local council’s housing department. They’ll only do work (such as installing pieces of equipment and making larger modifications) that you or the person you applied for has been assessed as needing.
A Disabled Facilities Grant can help anyone with a disability, including:
While people under 18 don’t qualify, an adult can apply for a grant to provide facilities for someone under 18 years old.
You can then apply if you fall under one of the following criteria:
If you think you may be eligible but don’t fall into any of these categories, we’d recommend getting in touch with your local council or authority.
The process may differ slightly from region to region. To apply, get in touch with your local council and ask what you need to do. At this point, they should give you an application form.
You’ll usually make a Disabled Facilities Grant application in writing. When applying, you’ll need to include the following:
You need to agree to continue living in the property for at least five years.
Councils have a maximum of six months to decide either way on your grant application. This six-month period begins when you formally apply. It doesn’t include time spent waiting for things like planning permission.
The application process will begin with you (or the disabled person you’ve applied for) having their needs assessed by an occupational therapist. This is a really important step in the process, as the results will then be needed to prove your disability and why certain home modifications are required.
The process of being assessed by an occupational therapist may require several visits. Meeting on multiple occasions will help them get a really solid understanding of your specific needs and what home modifications or improvements they think would most benefit you.
Be aware that there’s often a lengthy wait list for one of these assessments. If you’re struggling, try getting in touch with your doctor or GP to see if they have any advice.
You’ll also need to undergo a financial assessment. This assessment will work out whether or not you need to contribute towards any of the proposed work.
This means test will see the disabled person’s income (and that of their partner if they have one) calculated. Money is jointly assessed if the disabled person has a partner.
For example, if your income is less than the assessed needs (up to £30,000 in England), you won’t need to pay towards any of the work. If your income is higher, a percentage of your income will be used to calculate how much you could feasibly contribute towards the proposed works.
If you receive a benefit like income support, housing benefit, maternity allowance or income-based jobseeker’s allowance, your weekly income will be regarded as £1 (so naturally, you won’t have to pay).
If you’re living in Northern Ireland, you can apply by getting in touch with your local Health and Social Care Trust. This organisation will walk you through the process of applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant, including answering any questions you might have and getting in touch with the Housing Executive on your behalf (who assists with housing adaptations for people living with a disability).
Just like in the rest of the UK, you shouldn’t begin any work on a property in Northern Ireland until your local authority has approved your application. Similarly, you’ll need to separately get planning permission if this is required.
If any work is urgent, you can get in touch with your local authority to try and figure out a solution.
Whether they approve or refuse your Disabled Facilities Grant application, local authorities need to provide a written explanation of their decision. This should be given within six months of your application.
Your application may be refused because the local authority has viewed the works as ‘non-essential’. Or, they might think the person who you’ve applied on behalf of isn’t technically classed as disabled.
If the local authority refuses your application for whatever reason, you have the right to challenge their decision.
There are a couple of ways you could go about doing this. Many local councils will have a means of complaining (often through their website). If you can’t complain through their website, we’d recommend getting in touch directly. Then, you can ask how best to undergo the process of challenging their decision.
Another option is to complain through the Local Government Ombudsman. They make decisions on complaints about councils and adult care providers alike (in England).
If you’re finding it difficult to continue living at home, another option is to move into a care home.
In many of our residential care homes and nursing care homes, you’ll have your own bedroom and bathroom, along with helpful and compassionate staff who are there to provide whatever assistance and support you require. This can include things like personal care and administering medication.
Our care home listings state the type of elderly care they offer, and whether they cater to any specific needs, such as people who require physical disability or mental health care (see below).
Searching for an elderly care home can be a stressful and time-consuming operation. Thankfully, we’ve removed much of the difficulty from this process by utilising years of expertise to connect you or your loved ones to the UK’s best care homes.
Check out Lottie and everything care-related we have to offer!
Want more advice and guidance like this?
Join Care Space, Lottie's online Facebook community, for expert care support and guidance and to connect with others navigating later living. Because a little support goes a long way.