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Disabled Adaptation Funding

Online Contact
 
Email: Housing Grants

Tel: 023 8028 5151

What is disabled adaptation funding?

If you are a disabled resident living in the New Forest District Council area and are having difficulties in maintaining your independence and dignity at home, then we may be able to help with either a grant and/or a loan to assist in making your home environment more suitable for your needs.

Stairlift Ramp

Until recently we have only been able to offer the 'mandatory' Disabled Facilities Grant which is closely regulated by legislation. This legislation is quite prescriptive and has limited the areas in which we can help. This grant however is mandatory which means that you are entitled to apply and will receive assistance if you meet the specified criteria.

The good news is that we have received some additional funding and are currently able to offer a more flexible range of discretionary grants and loans in addition to the original mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant. Please note that the availability of these discretionary grants and loans is dependent the availability of funding at the time of submission of an application, and cannot be guaranteed until you receive formal confirmation.

 

Types of disabled adaptation funding

All the types of grants and loans are outlined below together with an indication of whether they are mandatory or discretionary:

  • Disabled Facilities Grant (Mandatory)
    As previously mentioned this is a grant available to help adapt your home to increase your independence and maintain your dignity (for example the installation of a stairlift, a level access shower in place of a bath, or a ramp to help you get in and out of your home). These are just examples, and there are other works that can be considered depending on your circumstances. The grant is means tested for adults (but not children), and the maximum grant is £30,000.

  • Disabled Facilities Top Up Grant (Discretionary)
    Whilst the maximum mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant is £30,000, the additional funding has allowed us to offer a discretionary 'top up' grant of up to £10,000 making the maximum grant funding £40,000.

  • Disabled Facilities Top Up Loan (Discretionary)
    Where the cost of the adaptation funded by the Disabled Facilities Grant is over £40,000, the additional funding has allowed us to offer a 'top up' loan of up to £10,000. This makes the total financial package for major adaptations to be up to £50,000.

  • Relocation Loan (Discretionary)
    In a small percentage of cases it is not possible to adapt your existing home, and if you need to move to new home which is more suitable for you, we may be able to help with a loan of up to £10,000 to facilitate this. Your existing home will need to be assessed by both your Occupational Therapist and our Grant Surveyor who will advise on the options available for you. Any new home must be checked out prior to committing to occupation by your Occupational Therapist and Grant Surveyor to ensure its suitability.

  • Client Contribution Loan (Discretionary)
    This loan is available in exceptional circumstances where a Disabled Facilities Grant applicant is assessed as needing to make a contribution to the grant, and this causes undue hardship. The maximum loan would be £10,000. Each case will be assessed individually and all income and outgoings will be taken into account to assess eligibility.

  • Minor Works Disabled Grant (Discretionary)
    This is a fast track grant of up to £1,000 to help with specific smaller items of work within a short timescale. It has three aims:

    • Helping you get home from hospital if you need minor works to enable you to be discharged.

    • Assisting with items of work to help adapt your home if you have a terminal prognosis.

    • Help with minor repairs to primarily to existing disabled adaptations (for example if your stairlift or automatic door opener has broken down and needs a replacement part).

 

Who can apply?

  • You will need to be registered as a disabled person (or meet the criteria to be eligible to apply). Your Occupational Therapist can offer advice regarding this.
     
  • All of our Disabled Adaptation Funding is available regardless of tenure, so you can apply as an owner occupier, council or housing association tenant, or private tenant.
     
  • Please note that if you are a tenant and are applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant you will need to have a minimum of a 5 year fixed term tenancy. You will also need your landlord's permission for the proposed works. We can help you liaise with your landlord on these issues.

 

Will I have to contribute to the cost of the works?

Whether you need to contribute to the cost of the works will depend on a number of factors outlined below: 

  • Choice of contractor
    The amount of funding we offer will always be based on the lowest quote, and if you decide to use a more expensive contractor you will need to fund the difference.  This relates to all types of grants and loans.
     
  • Cost of works
    where the cost of the scheme exceeds the grant/loan available, you will be responsible for this amount.  We will try and help you source additional funding in this situation but cannot guarantee this.  This applies to all types of grants and loans.
     
  • Specification
    If you would like to upgrade any items (for example upgrading from white bathroom tiles to patterned tiles), you will be responsible for any increased costs (and will need the approval of your Grant Surveyor).  This applies to all types of grants and loans.
     
  • Type of financial assistance you are applying for
    Some of our grants/loans are means tested and some are not.  The details for each type of grant and loan are outlined below:

Disabled Facilities Grant

  • This type of grant is means tested (except where it is for a child), and we will ask for details of your financial situation to assess whether you need to make a contribution to the cost of the works.  However where a disabled adult is in receipt of one of the benefits mentioned below, you will not normally be required to make a contribution, and the grant will also cover the entire cost of the agreed works (up to the maximum specified).
    • Income Support
    • Guaranteed Pension Credit (not Savings Pension Credit)
    • Housing Benefit
    • Working or Child Tax Credit under £15,050
    • Council Tax Reduction (income based)
    • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
    • Income Related Employment Support Allowance

Universal Credit is currently being rolled out and in some circumstances may be a qualifying benefit.  However until this becomes fully implemented across the whole of the New Forest Council area we will need to look at each case individually to advise you regarding this.

Disabled Facilities Top Up Grant

  • If you are applying for a mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant, and need a 'top up grant' of up the £10,000 because the agreed cost of the works exceeds £30,000, you will automatically be considered for this top up grant.  There is no further means test, and no need for a further application form.

Disabled Facilities Top Up Loan

  • If the agreed cost of works for a mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant exceeds £40,000 you will be entitled to apply for a top up loan of up to £10,000.  In this instance we will ask our partner Parity Trust to visit you at home and run through your finances to assess the most suitable affordable product for you.  There is no further means test, but there will be an application form which Parity Trust will assist with.

Client Contribution Loan

  • Each application for a client contribution loan will be assessed independently, and will only be awarded where there is undue hardship as a result of the calculated contribution.  We will need to examine your income, savings and outgoings to assess this.  In this instance we will ask our partner Parity Trust to visit you at home and run through your finances to assess the most suitable affordable product for you.  There will be an application form which Parity Trust will assist with.

Minor Works Disabled Grant

  • There is no means test for this grant - everyone is eligible to apply regardless of their financial circumstances.

Home Relocation Loan

  • If your Occupational Therapist and Grant Surveyor agree that your current home is not possible to adapt, then you will automatically be eligible to apply for this loan with no further means test.  In this instance we will ask our partner Parity Trust to visit you at home and run through your finances to assess the most suitable affordable product for you.  There will be an application form which Parity Trust will assist with.

 

Are there any conditions attached to the grants and loans?

This depends on the type of grant or loan that you are applying for. 

All our loans are repayable in accordance with the terms agreed with Parity Trust and the Council (which will be detailed in the loan agreement).  

The Disabled Facilities Grant and the Disabled Facilities Top Up Grant are both subject to the following conditions:

  • The property has to be the disabled person's main or only residence (and not a holiday home). 
     
  • The disabled person must intend to live there for a minimum of 5 years following completion of the works.  If you do not stay for 5 years you may have to repay some all or some of the grant.  Please note that the first £5,000 of any grant awarded is exempt from repayment, but any grant in excess of £5,000 will normally need to be repaid up to a maximum of £10,000. 
     
  • For home owners there is an additional condition in that the grant may need to be repaid if you sell the property within 10 years.  The same repayment limits apply - the first £5,000 of any grant awarded is exempt from repayment, but any grant in excess of £5,000 will normally need to be repaid up to a maximum of £10,000. 
     
  • There are some circumstances when this condition can be waived, and if you are worried about this you can discuss this with your Grant Surveyor.  Should you need to apply for a waiver you will need to put your application in writing to the Housing Grants and Improvement Manager. 
     
  • If any specialised equipment, such as a stairlift, is no longer required you will need to seek the Council's written consent before disposal.  Any costs in removing the specialised equipment or subsequent making good is the responsibility of the grant/loan applicant, and the Council cannot assist with this.

 

How do I get started?

  • If you would like to be considered for any of the grants or loans outlined above, the first step is to ring Social Services Direct on 0300 555 1378 to arrange for an Occupation Therapy assessment (which will normally take place in your home).
     
  • This assessment may also involve requesting supportive information from your Doctor or Specialist as well as discussing other options available to you. 
    If you are being considered for a means tested grant you will be asked to complete a provisional financial assessment form.  This will enable us to give you an indication of whether you need to contribute to the cost of the works (it is important that you include ALL the requested information otherwise the figure we provide you with will not be accurate). 
  • If the Occupational Therapist supports your request they will forward the information to the Housing Grants and Improvements Team at New Forest District Council for consideration for financial assistance

 

What happens next?

  • On receipt of the Occupational Therapist referral, one of the Grant Surveyors from the Housing Grants and Improvements Team will arrange to visit you at home to discuss how the grant or loan works can be practically implemented.  During the visit they will talk you through the grant and loan process and answer any queries you may have.  Your Grant Surveyor will be your dedicated contact for any queries and they will provide you with their contact details if you need to discuss any aspect of the project further at any stage.
     
  • Where the project is for a small scheme of works (for example a level access shower) the Grant Surveyor will produce a priced schedule of works and a layout drawing after discussion with you.  The choice of contractor is up to you, but we can assist with this if you need our help.  It is important to remember that our role is to facilitate the process by assisting with the funding, but the contract for the works will be between YOU and the Contractor.   We will 'hold your hand' through the process and check the works on completion but the overall responsibility for the project will lie with you as the grant applicant.
     
  • For larger projects a minimum of three tenders will be needed, and this is normally organised by an external Surveyor on your behalf.  You can choose your own Surveyor or we can assist with this if you need our help.   The Surveyor will draw plans and organise the necessary permissions and invite three contractors to quote (and the grant/loan will be based on the lowest tender received).  Reasonable Surveyor fees can be included as part of the Grant (up to 10% of the net cost of the works), but if for any reason the grant doesn't reach the formal approval stage you must remember that you will be responsible for payment of the Surveyor fees yourself. 
     
  • In all cases there will be an application form to complete together with other documents to submit (for example details of your income and savings).  You can complete this yourself or with the help of your family, but if you would like help our Caseworker can visit you at home to assist this can be arranged.  There is a small fee for this service but this can be considered as part of the grant/loan. 
     
  • Where you are eligible for a loan and wish to proceed we will make a referral to Parity Trust, and when the loan is agreed the works can commence and the funding will be released direct to the contractor (normally on completion of the works.)
     
  • Where the project is funded either wholly or partly with a loan, we will ask Parity Trust to assist you with completing your application.  Parity Trust will visit you at home to look at your finances and offer a loan which is affordable for you taking into account your individual financial circumstances. Normally you will have to make regular repayments to pay back the amount loaned. 

 

When can the works start?

  • Once we have received the quote(s) and application forms etc., your Grant Surveyor will check all the information supplied, and issue you with a formal grant approval.  This approval will detail how much grant has been awarded and who will be carrying out the works.  You will need to ensure that all the money for the entire project is in place prior to commencement of the works on site (including the formal loan agreement from Parity Trust if appropriate). 
     
  • Once all the finances are in place our Caseworker can help you finalise dates with the contractor to start.
     
  • Please note that if you have a contribution to make yourself we will ask you to give this to the Council before commencement of the works, and we will 'hold' this for you until completion of the works, when it will be paid direct to the contractor.

 

What happens when the works have been completed?

  • Once they have been completed, the Grant Surveyor will come out to check the works, and if there are any problems they will help you resolve these.
     
  • Payment is only made on production of an acceptable invoice for the agreed works (either by instalments or of the full amount on completion) and is will be made direct to the contractor.   
     
  • Please note that once the grant has been completed any issues arising at a later date are between you and the contractor.
     
  • The maintenance of any equipment will be your responsibility once any warranty has expired.

 

Contact details and external links*

Housing Grants and Improvements Team

  • 023 8028 5151

 Occupational Therapy

 Parity Trust

* Please note that we are not liable for the content of external websites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Updated: 5 Feb 2018
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