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Disabled Facilities Grant
If you are disabled or have a disabled child living in the New Forest area, and you are experiencing difficulties in your home, then grant-aid may be available to assist you to make your home more suitable for your needs.
What is a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)
This grant is available to help disabled people (adults and children) to adapt their home environment to provide facilities to increase independence.
Typical adaptations include installation of stairlifts, a level access shower in place of a bath and ramps to help people in and out of their homes. There are many other adaptations that can be considered depending on circumstance.
How do I get started?
Grants are available to assist home owners, private tenants, Housing Association tenants and New Forest District Council Tenants.
The first step is to contact Social Services Direct on 0300 555 1378. They will take all the relevant information regarding your particular circumstances and then, if appropriate, they will transfer your case to the local Social Service office located at Lymington Town Hall.
An Occupational Therapist (OT) will visit your home to assess your needs. They may also request a GP or specialist to provide more information. The OT will also try to determine whether you are eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG and you may be asked to complete a provisional financial assessment form.
Do I qualify?
Grants for adults are means tested and you may have to make a contribution towards the cost. Where the grant is for a disabled child a means test is not required. If you receive any of the following benefits, then you will not usually be required to make a contribution:
For adults, you may have to make a contribution towards the cost. The actual amount is determined by a Government means test and is dependant on your income and savings. For adults and children, the maximum grant available is up to £30,000 towards any eligible works.
The OT will then make a referral to the council detailing their recommendations to adapt your home depending on your needs.
What happens next?
Once the Council has their valid referral one of their Grant Officers will contact you to arrange a visit. The Grant Officer will determine what the grant can cover and how the works can be implemented. During the visit they will talk you through the grant process and answer any queries you may have.
Whilst we award the grant, the Council must decide what works, if any, are reasonable, practical, necessary and appropriate, to be carried out at your property.
The Grant Officer will produce a schedule of works and send their specifications to the Home Improvement Agency, who will assist you with a formal application and getting quotes for the works required.
There is a contractor list or you can use your own choice of contractor, but the Council would approve the grant based on the most effective quote. Although we assist you in facilitating the grant works, the contract is between YOU and the contractor undertaking the works.
When can the works start?
Once the Council have decided which quotes reasonably meet the recommendations and have a completed application, we will send you a formal approval. This will detail how much grant has been awarded and who will be carrying out the works. Once you have received the approval you will be able to contact the builder to arrange a start date for the works or you can ask the Home Improvement Agency to liaise on your behalf.
When the works have been completed.
Once they have been completed, the Grant Surveyor will come out to inspect the works. 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 usually made direct to the contractor. 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.
Are there any conditions?
The address where the adaptations take place must be the only or main residence of the disabled person (e.g. not a holiday home).
It must be intended that the disabled person will live at the adapted home for 5 years after the works have been completed. If a Council tenant vacates the property within 5 years from the completion date, the grant money will need to be repaid.
If you own the property and it is disposed of within 10 years of the completion date, any such part of the grant money that exceeds £5,000 will have to be repaid. The maximum amount repayable in any circumstance will be £10,000.
If any specialised equipment, such as a stairlift, is no longer required you will need to seek the Council's written consent before disposal.
Organisations who can help.
The New Forest Home Improvement Agency - The agency can help you through the grant process assisting with completion forms, obtaining estimates, drawing plans, submitting planning permission etc. Their fees can be considered as part of the grant, up to a maximum of 10% of the total grant awarded. For further details please call Lorraine Sait on 0800 849 1216 or 07972 669987.
Social Services - Your Occupational Therapist can assist with queries relating to your Disabled Facilities Grant referral, and can be contacted on 01590 625000
OT Direct - Help maybe available with minor adaptations which are outside of the DFG remit (e.g. grab rails, lever taps etc). For help and advice you need to ring the OT Direct on 0300 555 1378 or email OT Direct. You will then get put in touch with an Occupational Therapist (O.T). If your request is supported by the O.T, a technician will visit your home to supply and fit the agreed minor adaptation. This service is free.