15 November 2018
A number of disability grants for home improvement are available, but funding options and scope of works do vary. We’ve broken down the types of funding that are available, what type of work is covered and the steps you can take to apply. Additionally, we’re going to explain disabled facilities grant legislation, disability grants for moving house and the VAT exemption schemes available for the elderly and or disabled.
There are two government grants that are available for those with a disability and/or physical condition:
> Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)
> Minor Adaptations Grant
The Disabled Facilities Grant is funding provided by your local council to help to financially support adaptations around the home for those living with a disability.
Each council is different in how they structure and fund their disabled facilities grants, with some operating on a tender basis and others employing a preferred scheme approach.
If you are a homeowner or a tenant and based in England you can apply for a grant of up to £30,000.
Your income and savings will be reviewed through a means test which will ultimately decide if you are eligible for a grant and to what value.
If approved, it’s likely that your council will operate under one of the following funding structures:
A tender process is where a specification is created once your needs have been assessed. This specification will then be sent out to tender to a handful of local home adaptation companies. Once all prices are submitted, the council will choose which company is best suited to carry out the work.
If your council operates a preferred scheme approach, they will assess your needs in a similar manner and create you a specification for the works they believe are required. In line with this they will notify you of how much funding you will receive. It is then up to you to choose a contractor to complete the work.
Depending on your local council’s disabled facilities grant legislation, funding is only paid, whether directly to the contractor (tender) or to yourself (preferred scheme) when the council has inspected and is happy with the work that has been carried out.
In either instance the council will require an invoice and a receipt for payment from the contractor.
As with alldisability grants for home improvement, you must get in contact with your local council to start the application process.
Depending on the outcome and what you are applying for, it is likely an occupational therapist will visit you at home to assess your needs and requirements.
The funding process, structure and the adaptations covered varies between each council.
Disabled facilities grant legislation states to qualify you must own the property or be a tenant where the adaptations will be carried out. You must also live in the property for the minimum of grant period which is five years.
If you are a tenant, you must gain written permission from your landlord before applying to make any adaptations to the home.
If you are a landlord and wish to adapt your home for a tenant, work must be reasonable and be possible to be carried out. Adaptations must be necessary and appropriate to meet your disabled tenant’s needs.
It’s important to note that disabled facilities grant legislation varies between each council.
Similar to the Disabled Facilities Grant, if you require funding help for smaller adaptations and disability equipment (under £1,000) you can also apply for a minor adaptations grant with your local council.
Funds will be granted if your local council feels you are eligible for the work and may also be means tested.
Similar to the Disabled Facilities Grants application processyou must get in contact with your local council to be considered.
Whether you choose to apply for a disabled facilities grant or a minor adaptations grant, there are several home adaptation options available to help make daily life easier.
> Installation Of Disabled Bathrooms
> Door Widening For Easy Access
> Lighting Improvement Installations
> Heating Improvement Installations
> Installation Of External Ramps
> Installation Of Stair and Through Floor Lifts
> Grab Rails
> Adapted Beds And Chairs
> Shower Stools And Bath Seats
> Mobile And Ceiling Mounted Hoists
> Raised Toilet Seats And Commodes
> Level Taps And Thermostatically Controlled Mixers
There are currently no disability grants for moving house but the disabled facilities grant can help with house adaptations once you have moved into a new home. Contact your local council once you’re settled.
If you don’t qualify for any of the government disability grants for home improvement, don’t worry, financial support is still available in the form of VAT exemption. This will help you to save money on the overall cost of your house adaptation.
If you suffer from any physical conditions such as arthritis or have had a stroke, you may qualify for VAT exemption.
The 0% disabled VAT scheme in relation to grants for home adaptations for the disabled covers the supply and installation of:
> Door Widening
To qualify for the 0% Disabled VAT exemption, you must fill out a form that details your disability and or physical condition. No doctor's note or therapist sign off is required.
If you are over the age of 60 but don’t have a disability or physical condition that qualifies for 0% VAT exemption, you may qualify for 5% VAT exemption on the supply and installation of:
> Access Ramps
> Grab Rails
At More Ability we are backed by both the 0% and 5% government schemes and have a dedicated pricing and VAT exemption page on our website where you can find out more.
Specialising in the design and installation of bathroom adaptations, ensuring you can remain safe and independent within your home. If you are unsuccessful in your application for a DFG but still want to explore your VAT exemption options with regards to bathing solutions, you can book an online design appointment , visit one of our showrooms or call us to speak to one of our experts.