Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) are designed to help people who have disabilities to have the maximum amount of independence in their homes. They are available to owner-occupiers, tenants and landlords. They are mandatory up to a value of £30,000 for the following adaptations:
- Providing access to and from the home, for example, ramps, shallow steps, hardstandings.
- Making the home safe for the disabled person and others living in the house such as guard rails, safety glass.
- Providing access to the principal family room such as widening doorways.
- Providing access to a bedroom such as a stairlift or extension.
- Providing access to the lavatory - eg by altering bathroom layouts or providing specialist WCs.
- Providing access to a bath or shower - eg by replacing a bath with a level access shower.
- Providing access to a wash basin.
- Enabling the disabled occupier to prepare and cook food - eg. by providing low level kitchen units.
- Improving or providing space heating or heating controls.
- Enabling the disabled occupier to use and control power, light and heat - eg. by altering the position of light switches and power sockets.
- Enabling the disabled occupier to move around the home to care for another person - eg. to enable a parent to care for a child.
Please note that the Disabled Facilites Grant is not available to Waverley Council tenants.
Involvement of other agencies
We work closely with Surrey County Council Social Services Department in the provision of these grants and people who wish to apply for a DFG can make their enquiry through either agency.
It is the responsibility of the Social Services Department to decide what works are necessary and appropriate to the individual's needs. This decision is based on an assessment by an Occupational Therapist (OT). In some cases the Social Services Department will not be able to carry out the OT assessment, in which case the grant will cover the cost of engaging a private OT to carry out the assessment.
If you think you will have difficulty in completing the forms, designing the works or obtaining estimates, you should contact the Guildford & Waverley Care & Repair Agency for their help. They will also oversee the works to completion and can help you to claim any benefits to which you may be entitled.
Owner-occupiers and tenants
For owner-occupiers and tenants, the grant is subject to a test of financial resources (or means test) but you do not have to be in receipt of a means tested benefit to be able to get a grant.
The means test looks at your household income and savings and compares it with standard expenses based on your family size, ages, any disability etc. These standard expenses are set out in government regulations. Any excess of income over expenses is used to calculate the amount that you would be expected to contribute towards the cost of any work.
If the cost of the works is less than your contribution figure, you will not receive any grant. If the costs exceed your contribution figure, you will get a grant amounting to the difference between the cost of the works and your contribution.
We can carry out a preliminary means test and let you know the result if you complete and return our grant enquiry form.
Even if you will not receive any money as a result of the means test, there are circumstances when it is worth applying for a grant and having a zero grant approved. This is because any successive grant applications for further works within the next 10 years will take into account the contribution which you have already made under a previous grant.
From 1 January 2018 we no longer require a means test for stairlifts, hoists, low threshold steps, ramps and rails.
Works above £30,000
Where the eligible works will cost more than £30,000, the Council may consider awarding a Disabled Facilities Grant for more than the mandatory £30,000. The level of this discretionary additional grant will be determined following a more detailed assessment of the applicant's financial position. The Council may require repayment of some or all of this additional grant if the property is sold within 10 years of completion of the works (see Grant repayments below).
The council will also approve grants to landlords for adaptations for the benefit of their disabled tenants.
Where the works do not increase the capital value of the property, the grant covers the whole cost of the works (including VAT and fees where applicable) up to the maximum amount of £30,000.
If the works do increase the value of the property, the available grant is for the whole cost of the works less the assessed increase in capital value of the property as a result of the works. This means that the net cost to the landlord is nil.
Other forms of assistance
Where the work does not fall within the categories listed in the introduction above or the grant does not meet the whole cost of the works, the council or the Guildford and Waverley Care & Repair Agency may be able to assist by helping clients to obtain an equity release loan, social services top-up funding, charity funding or other forms of assistance.
If the grant is for works to provide an additional bedroom, bathroom or toilet, the council may apply a condition to the approval to require repayment of part of the grant if you sell or transfer your property within 10 years of completion of the works.
This condition will only apply if the recipient of the grant has an owner's interest in the property.
This condition does not apply to the first £5,000 of any grant and the maximum grant repayment of any mandatory grant is £10,000. This condition will also apply to the whole of any addtional grant above the £30,000 mandatory limit.
Once six full years have passed following the certified date, the council will reduce the amount of grant subject to the repayment condition by 20% after each successive 12 months. For example:
- If the amount of grant was £15,000 and the property is sold 0-6 years after the certified date then the repayable amount is £10,000;
- If the amount of grant was £15,000 and the property is sold 7 years after the certified date then the repayable amount is £8,000.
The council may decide not to require repayment of the grant, or to demand a lesser amount, if one of the following provisions applies:
- The recipient of the grant would suffer financial hardship if he/she is required to repay all or any of the grant.
- The sale or transfer of the premises is to enable the recipient of the grant to take up employment or to change the location of his/her employment.
- The sale or transfer is made for reasons connected with the physical or mental health or well being of the recipient of the grant or of a disabled occupant of the premises.
- The sale or transfer is made to enable the recipient of the grant to live with, or near, any person who is disabled or infirm and in need of care, which the recipient of the grant is intending to provide.
- The sale or transfer is made to enable the recipient of the grant to live with, or near, any person who is intending to provide care of which the recipient of the grant is in need by reason of disability or infirmity.
Where it is impractical to adapt the property for the disabled person's needs or where it is more cost effective for the disabled person to move into a more suitable property, the Council may provide a Relocation Grant to cover costs associated with the move. These include:
- Removal expenses
- Legal costs
- Estate Agents fees
- Mortgage arrangement fees
- Utility connection costs
- Care and Repair fees
Costs associated with the purchase price of a house or furnishings are not eligible.
The maximum amount of a grant is £10,000 and the amount of grant is determined by a means test, as for Disabled Facilities Grants.
Where the proposed accommodation still requires adaptations to make it suitable for the disabled person, these must be within the scope of a DFG and not exceed £20,000 in cost.
Page owner: Paula Mackenzie. Last updated: 16/01/2018 15:37