Disabled facilities grants
Disabled facilities grants (DFGs) are available to qualifying disabled home owners, private tenants, tenants of registered providers (housing associations) and qualifying houseboat or park home owners.
What is a disabled facilities grant?
A DFG is a grant that qualifying disabled people can apply for to help pay for major adaptations to their home. A major adaptation is classed as an adaptation that costs more than £1,000 that helps people with access into and around their home and to basic amenities such as bathing. The grant is available through West Lancashire Borough Council following an Occupational Therapy assessment which is carried out by Lancashire County Council.
The grant is means-tested so all applicants must provide details of their income and any savings. However, if the adaptations are for a child, a young person aged under 19 or an adult in receipt of certain benefits, these applications will be exempt from the means test.
What can the grant be used to pay for?
An Occupational Therapist will recommend the type of adaptations that are needed. As a guide, adaptations can be used to:
- Allow access into the dwelling e.g. by providing a ramp
- Allow access into and around the dwelling including access to a garden e.g. by widening doors
- Allow access to toilet and bathing facilities e.g. by adapting a bathroom
When applying for a grant, there are terms and conditions that you will need to agree to. You will be provided with a copy of these terms and conditions before you apply for the grant.
Do I have to pay the grant back?
If you sell your home within 10 years of the date the work was completed, you will have to pay back the amount of grant that exceeds £5,000 but you will not have to pay back more than £10,000. For example, if the amount of grant was £6,000, you would have to pay back £1,000 as the first £5,000 is disregarded.
How do I arrange for the work to be carried out?
The Council offers an agency service to all grant applicants. The agency service will complete the grant application process for you, arrange for a builder to complete the work, supervise the work and arrange for the grant amount to be paid to the builder on satisfactory completion. There is a charge for this service.
Alternatively, you can find your own builder to do the work. If you choose to find your own builder, the Council must be satisfied that they are reputable and suitably qualified. The Council will also tell you the amount it feels is reasonable to cover the cost of the works. If your builder's costs are higher than the amount set by the Council, you will have to pay the difference to the builder.
How do I apply for a grant?
The first thing you must do is contact Lancashire County Council Social Services on 0300 123 6720 and tell them you need adaptations in your home. Lancashire County Council will then carry out an assessment of your needs.
If you need minor aids such as grab rails, these will be provided by Lancashire County Council. If you need major adaptations, an Occupational Therapist will visit you to determine what is needed. A referral will then be sent to West Lancashire Borough Council and we will be asked to assess whether you are eligible for a DFG.
How long will I wait?
Once we have received the referral from Lancashire County Council, we will prioritise your application based on the level of priority it has been given by the Occupational Therapist. Referrals are either Priority or Standard. We aim to complete Priority cases within 83 working days and Standard cases within 151 working days.
If you require major works such as internal alterations or an extension, the work will take longer as building regulations and planning permission may be needed.
If you are a tenant of West Lancashire Borough Council, you will not need to apply for a DFG as the Council funds adaptations for its own tenants. You will still need to have your needs assessed by Lancashire County Council before the Council can agree to any adaptations being carried out. The Council may also discuss moving you to a more suitable property if the recommended adaptations to your home will be very expensive.