Disabled facilities grants

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Grants for disabled adaptations are available to help you live more comfortably in your own home by providing the necessary alterations to meet your needs.

You may apply for a grant if you are:

  • An owner occupier
  • Living in a privately rented property.

Before applying, you will need to be seen by an Occupational Therapist (OT). The OT will visit your home to carry out an assessment of your needs. Please contact Suffolk County Council to arrange this; call 0800 121 7711 or email ILS@suffolk.gov.uk

Ipswich Borough Council (IBC)work with Suffolk County Council with assisting disabled adaptations. They have developed a service to help disabled residents live at home more independently.

As part of the grant process, IBC will:

  • Provide an online means test so you may assess whether you are likely to be accepted for a financial assistance.
  • As part of the process, IBC will carry out a full statutory means test. IBC will ask you for details of your financial circumstances, so that they can tell you whether you qualify for grant aid and what contribution (if any) you may need to make towards the cost of the work
  • Make an appointment for one of their officers to visit you. The OT may visit with the IBC officer and they will discuss with you what adaptations would be most suitable.

IBC will support you with your application and will visit to:

  • Help with the application form
  • Organise a schedule of works in response to OT recommendations, depending on whether the works are major or minor adaptations, together with details of any other information the Council needs.”
  • Before the Council can approve the grant, we will need the completed application form and the information we have asked for.

Please note, grants will not be paid for works that have already started.

Grants for disabled adaptations are available for works that will help you to remain in your property, such as:

  • Widening doors and installing ramps to make access into and out of your home easier
  • Installing a stair lift
  • Access to bathing and toilet facilities
  • Making a dwelling safe for disabled occupant
  • Providing a room useable for sleeping
  • Facilitating food preparation.

These are only examples. Other works may qualify for a grant, in consultation with Suffolk Social Care Services. If in doubt - please ask.

When applying for a grant for disabled adaptations you will be asked to sign a Certificate of Future Occupation stating that throughout the grant condition period you intend to occupy the property as your only or main residence.

A breach of the conditions may mean that the grant must be repaid.

The grant condition period lasts for:

  •  5 years - if the amount of grant assistance is £4,999 or less
  • 10 years - if the amount of grant assistance is £5,000 or more.

If the grant amount is for a sum of £5,000 or over the Council may demand repayment of the part of the grant that exceeds £5,000 but may not demand an amount in excess of £10,000.

The maximum amount of grant assistance that can be offered is currently £30,000.

Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant

The Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant is a new initiative that provides a better and simplified process to speed up adaptations, removing the need for a means test for minor adaptations. Find out more here

Ipswich Borough Council has introduced more creative and flexible ways to help its residents live independently within their home. A better and more simplified process to speed up adaptations now removes going through a means test for minor adaptations. For the first time the disabled facilities grant opens its door to residents with dementia. If you are unsure whether you could receive help, then please call Ipswich Borough Council and discuss on 01473 432000 or email: environmental.health@ipswich.gov.uk

Applicants can be considered for a Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant when:

• Cost of works is £4,999.99 or less – the most common adaptations are changing bathrooms into wet rooms with a flush floor shower, installing stairlifts or ramping entrances. Where these works cost less than £4,999.99 (including professional fees) the applicant can be considered for a fast track application with no means test. If the costs of works are above £4,999.99 then a traditional Disabled Facilities Grant application will be required along with a means test.

• Cost of works is £4,999.99 or less - providing adequate heating where the medical need of the applicant is likely to be exacerbated by living in a cold home. Where these works cost less than £4,999.99 (including professional fees) the applicant can be considered for a fast track application with no means test. If the costs of works are above £4,999.99 then a traditional Disabled Facilities Grant application will be required along with a means test.

• Cost of works is £4,999.99 or less (including professional fees) - where the person is suffering from a terminal illness the applicant can be considered for a fast tracking adaptation with no means test to enable them to remain at home longer and more comfortably. Grant up to £4,999.99.

• Cost of works is £4,999.99 or less (including professional fees) - Home from hospital – where an applicant cannot be discharged because their home is unsuitable for them to return from hospital, the applicant can be considered for a fast tracking adaptation with no means test. If the costs of works are above £4,999.99 then a traditional Disabled Facilities Grant application will be required along with a means test.

• Cost of works is £4,999.99 or less (including professional fees) – Dementia – The scope of the policy has been extended to include adaptations to assist those with dementia to remain at home. The types of works that may be considered for those with dementia are level access shower, easy to use door locks, colour contrast toilet seat, grab and handrails, colour contrasting light switch covers, colour contrasting toilet/bathroom doors etc. Applicants would be means tested and would need to complete the traditional Disabled Facilities Grant application process. All above applicants are required to demonstrate ownership through a land registry check (done by the Council/ Agency) or, where the property is not registered, by endorsement by solicitor or mortgagee. Where they are tenants, landlord’s consent would be required. **Any multiple applications within 12 months received will be considered on accumulative amount and therefore, will be required to be means tested and will not be considered for fast tracking application. **

Before you apply for a grant you will need to contact Suffolk County Council on 0800 1217711 or email: ILS@suffolk.gov.uk

An Occupational Therapist will assess your needs and make a recommendation if they feel that adaptations to your home would enable you to be independent. IBC will then continue the disabled facilities grant process with you if you are eligible.