Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG)
If you or someone living in your property is disabled, you may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant to make your home more accessible.
Value of the DFG
Up to £50,000.
You will have to complete a Test of Resources (means test) so that we make sure our help goes to those in the most financial need. If the adaptation is for a child or young person aged 19 or under in full time education, there is no means test. If you receive an income-related benefit, there may be no means test.
Who is eligible for a DFG
Disabled people living in Cheshire East, regardless of whether they own or rent their home or live with someone else, so long as, to the best of your knowledge, you plan on staying in your home for the next five years.
The applicant must be the owner or tenant of the property - so if the adaptation is for a child, their parent or guardian would apply for the grant.
Works the DFG will pay for
Adaptations that meet one or more of the following criteria:
- to make it easier to get into and out of the home
- to make the home safe for the disabled person and other occupants
- to provide access to, and within, the main family room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom (or washing facilities) or garden
- to improve or provide a heating system, or to adapt heating or lighting controls
- to improve access and movement around the home for a disabled carer
The DFG will only pay for the adaptations that we assess as necessary and appropriate, and are the most cost effective. An occupational therapist will assess your needs and will work in an incremental way, to make sure that we don't 'over-provide' adaptations and undermine your independence.
You can top-up the grant to carry out extra works or to adapt your home in a different way, so long as the adaptations meet your assessed needs.
For example, if your needs can be met within the existing floor space by converting a ground floor room into a bedroom (say, £10,000) but you decide that you want an extension instead (say, £22,000), we would contribute the equivalent value of converting the ground floor room, and you would pay the rest. In this example, we would pay £10,000 and you would pay £12,000.
Information needed for the Test of Resources
We will need a copy of your most recent award letter if you receive one of the following welfare benefits:
- Pension Credit Guarantee
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit (with an assessable income of no more than £15,050)
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Universal Credit.
If you don't receive any of these welfare benefits, we will need to see evidence of all income, savings, capital and relevant outgoings.
- By income we mean all earnings, pensions, disability benefits, carers benefits, maintenance payments, rental income from tenants or lodgers, student grants and loans, and any other payments that you receive.
- By savings we mean all bank, building society and post office accounts, cash savings, premium bonds, stocks and shares, and any other investments.
- By capital we mean any land, property or businesses that you own.
- By relevant outgoings we mean contributions to student grants and loans and child care charges.
Help to top-up the grant
If you are a homeowner, we have an Independent Living Loan which can be used to help with extra works or to pay your means test contribution.
If the works aren't feasible, for example they can't be carried out in your property or it would be too costly, we offer a Disability Relocation Grant to help with the cost of moving to a more suitable home.
The Care and Repair service has links with a number of charities and may be able to help you to raise the funding to pay your means test contribution, depending on your individual circumstances.
Repaying the DFG
If you are a homeowner and you sell or transfer your home within ten years, you may have to repay up to £10,000.
To calculate how much you need to repay, we disregard the original value of any lifts or hoists that we are able to remove and recycle for use by someone else. If the grant still exceeds £5,000, we will disregard the first £5,000 and ask you to pay back the rest of the grant, up to a maximum of £10,000.
For example, if you had a grant for £7,500 you would repay £2,500. If you had a grant for £18,000 you would repay £10,000.
How you apply for a DFG
There are two ways you can apply for a DFG:
- Contact the Occupational Therapy team on 0300 123 5010 option 2. They will assess your needs and then, if they think an adaptation is needed, they will pass your case to the Housing Standards and Adaptations team for the DFG application. You can use our Care and Repair service to help you to organise drawings and quotes, apply for the grant and oversee the work once the grant is approved.
- You can apply directly to the Housing Standards and Adaptations team. Your application must include details of the premises to be adapted, the work to be carried out (including planning permission and building regulations approval if necessary), at least two itemised quotes from contractors, proof of ownership and/or consent of all owners, and details of any fees to be included in the grant. We will then carry out the means test and ask an occupational therapist to assess your needs. We can provide you with a standard application form.
- Staff delivering the Care and Repair service can give you information about the means test, and give you support with carrying out repairs and adaptations.
- Referral and Advice Team - for an Occupational Therapist assessment - phone 0300 123 5010 option 2.
- If you don't qualify for a grant but would like advice about adapting your home or employing a reputable builder, the Care and Repair service can help.
- The Orbitas Handyperson service can help you with very small alterations to your home, such as extra hand rails on the stairs, grab rails and alterations to steps.
- AskSARA is a useful tool from the Disabled Living Foundation with advice and information about products that make daily living easier.