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Disabled facilities grants

Disabled facilities grants

If you or someone in your home is disabled you may qualify for help towards the cost of providing adaptations to provide safe access into and around the house for a disabled occupier.

Disabled facilities grants (DFG) are mandatory grants however, before the council can accept a grant application we will need a referral from an occupational therapist or community care worker following an assessment of the needs of the disabled person.

To request an assessment please call Derbyshire County Council on 01629 533190. 

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What type of work is eligible for a disabled facilities grant?

Disabled facilities grants are given for essential adaptations over £1000 in value that give a disabled person better access into their home and freedom of movement around, and use of their home, such as:

  • Getting in and out of the property
  • Access to the living room/bedroom
  • Access to a toileting/bathing facilities
  • Preparing and cooking food
  • Improving or providing heating if needed by the disabled person

 The local authority must however, assess whether the works are ‘necessary and appropriate’ to meet the needs of the disabled person, and then if those works are ‘reasonable and practicable’ given the age and condition of the property. The council can refuse a grant if it believes the scheme does not fit these criteria

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Who can apply for a disabled facilities grant?

You can apply for a disabled facilities grant (DFG) if you are:

  • a private tenant (or lodger) of a property or a Housing Association tenant
  • the owner of a property
  • intend to become the owner of a property.

If the owner makes the application, they must complete a certificate stating that they intend to remain living there for 5 years.  If the applicant isn’t yet the owner, the local authority can’t approve the grant until the sale has completed.

If the tenant makes the application, they must complete a certificate stating that intend to remain living there for 5 years.

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Landlords permission

A tenant will need to have permission from their landlord for the adaptations to take place.

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Minimum and maximum levels of disabled facilities grant

For minor works relating to aids and equipment that are under £1000 in value please contact Derbyshire County Council on 01629 533190. This work is not funded via disabled facilities grants.

The maximum mandatory disabled facilities grant (DFG) is £30,000 which is set by the government.

If the cost of the work exceeds £30,000, the applicant may have to source alternative funding for the costs that exceed £30,000.

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Will I have to contribute to the cost of the works?

Adults

The amount of grant, other than those for disabled children, will depend on your income and savings and assets.

If you are in receipt of any of the following, you will not have to contribute towards the works:

  • Council Tax Support
    • Income Support
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not contribution-based ESA)
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not contribution-based JSA)
    • Guarantee Pension Credit (not Savings Pension Credit alone)
    • Housing Benefit
    • Working Tax Credit and or Child Tax Credit. Provided that the annual income for the purposes of assessing entitlement to the tax credit is less than £15,050
    • Universal Credit. This includes any Universal Credit which is being introduced from 2013 onwards as a replacement for working age benefits and tax credits.

If you are not in receipt of one of the above listed benefits, a means test will be carried out. The means test will look at the income and capital (for example, savings and investments) and assets of the disabled person and their spouse or partner.

This means that your share of the cost may range from nothing at all, to the full cost of the work.

Children up to the age of 19 where Child Benefit is in payment

Parents applying for a disabled facilities grant for a disabled child or young person under the age of 19 and in receipt of Child Benefit will not be means tested

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The disabled facilities grant process

When Chesterfield Borough Council are in receipt of a referral from Derbyshire County Councils social care team and are happy that it meets the criteria listed above, it will be passed to the disability design team at Derbyshire County Council, who act as our agents and they will obtain all necessary permissions, prepare any drawings, obtain prices from experienced contractors, and order and supervise the works.

 If however, you decide that you wish to appoint your own architects and contractors please contact the private sector housing team to discuss further.

When the necessary drawings and permissions have been received from the disability design team, a private sector housing officer from Chesterfield Borough Council will visit you to complete the grant applications forms and carry out a final financial means test.  At this point the officer will need to see proof of the income you receive.

When the forms have been satisfactorily completed, a grant approval document will be issued.  At this point the disability design team will arrange a convenient date for the works to start.

The grant can’t be approved if works have already started or are already complete, prior to issue of a grant approval.

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How will the disabled facilities grant be paid?

The council may pay the grant in instalments as the work progresses or make one payment once all the work has been completed.

Your grant will only be fully paid when the council is satisfied that the work has been satisfactorily completed in accordance with the grant approval and on receipt of an invoice, appropriate safety certificates, warranties and completion notices.

The completed works must also fully meet the needs of the disabled person, as specified by the occupational therapist.

The grant is either paid directly to Derbyshire County Council, or direct to the contractor, if you have appointed your own contractor.

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What if I sell my property?

On completion of the grant a local land charge is placed on the property which is activated if the property is sold within 10 years of grant completion.

The local housing authority may demand the repayment by the recipient of such part of the grant that exceeds £5000 (but may not demand an amount in excess of £10,000) if  the recipient disposes (whether by sale, assignment, transfer or otherwise) of the premises in respect of which the grant was given within 10 years of the certified date.

In making a decision to require repayment of grant, the council will take into account the following and be satisfied that it is reasonable considering the circumstances to require the repayment.

(i) the extent to which the recipient of the grant would suffer financial hardship were they to be required to repay all or any of the grant;

(ii)  whether the disposal of the premises is to enable the recipient of the grant to take up employment, or to change the location of his employment;

(iii)  whether the disposal 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; and

(iv)  whether the disposal 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, or who is intending to provide care of which the recipient of the grant is in need by reason of disability or infirmity.

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Further help

For further help and advice please contact us:

Telephone: 01246 345748

Email: hia@chesterfield.gov.uk

By post:

Private Sector Housing Team,
Chesterfield Borough Council,
Town Hall,
Rose Hill,
Chesterfield,
S40 1LP

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Last updated on 04 March 2020