A Disabled Facilities Grant is a special allowance allocated by the local council to help people to adapt their homes in order to continue to stay there. The point of this grant is to empower people living with disabilities to live comfortably in their own homes without needing to move home and accrue all of the costs and disruptions associated with it.
WHO ARE DISABLED FACILITIES GRANTS FOR?
Before applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant, it’s important to ensure that the claimant is eligible for such a grant. You can make an application either for yourself or another person, who we will call the claimant, provided that you or the claimant have a disability, and are either the owner or tenant of a property and can certify that you intend to occupy the property as your primary residence for the duration of the claim period, which is currently five years. The Disabled Facilities Grant is available in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland for people who fulfil these criteria.
WHAT KIND OF WORK CAN DISABLED FACILITIES GRANTS COVER?
The Disabled Facilities Grant is given when a council deems that a change is necessary to meet the needs of the applicant, as long as the work is both practical and reasonable in cost. It can be used to cover a wide range of adaptations to allow people to get around their own homes comfortably and safely, and as well as providing necessary facilities where needed.
These changes can include a range of works such as the installation of ramps, stairlifts, heating systems, and access adaptations. One such change covered by the grant would certainly be the addition of a home lift to allow you or the claimant to comfortably travel between floors in the home. While stairlifts are usually a smaller addition to make, many people living with disabilities – most notably wheelchair users – lack the mobility to use a stairlift independently, and this is when home lifts are necessary.
USING A DISABLED FACILITIES GRANT FOR A HOME LIFT
Home lifts are exactly the kind of adaptation that the Disabled Facilities Grant was created to cover. Many people living with disabilities struggle to enjoy the freedom of movement in their own homes, and a home lift is a cost-efficient and effective way to enable wheelchair users and other people with mobility problems to use and enjoy their own homes independently and without fear of injury. There is no doubt that applications for grants to cover the costs of installing a home lift are often successful, as the work is often both necessary and reasonable.
HOW MUCH OF THE COST OF A HOME LIFT WILL THE GRANT COVER?
The amount covered by the grant will depend on the cost of the work and your average weekly income unless the grant is for a child under the age of 19, in which case there is no consideration of income. Broadly, the total cost of the work will be covered if your income is less than your assessed needs, and part of the cost of the work may be covered if your income is more than your assessed needs. Eligible grants of up to £25,000 in Northern Ireland, £30,000 in England and £36,000 in Wales must be paid for by the council, with more costly work covered at the council’s discretion. Savings are also taken into consideration when assessing eligibility.
The cost of having a home lift installed in your home depends very much on the lift you choose and the complexity of the work involved to install it. However, the vast majority of home lift installations can be completed under these figures, so in theory, claimants on lower incomes should be eligible to have the full cost of a home lift installation covered by the Disabled Facilities Grant.