Disabled Facilities Grant

If you have care and support needs, adaptations to your home, for example, a stairlift, can make it easier to live there independently for as long as possible.

What is a Disabled Facilities Grant?

The purpose of a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is to enable adults and children with care needs to move around and access their home.

A Disabled Facilities Grant is funding available to individuals to enable adaptations to their home, such as widening doors and installing ramps for wheelchair access, adapting a bathroom or bedroom or making improvements to ensure that individuals can access their garden.

A financial assessment (also known as a means test) is usually required to access this funding. This means your income and savings will be taken into account to determine whether or not a grant can be paid and the amount of contribution (if any) you would need to make.

We will provide you with more information about the means test as part of your application.

Who can apply for a DFG?

You or someone living in your property must have care needs. Either you or the person you’re applying for must:

  • own the property or be a tenant
  • intend to live in the property during the grant period (see local land charge section below)

You can also apply for a grant if you’re a landlord and have a tenant who needs this type of support.

If you are a Solihull Community Housing tenant, there is a separate scheme for adaptations.

What is the application process?

You, or someone acting for you, should call our Solihull Connect Adult Social Care team on 0121 704 8007 and ask about applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant.

We will take your details and ask you about your care needs. If necessary, an Occupational Therapist will then contact you to understand more about your situation. This may involve an assessment of your needs.

The Occupational Therapist will talk to you about the range of options that may help to meet your needs. They may also suggest another form of help such as a loan of equipment or small adaptations to your home, for example, handrails. 

If significant adaptations are recommended following the Occupational Therapist assessment, we will refer your Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) application to Solihull Community Housing who manage this process on behalf of Solihull Council.

The DFG application process

A case worker (who works on your adaptation and keeps you involved) from Solihull Community Housing will be able to support you through each step of the application process.

A financial assessment (also known as a means test) is usually required to access a Disabled Facilities Grant. The Occupational Therapist will be able to take brief financial details and give you an idea of any financial charges, or whether you are eligible for full grant funding of any work.

Discretionary funding (known as discretionary grants) may be available for people in some financial circumstances. Details about discretionary grants are set out in Appendix B of our Housing Assistance Policy. Please contact Solihull Connect Adult Social Care and ask to speak to our Occupational Therapy team who can give you more information about these grants.

If you are in receipt of a means-tested benefit, for example, Universal Credit, or if the work is for a child or young person under the age of 19 where child benefit is received – you will not have to make any contribution towards the cost of the work. 

Once the financial assessment has been carried out and you have agreed that you would like to proceed, drawings will be prepared based on the most suitable adaptation to your home.

Planning permission and/or building regulations approval may be needed and will be completed by the Aids and Adaptations team at Solihull Community Housing.

If you would prefer to make your own arrangements for an adaptation, including funding the work privately, our partners Solihull Community Housing can provide support and advice.

Before the grant can be approved all the paperwork needs to be in place. This includes the application forms, proof of ownership for your home, plans agreed by you and the Occupational Therapist, estimate(s) and Planning Permission/Building Regulations approval (where needed).

Before building work commences there will be a site visit with you and the building company. At this meeting, you should be given an approximate start date and it will be an opportunity to ask any of the questions that you may have about the work and how it will move forwards.

If a grant is approved for more than £5000, it may be repayable in certain circumstances such as your moving house. This would be done by placing what is called a ‘Local Land Charge’ on the property. This charge would stay in place for 10 years from the date the works are completed at your property and would only need to be repaid if you decide to sell the property during this time, subject to the Council’s discretion.

The table below gives you some examples of the amounts you might expect to repay:

Cost of grant Amount to be repaid
Up to £5, 000 Nil
£7, 000 £2, 000
£10, 000 £5, 000
£15, 000 £10, 000
Above £15, 000 £10, 000

 

More detailed information around all aspects of Disabled Facilities Grants and adaptations is available from Solihull Community Housing who manage this process on behalf of the Council.

Useful links

AdaptMyHome allows you to check how well your home supports your needs, and whether you could benefit from some adaptations to help you stay safe and independent.

The Government website also contains more information Disabled Facilities Grants.

The Foundations website also has lots of useful information for Home Improvement Agencies.