Disabled Facilities Grants
The former district (Copeland, Allerdale, and Carlisle) Disabled Facilities Grants policies are currently under review. Cumberland Council will develop a single policy to cover the Cumberland area. The public, partners and customers will be consulted as part of the review and until it is developed and adopted by the council, the current district policies will apply.
What is a Disabled Facilities Grant?
These grants can be used to make changes to your home to help a disabled person live independently, safely and with dignity
How do you assess my needs?
Cumbria County Council assesses what help a disabled person might need at home, and provides practical solutions. This can includes Disabled Facilities Grants.
An Occupational Therapist inspects your home and recommends adaptations to suit your needs.
Provided the work is reasonable and appropriate, and the applicant passes the test of 'financial resources', we will then consider approval of a Disabled Facilities Grant
Who can get a grant?
Disabled Facilities Grants are available to homeowners, owners of qualifying houseboats, owners of qualifying park homes, tenants of private landlords and tenants of housing associations. Grants are also available for adaptations to the common parts of shared buildings.
The grants can also fund work to improve the homes of disabled children, and these are not means tested.
We work closely with housing associations to make sure they can help tenants remain in their own homes, and that they have policies and funds to complement our work in regards to adaptations or relocation.
What can a grant cover?
Some of the types of changes the Disabled Facilities Grants could fund include:
Work to aid entry and exit from a building, for example ramps
Things to improve access inside the home, for example a stair lift
Provision of accessible kitchen and bathroom facilities
Access to suitable sleeping facilities
How are grants funded?
We are given money each year by the Government to use for these grants, or to help fund a move to a home that may be more suitable.
We ensure the budget for Disabled Facilities Grants work is distributed based on need, and we review it each year.
What level of grant can I get?
We have a statutory obligation to fund eligible works up to £30,000 (this includes architects' fees and any other professional charges), subject to means testing. Householders may be required to make a contribution to the work. We will inform you of any contribution required before work starts so you can decide whether to continue.
Where the adaptation is for a child, there is no means testing.
Will I have to repay my grant if I sell the property?
If you own the property and your grant was more than £5,000, we will place a land charge against the property. This means that if you sell the home within 10 years, we may recover some of the grant we paid. Further details of this can be found in our DFG Policy or you can contact us for more information.
What information/evidence do you need?
As well as the Occupational Therapist's recommendation, we would take into account:
Your financial circumstances – we will need to see evidence of this
The cost of the work
The time the work is likely to take.
The suitability of your home for adaptation (including the extent of any under occupation or over occupation)
The practicalities of adapting your home (taking into account both the site it sits on and its wider location)
The likely need for future adaptations
The availability of and eligibility for suitable alternative accommodation. Applicants would not be forced to move home, but decisions may have to be made by Adult Social Care and council officers, for example a single person in a four-bedroomed housing association house may be asked to move rather than adapt the property. Applications will be assessed on a case-by case basis.
The extent to which the adaptation(s) make appropriate use of the funding available to the council
Eligibility for a Disabled Facilities Grant is set by legislation. The availability of a grant is dependent on all four of the following criteria being met:
The works being necessary and appropriate
The works being reasonable and practicable
The applicant's mean tested contribution being less than the approved value of the grant.
The applicant must be classed as ‘chronically sick and disabled,’ as assessed by an Occupational Therapist.
Clients who are not eligible for a grant will be given advice and assistance.
How do I apply?
Applications should be made through an Occupational Therapist. Please contact Adult Social Care on 0300 303 3589 (pressing option 2 for Copeland) or via cumbria.gov.uk/adultsocialcare