If you or someone living in your home is disabled you may qualify for grant assistance towards the cost of providing the adaptations or improvements needed to enable you or the disabled person to continue living there. Known as a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) they are available to help with the provision of a number of facilities such as access to and from your home, scooter stores, stairlifts, access around the home such as door widening, replacement of baths with level access showers or wet rooms, the provision of ground floor facilities and improvements to lighting and heating.
This list is not exhaustive but nor is it restrictive and in determining exactly what adaptations are needed the Council MUST consult with the Social Services Authority. In this case that would be a County Council Occupational Therapist (OT). No matter how your referral is received at the Council for grant assistance, whether through your doctor, community nurse, social services or you yourself, before one can be approved an OT will have to visit the disabled person in their own home to agree with them exactly what works are necessary and appropriate to enable them to remain safely within their home.
As with many such packages of assistance all grant applications are subject to a means test. This will include both the disabled person and their spouse or partner. It is intended to identify how much, if anything they must contribute to the costs of the work. Children under the age of 19 and those already on a means tested benefit are exempt from the means test and following receipt of appropriate documentation should automatically be passported through the process.
The amount of grant funding is the figure calculated to meet the cost of the works over and above the applicant's contribution to a maximum of £30,000. We regret that a grant cannot be paid for work, which has started or been completed prior to approval. Where a contribution has to be made and the applicant cannot self fund, under certain circumstances further assistance may be available from the Council in the form of loans.
Further to this "Top up" grants and or loans may be available from Surrey County Council. To find out what is available you should speak directly to your OT.
In some circumstances it may be more suitable to actually move to a new home that already meets the required needs and this may be much better than adapting the existing property. For example if you live in a house and because of your disability you need bathing and toileting facilities on the ground floor you may instead prefer to move into a ground floor flat, bungalow or house which already has these facilities. The amount of grant assistance available would then be diverted into assisting you with the cost of the move to a maximum of £10,000.