If you’ve been doing your research, you’ll know that adapting your home is expensive. The good news is that there are different ways to access financial help, and the Disability Facilities Grant is there to remove or reduce the cost for you.

Here’s our guide on what it is and what you can use it for.

What Is The Disability Facilities Grant?

The Disability Facilities Grant is a government-run scheme designed to help you meet the cost of adapting your home for improved accessibility. The scheme currently runs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland.  

Anyone with a permanent disability can apply, including learning disabilities, mental illness and physical disabilities, regardless of whether they are a homeowner or a tenant.

If you are successful in receiving the grant, you can use it for or put it towards a wide range of different domestic adaptations to make living in your home easier. These could be essential changes like widening doorways, installing ramps and stairlifts and adapting a bedroom to better meet your needs and enable you to continue to live at home.

How Do You Apply For A DFG?

The Housing or Environmental Health department of your local council should provide you with an application form for the DFG. It’s possible to apply directly for the grant or through a referral.

Before you make a start on the paperwork, however, you’re going to need an occupational therapist assessment. That’s because your OT’s recommendations provide proof that the changes you want to make are indeed essential to your well-being. Some people choose to pay for a private assessment rather than wait to be referred to an NHS OT.

Your OT will be able to explain the ins and outs of applying for a DFG and will have a sound knowledge of local waiting times. They may also be able to help you fill out the application form. Sometimes, the council can ask for structural surveys or planning permissions to be sorted before the application is made, depending on the nature of the adaptations.

Your local council has a maximum of six months to decide whether to award you a DFG or not. Make sure to check in with them to check how your claim is progressing. Once you’ve got the go-ahead, you can start to get the adaptations made. As work is completed, your local council will check it over. The grant money is typically paid to you in instalments during this process.

Is The DFA Repayable?

As a general rule, no. Anyone applying for a DFG must sign a certificate to say they intend to stay there for at least five years, and that’s that.

However, if you are a homeowner and your grant comes in at more than £5k, there’s a chance you’ll be asked to repay a portion of it if you move home within 10 years.

What Can I Do With The DFA?

The rules of the Disability Facilities Grant stipulate that any suggested changes must be ‘necessary to meet your needs’. This covers a vast range of different adaptations. We’ve grouped some examples below into minor and major works for easy reference.

Minor Adaptations


Grab rails

Replacement taps, doorknobs and lightswitches

Major Adaptations


Walk-in shower

Through-floor lifts

Ceiling track hoists

Wider doors

Wheelchair ramp

Officers from your local council will check over your OT’s suggestions and assess what is considered essential. 

How Much Is The DFA?

The maximum amount you can be awarded is £30,000 in England, £36,000 in Wales and £25,000 in Northern Ireland, and the scheme doesn’t run at all in Scotland. It’s important to note that the grant is only paid once the local council is happy with the work itself and that it has been completed following the grant rules.

You’ll notice that we’ve mentioned the maximum amount payable, and that’s because the actual amount of DFG that you get depends on the financial situation of the disabled person, as well as their partner. It’s a means-tested grant, similar to how Universal Credit works. And the same rule applies regardless of who has applied for the grant, meaning if a landlord sends the forms off because they have a disabled tenant, it’s still the income and savings of the disabled person that is taken into account. 

In every case, savings over £6k, income and outgoings are assessed, but for families with a disabled child, the grant is not means-tested. If the total falls below the test limits, no contribution towards the cost of the works is required, but if they sit higher, the disabled person is required to contribute. 

Are There Other Grants I Can Apply For?

As well as the DFG, there are other ways you can access financial help for domestic modifications.

For aids and minor adaptations, your local council can put up the money as long as the aid or adaptation doesn’t cost more than £1k. 

Your local authority can also help you with repair, improvement and adaptation under the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002. This might look like a loan, grant, equipment or even advice, and should help you to find accommodation and adapt it. Contact your local housing department for more details. 

Reduce Or Remove Money Worries With The DFA

The Disability Facilities Grant exists to help you cover the cost of adaptations you need to lead a better quality of life. Don’t be afraid to apply for it!

Are you in the throes of adapting your home and wondering what you can do for the outside areas? Read our blog Outside Adaptations – What You Should Consider.