According to the disability charity Scope, people living with a disability come up against £583 of extra monthly costs due to their impairment. (The full report makes a fascinating read; you can find it here).

That’s a big number. 

Even bigger when you consider that it’s the low end of the spectrum. Costs vary from person to person depending on their condition and what specialist equipment and home adaptations they need.

Individuals who need to make their homes more accessible or make specialist purchases to go about their days may be able to access financial help. And yet, finding funding can feel frustrating and stressful.

So we’ve listed some of the help that’s out there to make things a little easier for you.

Major vs Minor Adaptations

Funding available for changing the home space of patients or customers depends on what needs to be done.

Minor Adaptations

Examples of minor adaptations include the installation of grab rails and lever taps. These changes tend to be small and low-cost. 

In England, the local authority will pay for any minor adaptations costing under £1000 for individuals who qualify. In other parts of the UK, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of the adaptations.

Major Adaptations And The Disabled Facilities Grant

Major adaptations include changes such as installing a ground floor wet room and widening doorways. Adaptations falling under this category are more complex to carry out and are more expensive.

To access funding for major adaptations, individuals will usually need to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant, paid for by their local authority. This involves the individual in question being assessed by an occupational therapist.

How much you can get for a Disabled Facilities Grant depends on where in the UK you live. The maximum amount in England is £30,000, which increases to £36,000 in Wales but is £25,000 in Northern Ireland. This particular grant doesn’t exist in Scotland.

VAT Exemption 

Some adaptations, specialist equipment and services may qualify for VAT relief. Because applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, it’s tricky to determine who can claim what.

Individuals must be chronically sick or disabled to be deemed eligible, and it’s important to note that only adaptations for ‘domestic or personal use’ are considered for zero rating. Types of adaptations and equipment that might be covered by the scheme include stair and chairlifts designed for wheelchair users, toileting supports and mechanically adjustable beds.

Read more about what to expect from the scheme here.

Charity Support

As well as the NHS and your local council, many charity organisations can help secure funding for building work and specialist equipment.

A few organisations worth getting in touch with are:

  • The Edward Gostling Foundation: They fund registered charities that support low-income individuals who are living with a disability or long-term illness.
  • Mobility Trust: Focus on raising funds to supply powered mobility equipment to those who can’t otherwise access it.
  • Barchester’s Charitable Foundation: They connect or re-connect people with others in their local community. 

And don’t forget to check out the Turn2us website. This free service helps people understand and gain access to welfare benefits, grants and other help.

Council Tax Reduction

Any adaptations a patient or customer makes to their home may elevate their property from one council tax band into another. When this happens, they might qualify for the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme.

The scheme aims to ensure disabled people don’t pay more council tax simply because they live in a larger property than they would have needed if they weren’t disabled.

Need Help To Find Funding?

Sourcing the finance for essential equipment and changes to the home can feel confusing and frustrating, but the John Ford Group is here to help. Talk to our friendly team today for expert advice.