Grant-Based Adaptations/ A Beginner's Guide1

Home adaptations can be costly, and it’s not something everyone will have saved for. 

Thankfully, there are grants that can help with the cost of adapting a home to make it more suitable to the needs of the people who live there.

Here, we run through everything you need to know about grant-based adaptations.

What Grants And Funding Are Available?

For both minor and major adaptations, financial help is available. The work needed to be completed to adapt the home space will determine which type of support is most appropriate. 

Grant-based adaptations are within reach!

Disabled Facilities Grant

The Disabled Facilities Grant is paid for by your local authority to help you make major changes to your home if you are disabled, like widening doorways, installing ramps, building an extension or improving garden access.

How much you can get depends on your household income, your savings and where you live in the UK. The grant doesn’t exist in Scotland.

  • In England, the maximum amount is £30,000
  • In Wales, the maximum amount is £36,000
  • In Northern Ireland, the maximum amount is £25,000.

To make grant-based adaptations through an awarded Disabled Facilities Grant, you need to have been assessed by an occupational therapist. 

Local Council

Your local council will be able to help with minor adaptations that are small and low-cost, like installing grab rails, lever taps and short concrete ramps. 

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

Independence at Home

Independence at Home is a charity that awards grants to people who have a physical or learning disability or long-term illness and who are in financial need. The grants vary between £300 and £600, and they only accept applications from health or social care professionals, or advisors or support workers from other organisations or charities.

What Can Grants Help With?

Grant-based adaptations can make all the difference for someone living with reduced mobility levels in their own home. 

Grants can help with both minor and major adaptations.

Minor Adaptations

Adaptations under £1000 can be considered minor. These include things like:

  • Equipment
  • Ramps
  • Grab rails
  • Handrails
  • Lights
  • Hoists

Grant-Based Adaptations: A Beginner's Guide

Major Adaptations

Major adaptations are more significant changes to a home. They require more work and can include structural changes. Examples of these grant-based adaptations include…

Level access shower

How Do I Apply For A Grant For Home Adaptations?

To get started on your grant-based adaptation project, you, your client or your loved one will need to apply directly to the organisation that assesses the applications and awards the funding.

Disabled Facilities Grant

Find and get in touch with your local council here to start the DFG application process.

They may send an occupational therapist or trained assessor to see you so that they can ascertain what changes you reasonably need to be made to your home to improve your quality of life.

Your OT may also provide you with an enquiry form, which will be used to carry out a means test to establish whether you’re able to contribute financially towards any awarded grant. After that, someone from the housing and community services team of your local authority will visit your property to discuss which of the adaptation works are suitable for grant aid.

Your council must give you a decision within 6 months.

Local Authority

For minor adaptations, each local authority has its own process. It is best to check with them directly how to apply for help with minor grant-based adaptations.

You might need to get in touch with an authority’s Adult Social Care Contact Centre to ask for an assessment of your needs by one of their occupational therapists. Or, if you are the health or social care practitioner who has already identified through an assessment that someone requires minor adaptations to help them stay safe and independent at home, you may be able to submit an online request.

What Happens If Your Application Is Declined?

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you are entitled to a grant. It’s as simple as that.

Your local housing authority will assess your income and your savings, and an occupational therapist will assess you and your property to ensure that the proposed changes are deemed necessary and appropriate. 

If you are unhappy with their decision, you can appeal to your local council. And if that doesn’t satisfy your complaint, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman

What Happens Once Your Grant Is Approved?

Your assessment and successful grant application will have included details of the work that’s required. Don’t start any work until you have received your grant approval letter!

The next step is to research contractors and get quotes from those you like the look of. Read our helpful blog on what to look for in an adaptation contractor here.

If you aren’t using an agent to help you organise the work, you’ll need to contact the contractors yourself, but if you are, make sure you check they have received a copy of the approval letter before any work begins. 

Once the works are underway, the specialist builders may find that you need extra work to complete the project successfully. If this happens, you must tell the DFG service straight away because you need permission to include the extra work within your grant.

Grant-Based Adaptations Make Accessibility Affordable

There is help out there for improving the homes of people living with reduced levels of mobility.

Whether you require minor adaptations or large-scale building works, you might be eligible to receive help with funding your project.

Unsure what to expect from a full-home adaptation project? After some advice on which type of ramp will suit your situation? Check out our website and get in touch.