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Disabled Facilities Grants

Disabled Facilities Grants for home adaptations

Click to go straight to more information on:

• What you need to know about DFGs

• How much you may receive

• How to apply

• New DFG professional portal

DFGs – a cost-effective intervention

More than 40,000 people a year receive a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to adapt their home, make it safe and accessible.

This figure is expected to rise to 85,000 by the end of the decade, with an increase in government funding.

It is a very cost-effective intervention, which helps to reduce hospital admissions and speed up discharges; cut domiciliary care costs; and delay the necessity to move into residential care.

Research has found that people who have had grant-funded adaptations and subsequently move into care, do so some four years later than those who have not had adaptations carried out.

Yet older and disabled people who could be eligible are still often unaware of the existence of DFGs, and provision is patchy.
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Many DFGs are delivered by Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs)

DFGs are awarded by local authorities, and more than half of the total are delivered by home improvement agencies (HIAs), also known as Care & Repair, a network of 200 organisations across England which are either based in local authorities or housing associations, or else function as standalone charities.

You can find your nearest branch by visiting the umbrella group website, Foundations (it will open in a new browser window)

The Disabled Facilities Grant became part of the Better Care Fund (BCF) in 2014.
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Widening the scope of grant expenditure

In some areas, notably Knowsley, Cornwall, and Ealing in London, the joining-up of services through the BCF has led to significant beneficial results.

The latest comprehensive spending review promised a continued DFG funding stream for the next five years, from £395 million in 2015-16; £431 million in the current year, 2017-18; through to £500 million in 2019-20.

Some local authorities are now using this funding more innovatively, through a mechanism known as the Regulatory Reform Order 2002. This gives local authorities a general power to introduce policies to help people with repairs and adaptations to their homes, either through grants or loans.

Increasing the range of adaptations available under the Disabled Facilities Grants legislation is one way it can be used.
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Some examples of DFG funds used flexibly to keep people safe and well at home

Hospital Discharge Grants can pay for the sort of tasks that can enable someone to be safely discharged after treatment. So this might be anything from boiler repairs to decluttering and deep cleaning.

They can be used for Safe and Secure Grants, supplied to low income homeowners and tenants, to pay for minor adaptations or repairs to reduce accidents and promote independence. Sometimes, Safe and Secure Grants are only available alongside a DFG.

Handyperson services can also be funded. Amongst the tasks commonly paid for are accident prevention checks and subsequent minor repairs; security checks and subsequent installation of locks, door chains and spy holes; small building repairs and adaptations.

Making homes dementia-friendly – the Prime Minister may have changed, but the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge is still ongoing. Using DFG funds to support people with dementia to live at home safely for as long as possible is one of the features of the programme.

If it isn’t possible to adapt a person’s home to make it safe and accessible for them, a relocation grant can help with moving to another, more suitable property.

Where the works proposed for a Disabled Facilities Grant cost more than the maximum allowed, the local authority may in some instances “top up” from other resources. In the past, this would mean a separate application with different criteria, but with the DFG integrated into the Better Care Fund, a single, streamlined application is possible.

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What you need to know about DFGs

• You can apply for a grant to adapt your home, so that you can continue to live there.

• Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) are awarded by the local authority if they judge that your home needs adapting in order to meet your needs, and that the necessary works are both reasonable and practical.

• You can apply whether you are a homeowner or tenant; but you need to be able to certify that you intend to occupy the premises as your only, or main, residence throughout the grant period, which is currently five years.

• A landlord can apply on behalf of their tenant.

• Disabled Facilities Grants can be used to pay for works such as widening doorways and installing ramps for wheelchair access; improving or installing a suitable heating system; altering heating or lighting controls; providing access to bathroom facilities, either by means of a stair lift or a new ground floor bathroom; improving access to and around the home to make it easier to care for a disabled resident.

• An occupational therapist (OT) will visit your home to assess your needs and the adaptations required.
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How much is a Disabled Facilities Grant?

• The amount of grant you get will vary, depending on your income, any savings, and what the council assesses as reasonable financial outgoings (actual expenditure is not considered). Unless you are applying for a grant in respect of a child who is under 19, in which case it will not be means-tested in this way.

• Savings under £6000 are disregarded. If you have a partner, your joint income will be assessed. Some benefits, such as Income Support and Disability Living Allowance, are also disregarded for the purpose of calculating the grant. The amount of grant could be anywhere from zero to 100% of the cost of the works.

• The maximum amount of Disabled Facilities Grant that councils are obliged to pay is £30,000 in England, per application, and £36,000 per application in Wales. They do have the discretion to pay more, if the eligible works cost more than this sum. In Scotland, there is a different system, and Scottish residents should contact their local social services department, to find out what grants are available.

• If you receive a Disabled Facilities Grant, it won’t have an effect on any other benefits you receive.
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How to apply?

• To apply, contact the housing department or environmental health department at your local authority, and ask them to send you an application form. Not sure of your local authority? You can identify it by putting in your postcode on this page on the DirectGov website. It is very important that you don’t start any work before you are awarded your grant. The council must give you a decision within 6 months of the date you apply. If the works are major, you will also need to apply for planning permission and/or building regulations approval.

• The grant may either be paid in full when the work has been satisfactorily completed, or it may be paid in instalments at agreed stages during the works. The council may give you a cheque, or pay the contractor directly. You agree these arrangements with the council at the outset.

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Foundations professional web portal for Disabled Facilities Grants

As part of a drive to reduce delays in processing Disabled Facilities Grants, Foundations, the umbrella group for Home Improvement Agencies, has launched a web portal to bring home adaptation surveyors and  contractors together.

The DFG Tenders – Home Adaptation Portal uses an advanced customer relationship management platform to speed up the process of awarding contracts.

Following a pilot scheme with 20 HIAs, it is now fully operational.

It currently takes an average of 34 weeks from assessment to completion of works. The portal immediately cuts that by four weeks, and is expected to speed things up further, as it streamlines the process and allows surveyors to handle more DFG projects.

The prototype was first developed by Foundations’ director Paul Smith while he was working at Cannock Chase District Council, when it won a Home Improvements Innovations and Achievement Award.

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How the portal works: a step-by-step guide

1. Schedule of standard works items is produced for standard adaptations
2. Local builders submit prices for each item
3. Surveyor inputs quantities for each job
4. System generates instant quotes from every contractor
5. Surveyor chooses successful quote, creating instant email to contractor
6. Contractor completes job and can take photos of the work and upload them to the portal for the surveyor to view

You can see a video that describes how the DFG Tenders – Home Adaptation Portal works on the Foundations website here (link will open in a new browser window)

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Some key statistics about Disabled Facilities Grants

• about 40,000 people a year receive a grant to help adapt their home

• people aged over 60 account for 71% of grants

• 22% go to those aged between 20 and 60, and 7% to children and young people

• Most grants go to owner-occupiers (61%), followed by those in social housing (32%) and private rented accommodation (7%)

• The average grant is £7,255, with 58% at £5,000 or less

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Further reading and resources

DFG analytics – benchmarking and measuring quality

Who is providing excellence in Disabled Facilities Grants? Check out the finalists for the Healthy Housing Awards here

More funds have been allocated to provision of DFGs – you can read about it here

How long should you wait for a DFG? Ombudsman’s judgement on Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

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64 Replies to “Disabled Facilities Grants”

    AvatarTony says:

    I am a 55 male..I was assulted by my social worker and for all the thanks from there dept and police ..iv had my confideniality broken and inhouse builders say they wont come to my house managers and s.s workers both key to exspect to be payed for doing nothing over the 4 years of waiting…told to find my own builders and submit my own plans and daughter forced to deal on my behalf as banned from talking direct with them..i then find a builder WHO was told look £40.000 is the limit for dfg he only goes and wacks me stupid with a £62.000 bill..excuse me im disabled nt stupid even someone who drug deals cant earn that sum of money how could they exspect me with only my own family with 2 of my children with special needs to find £62.000..even more so nt even on my house its housein assoiation ..because i need wife in same room who is also my unpaid carer i need a big enough exstention for my power chair and hoist system……iv never been aboused if other goverment was in sick off it…..need help please…

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Tony
    You sound like you’re in a really difficult situation, but unfortunately it’s not something Independent Living would be able to help with – we are just an information website. I recommend that you get in touch with your local citizens advice bureau and see what they suggest.
    Good luck and best wishes,

    AvatarKevin Hornsby says:

    We have two disabled children and we have already had some work carried out by the council (wet room, though lift and widening of some doors – total spend £24.000). Our children are both in wheelchairs but are obviously growing and getting bigger. As a result the wet room and the children two bedrooms are now becoming far too small. In fact it’s become increasingly difficult to safely bathe them and move them when upstairs. There’s hardly any room to manoeuvred the wheelchairs into their bedrooms and the wet room. As a result we have requested an extension (bearing in mind that we have only used half of what is available – £30.000 per child). The council are doing everything they can to prevent this (suggesting we use our downstairs utility which is next to the kitchen as a wet room. Where we are supposed to out our washer, dishwasher and dryer plus al our daughters feed (she’s peg fed) I don’t. There’s lots of other unrealistic and ludicrous suggestions that have been made. We have even considered moving house but that’s something we don’t want to do due to upheaval/expense etc. We were even told that if we did and reapplied for adaptations in our new property they would only grant us £10.000! Our children will soon be adults but the adaptation we have are for children. We are totally frustrated and are considering taken are care to the Ombudsman. Your thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Kevin
    I’m sorry to hear of the difficult living conditions your family is struggling with.
    Before going to the ombudsman, you first need to exhaust the council’s own complaints procedure. You should find details of this on their website.
    You can also complain to the council’s monitoring officer if you feel that the attempts to frustrate your application for a DFG are causing the council to be in breach of their legal duties. The monitoring officer is independent, and has a statutory obligation to investigate any incident of alleged unlawfulness brought to their attention. You can read more here
    If these measures are unsuccessful, you then have the ombudsman as the final arbiter.
    Good luck and best wishes,

    AvatarAmanda says:

    My mother had a grant and the work was completed in my house for her in august 2016. She unfortunately passed away in January 2021 and I am currently selling my house. Will I need to pay back the grant money on her behalf as she hasn’t lived in the house for the full five years

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Amanda
    Technically, councils can ask for part repayment of a DFG over £5000 if the adapted property is sold within ten years. I think that given your mother lived there for nearly the whole five year period, it would be rather harsh for them to do so. £10,000 is what they can claim against the property. You will be able to see whether they have put a charge on your house at the land registry – ask the solicitor who is handling your sale. If so, it’s probably better to get in touch sooner rather than later, and negotiate a solution.
    Good luck and best wishes,

    AvatarAmanda says:

    Hi they have decided to charge me 😔

    AvatarFrances says:

    I’m so sorry, Amanda. Try challenging them – you never know, you might get somewhere…
    Good luck!

    AvatarGlenda Fewtrell says:

    Hello, my 88 year old mom has been living with us for 3 years as she sadly suffers from dementia and could no longer live alone. Her OT recommended ground floor sleeping and bathing as her mobility is extremely poor and she struggled with stairs, she is also epileptic so could not use a stairlift. The grant was approved well over twelve months ago but because of covid, things understandably have taken much longer to start. It was agreed the garage would be converted to meet her needs and the work is due to start 1st March. My question is during the delay and really over just the last few weeks, moms mental state has deteriorated dramatically, I will not let her go into a home unless I really have no choice but because of her deterioration, I’m thinking that she may need to go into more specialist care within the next couple of years, if that happens, would I be expected to pay back some of the DFG. I’m 62 and had to give up working to look after my mom and my husband also retired at 63 to help me look after her so we live on only our private pension with little savings. If we do have to pay back an anount, I may have to consider stopping the work. I’m always completely honest about everything and feel if mom does have to go into a home within the 5 year period, I can’t be left with a debt. I thank you for your advice, I have left messages for my own authority to come back to me on my query but so far they haven’t responded. Kindest regards

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Glenda
    I don’t think this is something you need to be worrying about. What the regulations say is that “the disabled person must have lived, or be intending to live, in the property in question for at least five years, or for such a shorter period as their health and other relevant circumstances permit. So if your mother did have to move into a care environment sooner than five years, you wouldn’t be expected to pay back some of the grant.
    I hope that the work will now proceed quickly, so that you and your husband can care for your mother more easily.
    Best wishes,

    AvatarFozia says:

    Hi my father has recently suffered a stroke. He has been suffering mini strokes for past few months. He can’t manage the stairs and downstairs is only a toilet. Can we apply for a grant to have the conservatory converted to a bedroom with wet room?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Fozia
    Yes you can – Disabled Facilities Grants are intended to make homes safe and accessible for their disabled residents. You apply to your local council, and they will send an OT or similar to assess the home and your father’s needs, to see whether any necessary adaptations are feasible.
    The grants are means tested, so they will take into account your father’s income and any savings.
    Best wishes,

    AvatarLynne wilson says:

    Hi, I have a daughter with complexed needs cerebral palsy, epilepsy,learning disabilities, autism,pathological demand avoidance.myself and husband moved into a 2 bedroom bungalow 6 months ago with my daughter so we could learn her how to manage and become mor independent with support for the future. My husband and her are a joint tenant has it was quicker to get the bungalow has he was 60 and she has the disabilities. The problem we are having at moment is lack of space and the pressure of our caring role has had a impact on out marriage and my mental health. Has obviously no escape from each other. Would a disabled facility grant be looked into for a loft conversation or side extension maybe? She has just been awarded full CHC funding. I have health issues myself now. myself and husband take it in turns sleeping on the sofa. Any information advice would be grateful. Thankyou My daughter is 25 now and will always need support.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Lynne
    I am sorry to hear of the difficult situation you find yourselves in – I can only imagine how hard it must be for you.
    Unfortunately, I fear that the local authority’s view will be that a couple with one grown-up daughter have an adequate amount of space in a two bedroom bungalow.
    A disabled facilities grant is normally applied to projects such as replacing a bath with a shower or providing ground floor facilities where somebody can’t manage stairs.
    You could try contacting them anyway, explaining what difficulties you are experiencing, and ask for them to come and assess your property to see whether there is scope for any grant-aided works to make it more accessible.
    Best wishes,

    Avataremma says:


    we have a son who has autism and challenging behaviour, who is 19, due to past experiences in education hes lost trust in people and loses it really quickly. there are very few people that can work with him. we currently pay someone through a direct payment to support him 15 hours pre week. Hes still in fulltime education currently. And accesses two nights respite a week connected to his school. we are hoping he may go to specialist college next September but we are looking at plan B as our LEA are fighting against us as its expensive, per year somewhere around 200k.

    We would like him to try living away from home because his behaviour, through no fault of his own, is challenging and not acceptable around around two young children. but we are very aware that he could end up being misunderstood in his semi independent accomodation that they’ve suggested? our biggest worry his being sectioned under the mental health act. Plan B could be to have our house extended to mean he could have his own space. someone on a personal budget could support him and we have control over who this may be. we have a lot of space to build on the front of our house, not the side but front has a 30 foot drive. currently our internal garage was converted to accomodate him but due to his behaviour and noise he makes every hour day and night it was insulated. so well its suffocating in summer, and he wont open windows due to bugs or people climbing in. currently it is just a bedroom.

    he gets enhanced personal independent payment for both so considered disabled to a high degree. so my question is will the council be up for having a serious conversation about helping us with a grant? are grants only for people with physical difficulites? for a wet room and a living come kitchen small room it could work for him. surely cheaper than providing shared living that may be less likely to work anyway as hes very particual about who he’ll be around. ive looked on our councils website, very middle class area we live in, and can only see ‘physical disablities’ mentioned and a OT coming round to assess.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Emma
    Disabled Facilities Grants are there for people with significant long-term disabilities, they don’t have to be purely physical. I would certainly apply for one – though as your son is now over 18, they are means-tested, so the amount of money you might receive will depend on your own financial situation, as well as the cost of the adaptations required.
    It usually is an occupational therapist who comes round to assess the situation, but it may not be. There is a shortage of OTs, so it could be someone who has had training in DFG assessments.
    Good luck and best wishes,

    AvatarJane Cherry says:

    Hi, My sister lives in a housing association property (3 bed). She has 2 boys with CF and a 15 month old daughter who does not have CF. My sister has been in touch with her housing officer regarding converting the dining room to a bedroom for her eldest son as her daughter shares a bedroom with her. We are talking about erecting some plasterboard and maybe moving a radiator a few inches nothing structural will change and is not major works. My sister has been advised if this is approved then she will be charged extra rent for the extra bedroom (although this only will be classed as a bedroom by a piece of plasterboard). Is this correct that extra rent could be charged via a DFG requirement? TY

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Jane
    That seems extremely unfair. Is the current dining room actually one of the three bedrooms? I am assuming that the plan is to divide it so that an extra room is created. Unfortunately, the government guidelines for setting rents in social housing say that the number of bedrooms dictates the size of the house. Which means that she would be going from a 3 bed to 4 bed property, even though it still has the same amount of space.
    Maybe it’s possible for her to negotiate with the landlords, perhaps reclassifying a room so that she isn’t caught in this way? It would depend how sympathetic they are, but worth a try, anyway.
    Good luck and best wishes,

    AvatarS Living says:

    Hi, I have a number of questions, that i would like help with please, some of these should benefit many others.
    This is a estranged household of 2 very disabled people “A” & “B”, who lead own lifes, in their privately owned house.
    They receive pension credit, & both 24/7 highest rate of care & mobility..

    1) “B” Applied and obtained, a twin stairs rail, which she needs for her grip & legs, following years of “B” leg surgery’s.

    “A” Has now become more inoperable bone degeneration fragile, & Council want to put in a stair chair for “A”,
    & remove the new 2nd, stairs bannister rail that “B” depends upon. This has horrified “B” who depends on
    the twin rails, including for her leg exercising, & does not want or need a stair lift.
    She is a half owner of the house etc.

    The “A” OT makes it clear, that a stair chair for “A” would only be short term solution, & would later need
    to be a wheel chair stair lift, & the long term should be, the large downstairs utility room, made into a
    bedroom, as it already has the new, separate shower wet room fitted at the end, inside the utility room
    What are “B” rights to keep the twin stair rails, & stop a chair lift which she does not want there.
    Between the stair rails is also 28″ which should really prevent a stairs chair, but Council want to do it if they can.

    2) In 2019 an “A” application was made for downstairs toilet & sink, a Private OT, was pre-agreed with the Council, private OT did report. Due to all the known ever increasing “A” medical needs, DFG was accepted, & “A” received a grant for a downstairs shower wet room, which was fitted at end of a large utility room, which utility room, at a later day was to become a bedroom. The utility room, is dual brick, etc, just un-plastered, & would need suitable floor insulation etc. The OT states that this is the long term solution, but has to mention the stair lift, for a short term alternative.
    The Council wish to opt for, or force a short term solution of the forced stair lift, how can this be contested,

    3) Due to exceptional circumstances of negligence,& legal issues. “A” cannot use the Council OT’s.
    It is pre-agreed with the Council Adult Care Director, that “A” can use private agreed OT & they will repay the OT fee.
    The rules are, that anyone can us the Council OT’s for free, & win or lose a DFG application, the OT is completely free all paid for by the Council. So there is no risk or charge of anyone to using the Council OT.
    DFG rules on the Council are, OT fees are, that if a person applies for a DFG & IF it is granted, then the council can reclaim the OT fee back from the GOV. If the DFG is declined the GOV will NOT repay the Council the OT fee.

    For reasons the Council in 2020 will not explain, it has now refused to pay the private OT fee, stating it will only be repaid if the DFG is allowed. This is a total change from 2019, where the Equalities Act people wrote to the Council director, about these dual standards, in that win or lose, every one else got the OT utterly free & without any terms of conditions, & the director agreed, & instantly repaid the private ot fee.
    In 2020 the private OT fee is cheaper than last year, & the cost amount is the same as what the Councils OT charge the Council in any event, & yet the Council are refusing to reply or repay the OT money, until DFG is allowed
    What are my my options here, as it is clear discrimination, as under Sec 6 & 15 etc of the Equality act 2010..

    4) If a person applies for a DFG grant, & are successful, once DFG completed, are the DFG applicant entitled to obtain such as with a Subject Access Request, to see the costing, & claims & payments made to / by the Council & or the contractors, with the dates etc. etc. An issue has come up about a payment & the date of it, towards when DFG OT fee was paid to “A” & when the DFG was actually granted.

    AvatarFrances says:

    This sounds like a really complicated situation, and one which I’m not really qualified to advise on. Hopefully someone else maybe able to do so.
    One thing that does stand out, though, is the idea of installing a stairlift as a short term solution, particularly as doing so will cause problems for the other resident. Has a powered stairclimber been considered? No installation or removal of hand rails required, and it only requires one carer to operate.
    There is more information here:
    Good luck and best wishes,

    Avatarellen aldred says:


    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Ellen
    I am sorry to hear about your difficulties.
    You may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant for the ramped access required for your mobility scooter. You need to get in touch with your local council about this. Contact either the housing department or environmental health department and ask them to send you an application form.
    Good luck and best wishes,

    AvatarJacqueline says:

    Hi , My Daughters OT has recommended a down stairs bedroom and wetroom for my daughter who is non-verbal and wheelchair bound . The OT told me she will fill in forms to suggest this . Can u tell me what happens next ?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Jacqueline
    Once the application for a DFG has been made, the council should let you know the decision within six months. If your daughter is over 18, the grant is means-tested, so they will make a financial assessment of your situation as well. You may also need to apply for planning permission and/or building regs approval.
    Best wishes,

    AvatarJacqueline says:

    Thankyou ? my daughters 11 years old . I understand there is a 6 month wait , is there a band or point system that priorities the waiting list ? We live in Birmingham not sure if every council is different .

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hi Jacqueline
    Councils do prioritise DFG applications in different ways, with some combination of Urgency of need; Date of application; Funds available.
    I haven’t been able to find details of Birmingham’s approach, unfortunately.
    I think you need to keep on top of your application, by making contact at reasonable intervals to ask how it is progressing. Your OT can be helpful in this regard, as well. Their assessment can include information about how urgently the adaptation is needed.
    Good luck – I hope you don’t have to wait too long.

    AvatarSusan burgess says:

    Hello, I am disabled and over the financial limit for a total grant. I reguire an extension for a walk in wet room. What percentage would the council pay towards carrying out this reguirement.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Susan
    The amounts they would pay depends on your income, any savings, and what the council assesses as reasonable financial outgoings (actual expenditure is not considered).
    Savings under £6000 are disregarded. If you have a partner, your joint income will be assessed. Some benefits, such as Income Support and Disability Living Allowance, are also disregarded for the purpose of calculating the grant.
    Best wishes,

    AvatarLisa Hardy says:

    I own a 3 bed house, and have 2 girls 10 and 16, 10 yr old has Down Syndrome. Since the lockdown the ex hub (kids dad ) has stayed with us, but now we are considering us all living together again, however we all require separate rooms. I have a detached single garage on my property, would I be able to apply for a grant to convert this into an annex for my daughter with Downs. We are thinking long term and want her to be independent, however she has severe learning disabilities so will always need to be supervised.. Any idea’s, or would i be able to get help with a loft conversion for her?
    Thanks x

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Lisa
    It might be worth exploring with your local authority whether they would consider a DFG so that you can provide more independent accommodation for your daughter. Though given that she is currently only 10, and council budgets are constrained, I would not be entirely confident of a successful outcome. Always worth asking, though.
    Best wishes,

    AvatarAlison says:

    My mum currently lives alone in a bungalow and has parkinsons, I care for her at present, but its difficult managing two households with children etc would it be possible to get help via a grant to extend her bungalow so we could move in together to care for her, I would have preffered to move mum in with me but we currently live in a housing association house which is a 2 up 2 down and doesn’t have a downstairs bathroom, in order to move in with mum the bungalow will need another bedroom as there are 4 of us.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Alison
    I suggest that you contact the housing department at the local council, to find out what support they are able to offer. Alternatively, your housing association might be able to help with a more suitable property that you could all live in.
    If you don’t get anywhere with these suggestions, I recommend contacting Shelter (external link will open in a new browser window)
    Good luck and best wishes,

    AvatarAlison says:

    Hi Frances,

    Thank you for your reply.
    I think the probability of being offered a suitable home which would have to have a downstairs bathroom and bedroom and a further 2/3 bedrooms would be very remote. Is there no other option of a grant, or some form of financial help, to build an extension for a further bedroom on the bungalow, as this seems the most fitting option due to the existing layout.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Have you asked the housing department of your mother’s local council about a DFG for extending the bungalow? That is the only potential grant I can think of. They can sometimes also help with costs of relocating, if the current property is unsuitable, but I can see that it might be hard to find another property that meets the needs of all of you.
    Best wishes,

    AvatarSue says:

    I own my own ex council property. OT recommended a downstairs wet room and bedroom as I can’t access upstairs. We have successfully been granted a DFG. I’m not sure there is sufficient room in the garden to extend the house. Would I be given help to buy a more suitable property, as I can’t afford to rent, any suggestions pls

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Sue
    I think it would be very optimistic to expect financial help to move, unfortunately. What about the grant you have been awarded? Presumably, when they assessed your property they took into account the size of the garden when planning the new extension?
    Best wishes,

    Avatarmandy burns says:

    Hello I live in housing association house and my daughter and three kids live with me now as she is my career,but it’s only a two bedroom so we are very overcrowded,I asked for an extension on the house as there is a lot of space out the back garden,but I can’t even get an ot to visit and the housing association won’t do anything to help,I have been in touch with my mp but everyone is just ignoring her and me can you please advise me ty

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Mandy
    I can see that your situation is very difficult, with so many people occupying a small property. I am not sure that councils will be sending assessors out on home visits during the current crisis, so there will inevitably be a delay until we can find our way out of lockdown.
    I suggest that you get the process of applying for a DFG underway in any case. You need to contact the housing department or environmental health department at your local authority and ask them to send you an application form to fill in.
    Good luck and best wishes,

    Avatarmandy burns says:

    Hello and thank you for your reply,I asked for a ot assessment last year but they wouldn’t give me an appointment to come out long before Covid and also asked housing landlord but they just kept saying they don’t know and never been given a dfg for a tenant,my housing association really don’t know about them ,Am at a loss especially as we can’t social distance at home as I sleep in the living room.

    Yours sincerely
    Mandy burns

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello again Mandy
    I can see that it’s very difficult, especially as you aren’t getting any help from your landlord.
    My suggestion is still to contact the housing or environmental health department at your local council and ask them to send you an application form for a DFG.
    Then you will at least be able to get the process started.
    Good luck,

    AvatarCarole Burns says:

    My 90 year old mom in law has been awarded a grant to have a ground floor bathroom built, an extension from her kitchen.
    In the paperwork from the Council it says she must remain in the property for 5 years from completion, what will happen if within this time she has to go into a care home or if she dies. No one can predict the future but it’s worrying her & is if I’m honest.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Carole
    She is signing to confirm that she intends to stay in the property, but if circumstances change, and she is unable to remain there, the grant wouldn’t have to be repaid.
    However the Local Authority does have discretion to place a local land charge on the property for grants between £5k and £15k. If they do that, it means that the money would be paid back to them at some future time when the property was sold.
    I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to come back to me if there is anything else you would like to ask.
    Best wishes,

    AvatarSue says:

    Hi I am looking to request a grant towards facilitating a sensory room for my child with ASD and ADHD whom has sensory processing disorder. Have a conservatory that he could use to self regulate and seek out sensory feedback however the room is either too cold or too hot in the summer and the noise from the corrigated roof when it rains prevents him from entering the room due to the noise. Would these be accepted as a way of facilitating his needs and keeping him safe Along with supporting independent living in the future.

    AvatarPeter says:

    I live in a council house I struggle with cleaning myself after using toilet I have fibromyalgia and arthritis I get PIP and also universal credit with a limited work capability . Can apply for DLG to get a wash clean flush toilet ?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Peter
    I think it would be reasonable for you to apply for a DFG. You need to contact the housing dept at your local council in the first instance. Grants are means-tested, so the amount of money you may get will depend on your savings and income.
    Best wishes, Frances

    AvatarH jenkins says:

    A family member who owns her own home is disabled in receipt of benefits and has walking difficulties. Her drive way has eroded due to water damage and made her steep drive very uneven.
    She has a hand rail but had several near misses.
    The council have come and fitted a soak away at the top of the drive to prevent it getting any worse.
    Would she be able to apply for a grant to help her repair the driveway.

    AvatarFrances says:

    It would certainly be worth trying. The grants are intended to help people with disabilities to live safely and independently in their own home – it sounds as though your relative’s situation qualifies in that respect.
    First step is to contact the housing or environmental health department at the local council, and ask for an application form. It is important not to start any works before the grant is approved.
    Good luck and best wishes,

    AvatarPaul Rutley says:

    As a disabled person designing a new home for two, probably three, disabled people to live in does the DFG facility extend to new build

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Paul

    The purpose of the DFG is to improve existing housing stock, so I am afraid you wouldn’t be able to apply for this grant for a new build.

    There may be other sources of finance available – you could research possibilities on the Disability Grants website (external link will open in a new browser window)

    Good luck and best wishes,


    AvatarSandra Field says:

    We live in a housing association property and are having to move to a different property that the surveyor considered more suitable and less costly for adapting The new property requires adaptions to be carried out before we can move in and a DFG is being applied for by the OT/surveyor. My question is what level of communication and involvement and choice should we expect to have in the process. For example, I have asked (by email) if upgraded heating units (at least in the main living area) could be included in the DFG (to meet medical needs) but have had no reply to my email from the surveyor or the OT. We really need to know what adaptions are going to be made and if these adaptions will meet our needs and allow my husband to live as independently as possible before we sign the new tenancy agreement.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Sandra

    Although there are targets for some aspects of DFGs, such as how long you should have to wait for a decision after applying (maximum six months), I am not aware of any general standards for communication. And householder choice does not always seem to figure very highly on the list – though to be fair, I tend to hear from unhappy people rather than happy ones.
    You clearly do need good communication with the OT and surveyor, to make sure that your potential new home will meet your husband’s needs. All I can suggest is that you keep on top of it from your end by email or phone, explaining that you need to know what’s proposed before you can sign a tenancy agreement. If you don’t hear back from them, and you would like me to try and find out more details for you, I am happy to do so. Just email me the details –
    Good luck and best wishes,


    AvatarVictoria says:

    Hi, I live in a council property and I am in receipt of disability benefits only I do not work because of my disability. I use a wheel chair when needed as I have EDS and dislocate my joints and sometimes need my wheel chair for a few months while I am in pain and heeling. I can’t manage in my kitchen and my back door has a big step so I can not go outside in a wheelchair and a big brick out building stops the use of ramps. I can’t sit in my garden with my 3 year old. The OT said I can not claim a grant because I am not a full time wheelchair user and I live in a council property so I do not qualify for any grants. I have no savings. She said if I was a home owner or private tenant I would qualify. But not a council tenant. I will be getting a power chair in next couple of years but not quite at the stage yet for it but I am disabled and use a wheel chair a lot of the time. Any advice welcome.

    AvatarLisa says:

    I am a full time wheelchair user and we have been in our council place since March, the OT come out about getting a back ramp fitted and we was advised to wait until we had been here a year. However as time as gone on I have noticed I struggle around the kitchen for example I only have two cupboard I can reach, the only place the fridge can be put I can’t really get to because of the place it is located, along with the work surfaces being high for me so I struggle.
    Would this be something the DFG would look at putting in after my year is up?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Lisa

    I think it’s definitely worth applying for a DFG for all the adaptations you require in order to make your home accessible for you.

    As you probably know, the grants are means-tested, so how much they will pay for the works that the OT decides are necessary will depend on your income and any savings.

    Good luck and best wishes,


    AvatarJulie says:

    hello, I am thinking about applying for a DLG.
    My step at the conservatory door leading into the garden has rotted away and I wondered if I would be able to apply for a new one.

    Also my house gets extremely cold in the Winter due to poorly fitting windows and front door, would I be able to apply for new windows and door.

    My guttering is leaking in 4 places and it is dangerous in Winter when it ices up, would I be able to apply to have the guttering repaired or replaced.

    I have a back boiler and have been told by British gas it is dangerous to use my fire as I don’t have adequate ventilation in the room with the fire, also I wondered if I would be able to apply for a combi boiler through the DLG.
    I have tried applying for a combi boiler through the ECO scheme as I am currently claiming universal credit and I get pip. I was told I only qualify for 20% towards a combi boiler.

    I was also wondering if I am able to apply for a new roof

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Julie

    Unfortunately, the sort of repairs that your house needs are not covered by a Disabled Facilities Grant. It is there to make inaccessible homes accessible for people with disabilities, so, for example, if you were a wheelchair user, you could apply for a grant to help with the costs of access ramps or widening doorways.

    You could try contacting your local Home Improvement Agency, they should be able to give you advice about any support that may be available to help you improve the condition of your home. You can search for the nearest HIA on their website:

    Best wishes, Frances

    AvatarMarie Jenkinson says:

    Hi, My OT came out and discussed how a downstairs bathroom and bedroom would be what I needed. I’m disabled through arthritis since I was young and I have also recently been diagnosed with having fibromyalgia. I’m only 46 but I really miss my job (I worked full time in a primary school) as my life has drastically changed lately through ill health. My local council awarded me a DFG and plans for a downstairs extension we’re drawn up. It was getting close to the contractors coming out when the people at the council decided we earn too much and everything stopped. It’s bought heartache and frustration to me as I won’t get my electric wheelchair if the house isn’t adapted. I’m devastated. I’m 46 and I’m like a goldfish trapped in a bowl.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hi Izzy – first thing I would say is that if your sister is thinking of applying for a grant, it’s really important that she doesn’t start doing any work until it has been awarded. If she does, she won’t get anything. Abacus Healthcare are really helpful, and they will be able to advise her about anything that needs to be changed in the bathroom, to accommodate the new bath. They may be able to help with applying for the DFG, as well…

    AvatarIzzy says:

    Thank you for writing this I had no idea this was a thing so this is brilliant news! I’m glad I stumbled upon this but I’m actually on here because I’m currently helping my sister with her new bathroom. Very sadly my nephew was recently in an accident which has caused him to have reduced movability, luckily he’s slowly on the road to recovery at home but my sister wants to install a few assistance devices so she can help look after him as best she can. Basically I was wondering if there was any specific bathroom alterations that needed to be made in order to accommodate this? I know for example that she is getting a special assisted bath with a seat with adjustable height, is there any special tiling or flooring that is needed for this? I know she’s getting the bath from a company called Abacus ( this is the kind of bath she’s getting: ). I don’t know if that helps with providing any more information at all? Will my sister need to plan anything differently to accommodate the bath or will it just be a case of simply installing it? I’d be ever so grateful if anyone could provide some insight here, it would be such a big help to us both! Thank you everyone!

    AvatarBetty Robson says:

    My neighbours have been given a grant and are extending their council house. I own mine.
    It going to impact on my light in my home.
    I’ve received nothing from the council in terms of planning permission. Is there anything I can do?

    AvatarFrances says:

    As far as your situation goes, if the extension is at the back of the house and within certain size limits, it is a permitted development, and doesn’t require planning permission. You can read the exact requirements here:

    If the projected extension goes beyond this, then you should contact the local authority straightaway and let them know about your objections.

    AvatarSharon says:

    Not as plain sailing as it sounds. My mother qualified for the funding, but was only granted a through floor lift, which meant the bedroom she has too share with her 16 year old grandson would only accommodate her bed. Council told us that finding somewhere for my 16 old son to sleep was not there problem. So I am left with having to assist my partially blind 86 year old mother with lifting her legs up the stairs. If she goes in a home that will set the Taxpayer back 30,000 a year, where’s the logic? And promoting independence for the elderly doesn’t even come in to it. Happy days.

    AvatarSally says:

    I realise they cannot help everyone but we didn’t qualify because I work to pay the mortgage & other debts and Paul receives a private pension, we earn too much.
    Feel as though we are being punished for trying to help ourselves, rather than rely on benefits.

    AvatarAbi says:

    Very interesting and relevant points – thank you for sharing

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