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Funding to adapt your home for accessibility

Getting a care needs assessment

You have the right to an assessment by your local authority if you need support with daily living because you’re:

  • elderly
  • disabled, or
  • you have a long-term health condition.

If you haven’t already, contact your local council’s social services department to have your needs assessed.

In England and Wales, find your local council on the GOV.UK website

In Scotland, find your local council on the mygov.scot website

In Northern Ireland, local trusts carry out the assessments. Find your nearest trust on the nidirect website

Major or minor adaptations

The financial help that’s available depends on whether the adaptations you need to make to your home are minor or major.

  • Examples of minor adaptations include fitting lever taps in the kitchen, or handrails around the home.
  • Examples of major adaptations include installing a downstairs shower room, widening doorways, or lowering the work tops in your kitchen.

Minor adaptations and equipment – what help is available

If you live in England

Your local authority will normally provide you with disability equipment and small adaptations costing less than £1,000 free of charge. This is as long as you’ve been assessed as needing it and you qualify.

If you live in Wales

You might have to pay towards disability equipment and minor adaptations. But the amount you’re asked to pay must be reasonable and based on your financial circumstances.

If you live in Scotland

Your local council will normally provide you with essential equipment or adaptations costing less than £1,500 free of charge.

If you live in Northern Ireland

Your local trust will decide whether they’ll fund the equipment or minor adaptation, or whether you’ll have to pay for it yourself.

Funding major adaptations – the Disabled Facilities Grant

For more major adaptations to make your home accessible, you’ll normally have to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant.

These are paid by your local authority – or Local Housing Executive if you live in Northern Ireland.

Do you qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant

You can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant if your local authority is satisfied that the work you’re having done is necessary and appropriate for your needs.

This usually involves an assessment by an occupational therapist.

The grants are means-tested – unless you’re applying for a disabled child under the age of 17. So the local authority will take into account any income and savings you and your partner have.

How much can you get ?

The maximum amount you can get for a Disabled Facilities Grant depends on where in the UK you live.

Maximum Disabled Facilities Grant payable

England

£30,000

Wales

£36,000

Scotland

This particular grant isn’t available. Find out more at Disability Rights UK

Northern Ireland

£25,000

How to claim a Disabled Facilities Grant

Find out how to claim a Disabled Facilities Grants at GOV.UK

In Northern Ireland, find out more about Disabled Facilities Grants on the nidirect website

Help from your local Home Improvement Agency

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to getting funding, planning the work and employing tradespeople –  Home Improvement Agencies can ease a lot of the worry.

They can help in a variety of ways, including:

  • getting quotes
  • drawing up plans for the work
  • visiting your home and giving advice
  • checking what financial help you might qualify for.

They also publish a list of trusted tradespeople on their website.

For more information, including how to find your local Home Improvement Agency, go to the Foundations website

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Grants in Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, there are a number of grants available to improve or adapt your home.

For details of the funding available, see the Housing Executive website

Help from charities

If you’re unable to secure funding elsewhere, there are a surprising number of charities that might be able to help.

For example, for help with building work and equipment for disabled people, visit the Edward Gostling Foundation website

And check out the Turn2us website – a free service that helps people gain access to welfare benefits, grants and other help.

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Don’t forget to claim VAT relief

If you’re disabled, any building work you do to adapt your home might be zero-rated for VAT.

Find out more about VAT exemptions on building work on the GOV.UK website

Council Tax reduction

If the adaptations you’re having done to your home push your property into a higher Council Tax band, you might be entitled to a discount on your Council Tax.

This is called the ‘Disabled Band Reduction Scheme’.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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