When you or your loved one fall victim to disability, it becomes necessary to make some changes in your home. One major thing to consider is the instillation of a stairlift to allow easy movement.
These in-house modifications can be expensive because you have to go through home renovation to make instillation easier.
Being a U.K resident, it is a matter of good fortune, as disabled citizens can claim Disabled Facilities Grant, popularly known as DFG, from their local councils.
If you want to purchase a stairlift, but you don’t have sufficient money, you can make use of DFGs by taking into consideration the following advice.
- What Is a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)?
- What is the Purpose of the Disabled Facilities Grant?
- Who is Eligible For Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)?
- Amount of Grant and Minimum Period to Stay in that Property
- Prerequisites of Grant Approval
- How to Apply for a DFG
- What Information is Required for the DFG Application Form?
What Is a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)?
Local Councils have a bill with the name The Disabled Facilities Grant. Under this grant, a sufficient amount is budgeted to help those who become disabled at any phase of their lives.
What is the Purpose of the Disabled Facilities Grant?
The purpose of The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is to help local community members support themselves by buying equipment crucial for their daily use, and making certain changes to their homes e.g, construction of ramps, modifying the lighting or heating system.
Who is Eligible For Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)?
Three types of disabled people are eligible for the DFG:
- Your family member
- Your tenant
Amount of Grant and Minimum Period to Stay in that Property
- £5000 is for the minimum period of 5 years (will have to pay back if left before time)
- £10000 is for the minimum period of 10 years (will have to pay back if left before time)
If you are a disabled, you will be eligible to apply for the grant. The second type of person can be your family member. The third type of person is the one who is living on rent in your home.
The only condition for a grant of £5000 is that you should intend to live in that house for a minimum period of five years. If you didn’t fulfil this five year requirement, you will have to pay back.
If you were provided grant money up to £10000, and you left your home before 10 years, you will also have to pay.
Prerequisites of Grant Approval
Your local Council will have to visit your home and will tell you in writing if they agree that your home really needs to be renovated or modified.
The council will also have to agree that required hangings can be easily made in your house to make it suit your needs.
The biggest test that you have to pass for qualifying for a DFG is the ‘need’ factor. You need the grant because you are disabled and need your home to support you.
Therefore, it will be wise to apply for the DFG first before undertaking any changes to your home. Otherwise, if you make changes and the council don’t feel you “need” to make modifications, you will have lost money.
When making alterations in your home, it is also very important to get planning permission before getting any work done.
How to Apply for a DFG
For getting grants for a stairlift, the first thing to do is to contact your local council office. The local council then will refer you to either the environment health department or housing department.
The department you are referred to will then provide you with an application form. If you fail to complete the form, your request won’t be considered.
Again, please ensure you do this before starting any work.
Just in case you are facing difficulty in filling out the form, you can freely take the Home Improvement Agency’s help to do it for you.
What Information is Required for the DFG Application Form?
- Personal Information
The DFG application form is designed to get your personal and basic information. For example, it starts with your name and your home address. Then you will be asked to justify the need of making changes to your home, and why you need a stairlift. So in this section, you will describe ‘why’.
- Justification for the DFG Grant
Explain in a clear way the hurdles you are facing without a stairlift. Explain the impact your disability has on your routine life. At the end, mention that you need help regarding the cost of the stairlift.
- Your Financial Health and Savings
In the form, you will also be asked to provide your finance details. For example, what’s your monthly income, and how much money you have saved.
This information is asked so they can assess whether you are really in need of a grant or not. If your financial condition is very poor, then the Council will be able to provide you with the full amount.
If you are somewhat financially stable, then a lower amount will be approved. This will mean that a bigger portion of the stairlift cost will come from you and the remaining cost that is beyond your reach will be paid by the Council.
- Saving Limit and Exemption
If you have a savings of more than £6000, then the chances of grant approval will be quite dim. If you are applying for a family member who is below 19 years of age, then such saving doesn’t matter. You should get the grant approved.
- Details of House Modification and Expected Cost
You will also be required to state the type of home renovation needed to facilitate the disabled person. You will also be required to estimate the amount that will be required to materialise those changes in your house.
- Collect Quotations From Two Contractors
To support your case about cost estimation and changes, you will usually be required to submit quotations by two different contractors as well.
- Collect a Quotation from a reputable supplier
Similarly, you will be required to submit a quote by a reputable stairlift supplier. Making an arrangement for this document is quite easy because all reputable suppliers offer free home surveys and estimate.
Simply contact a supplier and they will send their representative to your house.
- Contact Your Local Council if You Are Unable to Find a Good Stairlift Supplier
If you are having trouble finding a reputable stairlift supplier, you can get the assistance of your local council as they have all the information about good stairlift vendors.
- Seek Advice From an Occupational Therapist
To be safe, you should contact an Occupational Therapist to get their advice about the changes you should make in your house. If you haven’t got in contact with an OT before applying for a DFG, you will automatically be sent to the social care department so that you can be assessed by an occupational therapist.
Their opinion is really important when it comes to deciding whether you really need a stairlift or just some modification to the stairs.
- Submit Your Application
Once you have completed your form, you can submit it to your local council office.
After receiving it, a local council official will send an environmental health officer to your home to assess whether you really need the grant and how feasible it will be to modify your house.
In light of the environmental health officer’s recommendations, the local council will then go ahead and set up the stairlift grant for you.