The disabled facilities grant; YOUR VIEW TODAY: Joe Michna, bureau manager Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau A chance for local charities, voluntary organisations and advice groups to reach our readers.
Byline: Joe Michna
Q. What is a disabled facilities grant? A. A disabled facilities grant is available from a local authority to help towards the cost of work needed to provide facilities or adaptations for a disabled person in their home. The grant is mandatory, so if a person meets the qualifying conditions, the local authority is obliged to pay her/him a grant.
Q. What work can the grant cover? A. A grant can cover a range of different works to a property and can include: ? Making it easier to get in and out of the home, for example, by widening doors or installing ramps ? Providing suitable kitchen and bathroom facilities ? Providing or improving the heating system ? Adapting heating or lighting controls ? Making access to a garden easier or safer.
Q. Who qualifies for a disabled person's grant? A. A disabled person is someone who has a: ? substantial impairment in her/his sight, hearing or speech; or ? mental disorder or impairment; or ? substantial physical disability.
Q. Is a disabled person's income taken into account when deciding on how much grant can be given? A. The local authority uses a means test for a disabled facilities grant to calculate the amount of a grant an applicant is entitled to.
The means test does not apply to landlords applications for grants or to the parent or guardian of a disabled child or young person. The means test takes into account the resources of the disabled person for whose benefit the grant would be given and her/his partner. Q. Is the means test still applied if a person receives certain welfare benefits? A. A person who receives certain benefits will have her/his weekly income regarded as a nominal PS1 and automatically satisfy the means test: ? Income Support ? Income-related Employment and Support Allowance ? Income-based Jobseekers Allowance ? Guarantee Pension Credit ? Housing Benefit ? Universal Credit. Q. How does a person apply for a grant? A. Complete a form available from the local authority which asks for details of the property, the work needed and at least two estimates of the costs.
The local authority may also require further information and/or tests to be carried out.