Disabled facilities grants
Under Part 1 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 the Council has a legal duty to provide specialist adaptations to meet the care and mobility needs of people with disabilities to enable them to live independently with privacy and dignity.
The need for the adaptation is determined by an Occupational Therapist from the Lancashire County Council's Adult Social Care Services Department. The Council will only act on recommendations made by an Occupational Therapist.
South Ribble Borough Council is the lower tier authority responsible for statutory housing functions, whilst Lancashire County Councils the upper tier responsible for social care. Grant assistance under this policy will be limited to the maximum grant in accordance with the legislation which is currently £30,000.
The Prioritisation of DFG Applications
All applications are treated in same way regardless of tenure and are triggered by the receipt of an OT6 form from the Occupational Therapist (OT). The OT's assessment will follow the principles of the Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) criteria.
The OT will classify each case into one of the following categories:
- High Priority
- Standard Priority
The Council will deal with cases referred by the OT using two defined criteria:
- The priority allocated to the case by the OT
- The date it receives the OT recommendation
Therefore, applications for a high priority assessment would always be started before any standard priority cases on the customer list. Within each priority category the date the OT6 is received will determine which case is started first with the oldest case being given priority.
As soon as the OT6 is received the process of checking eligibility is carried out to ensure applicants who are not eligible are aware of their options at an early stage.
The Council will write to the applicant advising of the receipt of an OT6 along with the Preliminary DFG assessment forms where required, which once completed and returned will help us to carry out a test of resources which will calculate if you have a contribution towards any adaptation work or not.
We will write to you to advise you of the outcome of the assessment, where the contribution is greater than the cost of the adaptation you will be informed, and the application will then be cancelled otherwise you will be placed onto the appropriate waiting list.
All applications are dealt with in accordance with the priority awarded them and in date order. All applications are subject to a test of financial resources in accordance with the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended) to determine the amount to be contributed towards the cost of the work. In accordance with legislation the test of financial resources will not be applied in cases where an application is being made on behalf of a child or young person living in any tenure.
- To assist entry and exit from the property
- To aid access into and around the living areas, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.
- Access to and from the garden by a disabled occupant.
- Where the existing footprint or layout of the dwelling, including outbuildings and garages, can be adapted or converted to accommodate the facilities required, the Council will not consider an extension to the property. Where an extension is necessary and there is no other option, the Council will consider the most cost-effective method of meeting the applicant's requirements.
- Where the applicant has a preference for works that are over and above those necessary to meet the disabled person's needs (such as an extension rather than the provision of a stairlift and level access shower) the Council will only fund the cost of the original recommended works, the remainder being funded by the applicant.
- The Council does not offer discretionary DFG's nor does it provide any other discretionary top-up grants for adaptations. Any amount above the statutory maximum level must be paid for by the applicant.
- Applications for grant aid will not be considered where works have previously been completed.
Legislation requires a decision from the Council to approve the grant or not within 6 months of receiving the full application (this includes all necessary information e.g. proof of home ownership or landlord consent); the Council will aim to achieve this within 8 weeks. The Council's budget is limited and the ability to fulfil the non-statutory timescales will depend on demand and available funding. These standards apply to all properties and tenures.
- In accordance with legislation, the Council will aim to complete the installation of all disabled adaptations within 12 months from the date of grant approval.
- The Council will aim to process applications fairly, efficiently, courteously and promptly.
- The Council will aim to pay all grant money due within 30 days of a valid claim on certified work.
- Where the cost of the work is £5000, or more, the Council will put a local charge on the property. The local charge will last for ten years. If the property is sold or otherwise changes ownership within ten years of the completion date, the Council will require repayment of the grant. The maximum repayable amount at the change of ownership is £10,000.
During the period that the Council is considering the application a number of options will be explored with the applicant as follows:
- Alternative options such as a possible move to a property owned by a Registered Provider or a private sector property.
- Liaison with local Registered Providers to determine whether it is more cost effective for the applicant to transfer to another property rather than adapt the existing property.
- Complete a financial assessment to determine eligibility for assistance and if a financial contribution will need to be made by the applicant.
If you would like to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant, you will need to telephone Lancashire County Council Adult Social Care (occupational therapists) for an OT Assessment, you can contact them on 0300 123 6720.
If you would like further information on the Council's Housing Assistance policy: