Help with the cost of adapting your home: Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG)

Disabled Facilities Grant

If you're disabled you may need to make changes to your home to help make living there easier for you.

If you are on a low income, a Disabled Facilities Grant may help towards the cost of making adaptations and improvements to your home so you can live there more independently. For example to:

  • install ramps and widen doors
  • install a stair lift
  • convert a bathroom into a shower room with level access
  • adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
  • adapt a kitchen for a wheelchair user

A Disabled Facilities Grant won't affect any benefits you get.

Who can apply

To be eligible you or someone living with you must:

  • have a disability
  • be on a low income
  • own the property or be a tenant (this includes Housing Association tenants)
  • intend to live in the property for at least 5 years

To approve any application we need to be happy that the work is necessary and appropriate to meet the disabled person's needs. The proposed works must also be considered reasonable and practical.

The grant is only available to people who are on a low-income. If you are already in receipt of a certain means tested benefits, you will automatically be passported to a full grant to meet the cost of the eligible works. Otherwise a Statutory Means Test will be used.

A preliminary means test can be used as a quick way of finding out whether you will receive a grant.

Preliminary means test

We have an online calculator app available which will enable you to calculate whether you will have to self fund any adaptation works or whether you will receive a grant. It uses the rules from The Government's Statutory Means Test to determine the contribution you are deemed to be able to afford, eg by raising a loan.

You can access the means testing app below:

How much you'll receive

How much you'll get will depend on the eligible work required, and whether you are required to pay a contribution to the cost of the work.

Whether you will need to make a contribution will depend on your household income, whether you are in receipt of any benefits and any savings you may have. This will be assessed before you make a full application so you know what your likely contribution will be.

You will not have to make a contribution if you are in receipt of certain means-tested benefits. Disabled Facilities Grants for children are not means-tested, and no contribution towards the cost is required.

The maximum amount of grant payable is £30,000. In some cases further discretionary top up grants of up to an additional £30,000 may be available for larger works. For more information please see other discretionary grants and assistance (below).

How to apply

If you want to be considered for a Disabled Facilities Grant, West Sussex County Council will arrange for an occupational therapist to contact you. They will assess your health based needs and discuss what changes you may need at home, and whether they would be considered eligible for funding.
If the occupational therapist considers that grant funded adaptation works are required, they will make a formal recommendation to the Council, who will begin the application process.

Please note:

  • works must not have started before the Council approves your application
  • building regulations approval and planning permission may be required for some adaptations
  • if you are a tenant, permission from a landlord is required for any works
  • a Disabled Facilities Grant won't affect any benefits you get

For more information, contact details and to arrange an assessment, see:

Other discretionary grants and assistance

There are other discretionary grants available to help assist people who have disabilities. They are discretionary, which means they are subject to funds being available. Mandatory grants, such as Disabled Facilities Grants, will be prioritised first.

Better Care Fund

The Better Care Fund is a government initiative designed to ensure health (NHS) and social care services work together more closely to deliver better services and improve health and wellbeing in the community. The fund has provided an increase in funding for Disabled Facilities Grants and allowed for more flexibility in spending, so we can provide more people with more tailored care, when they need it.

Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant Top Up

If you have been awarded a Disabled Facilities Grant and the cost of the eligible works is more than £30,000 (the maximum amount for the scheme), a Discretionary Disabled Facilities Top Up Grant can be awarded to help fund the works. See Disabled Facilities Grants (at the top of this page).

Moving Home Grant

If you are eligible to receive a Disabled Facilities Grant but it is not practical to adapt your current home (ie it is on a sloping site), the Moving Home Grant can assist with up to £10,000 of the costs of moving to a new home which is more suitable for your needs, or more practical to adapt.

Hospital Discharge Grant

This grant is available to pay for any urgent works to a disabled person's home which are needed before they can be discharged from hospital. Eligible works can include deep cleaning, house clearance, minor repairs and small purchases, with the aim that any repairs and improvements would ensure that living at home is not harmful to their health and to avoid them being readmitted to hospital. Grants are available up to £3,000 and are not means-tested.

Hospital Discharge Grants are offered alongside West Sussex County Council's Deep Clean / Minor Repair Service, and are intended to be used where the nature of the works falls outside their remit.

Abortive Fee Grant

This grant is available to cover any reasonable fees and charges incurred by applicants for a Disabled Facilities Grant when they have engaged the services of a professional to advise on what works are required, or whether a Disabled Facilities Grant project is feasible. If the works cannot proceed any fees would be paid for via this grant, while if the work does go ahead fees would be covered by the Disabled Facilities Grant.

Safe Suitable and Warm Homes Grant

If you have a disability and on a low income, this grant is available to help you make eligible improvements and repairs to reduce the risks of living at home, including improving electrical and gas safety, boiler repairs or replacement or loft or cavity wall insulation. This grant may also be available in palliative care situations. Grants are available up to £5,000 and usually only available to homeowners, rather than tenants.

Means Test Contribution Waiver

If you apply for a grant and the Statutory Grant Means Test deems that you are required to contribute to the eligible works, we can waive up to £5,000 of that contribution and pay it from discretionary funds. This is called the Standard Discretionary Waiver.

If after this you still have a contribution to make and it is unrealistic that you would be able to pay it due to debt or hardship, we can waive your entire contribution towards the eligible works in some cases. To be considered for an Exceptional Discretionary Waiver you would need to be able to show that you have no savings and no realistic prospect of being able to obtain finance to cover your contribution. These full waivers are only granted in exceptional cases and after discussion at our Grant Panel.

Discretionary Repair Grant Assistance

We also have some funding available to help anyone who is in receipt of certain means-tested benefits and whose home has defects that are affecting their health.

For more information please see our Help with repairs - private sector housing page.

How to apply

For more information about any of these grants, or to apply, please contact the Private Sector Housing team.

You can find more information about all these grants in the West Sussex Disabled Facilities Grants Policy

Further information:

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Page last updated: 17 August 2021

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