There are a number of grants available for individuals in the UK who are disabled to support the costs for adaptations and facilities in the home, including bathroom and shower adaptations.
If you are looking to improve your current bathroom by investing in a walk-in bath, walk-in shower or wet room, it is best to understand what financial support is available to you, as well as the application process, as applications can take up to several months to process.
Disabled Facilities Grants
A disabled facilities grant helps pay for changes to your home to make it more mobility-friendly. These changes can include everything from widening doors to installing ramps for improved access as well as heating and lighting upgrades. These grants are made available through your local authority and must meet their criteria based on necessity, reasonability and practicality.
You can start by getting a free care needs assessment done by your local council to see if you may be eligible. A social worker or occupational therapist will stop by to conduct an assessment. They can then make a recommendation for what adaptations, equipment or general care you might need.
How do I qualify for a disability grant?
You are eligible to apply for a Disabled Facility Grant if you, or someone you are living with in your property, are disabled. You must also own the property or be a tenant, and intend on living in the property for at least five years.
What can you use a disabled facilities grant for?
The grant is usually quite flexible whether you want a shower, bath or wet room. It can normally allow you to widen doors or install ramps, improve access and facilities – such as a stairlift or downstairs bathroom, and provide a heating system that is more suitable to your individual health care needs.
How much grant am I eligible for?
The grant amount that you will be eligible for depends on your household income and savings, it is possible that you may need to pay towards the cost of any work carried out on the property.
The maximum amount available, per application, is £30,000 in the UK and £36,000 in Wales. What amount you get is determined by a means test which is calculated based on weekly income and capital. If the applicant is a disabled child, then no means test will be carried out.
It’s also worth noting that this grant doesn’t affect any benefits you get. Applications are organised by your local council, find your local council’s website here to apply today.
How long does a disability grant take?
The process for applying for a disability grant is fairly straightforward though it can take up to six months before you receive a decision in writing.
First, you must submit a completed and valid application to your council’s housing or environmental health department. They’ll then follow up asking for any additional pieces of information they may require. It’s important that you submit your application before starting on any work. The council may not offer you a grant if you start work before your application is approved.
Minor adaptation grant
This type of funding covers minor adaptations to your home. That could include installing short ramps, grab rails, outside lights or a dropped curve. If the adaptations needed for your home cost less than £1,000, these will be provided and done free of charge.
If your home needs larger adaptations then you may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) so it’s best to apply for this.
Foundations is a national body for Home Improvement Agencies (HIA). As part of the HIA, Foundations help disabled homeowners improve, repair and adapt their homes to continue living safely and independently.
Foundations help individuals find the specific support they need in order to make their home more accessible to their unique lifestyle. The Home Improvement Agencies are able to assist by drawing up schedules of work, organising plans from suppliers and builders, clarify what types of assistance you are eligible to receive, and help to make your home more energy-efficient.
To find out how Foundations can help you, visit their website.
Other organisations and charities
There are many organisations and charities that can assist with finding the most suitable economic solution for you. Turn2us and Charity Choice are two great websites that offer specific advice on many grants, benefits and funds that are available to aid disabled individuals.
Turn2us specialise in helping people gain access to charitable grants, benefits, and support services during financial hardship. Depending on your personal contact preferences, they are available online, on the phone or in person. An online tool makes it easy to search through their featured list of national grants, so you can find the best solution for you.
Charity Choice is an online directory including over 160,000 UK charities, so it is simply for you to find out everything you need to know about any charities you may be interested in. Their reports provide an insight into how the charity is run and how each charity spends its income, meaning you can be confident that you’re finding the right support for you and your family.
We understand that your needs are unique, so your bathroom solution should be to. As your bathroom provider will be built to suit your personal needs and preferences, the charity or organisation you choose to support you should adhere to these specifications too.
Other options for price reduction
Along with charity organisations, there are other options for reducing the price of home adaptations. These include:
Appealing to your council assessment – Firstly, if your application for a grant has been denied, you can always try appealing it. You can start by contacting your local council by phone or reaching out on their website. If the response you get is still not satisfactory, you can then register a complaint with your local authority’s Ombudsman. They may be able to address this with your local council and get the decision reversed.
VAT exceptions – If you can prove you’re disabled, then you may be able to exempt your adaptations from VAT. While not direct financial aid, it can definitely help bring down the costs of your home improvements.
Disability benefits – Being disabled means you may be eligible for certain government-provided benefits. From Universal Credit and Attendance Allowance to disability living and employment allowances, there are a few options to consider here. While these may not cover the entire cost of your project, they can offer additional support.
Council tax reduction – Adaptations can increase the overall value of your home and that means you may be eligible for a discount under the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme.
No matter your situation, if you find the same product and service level at a lower price, we’ll be happy to match it as part of our price promise. We also offer a free home visit with one of our professional consultants, so you can find the right choice for you and your home. You can also discover our guide to disability bathroom prices as well as our disabled wet rooms page for more information on this and the benefits one can bring you.