Disabled facilities grants
The types of adaptations can include:
- Bathroom Adaptation
- Ceiling Track Hoist
- Access to the property (e.g. Ramp, Platform Lift etc.)
- Access to the garden
- Kitchen Adaptation
- Stairlift (both external and internal)
- Through Floor Lift
- Toilet Adaptation
Who can apply?
Disabled people who own their home, rent privately or live in social housing can apply as well as people who have a disabled adult or child living with them.
If you need assistance to complete any paperwork associated with your Disabled Facilities Grant, Citizens Advice Plymouth may be able to assist. They can be contacted on 0300 3309 043.
For children's cases, the Plymouth City Council Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Occupational Therapy Service will support with completion of the necessary paperwork. They can be contacted on 01752 305252.
How can I apply?
When you first make contact to discuss a referral, your case will be opened to Livewell SouthWest for adult cases or the Plymouth City Council Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Occupational Therapy Service for children's cases.
During this time, you can make contact by calling 01752 668000 and selecting the option for Adult Social Care or Children's & Young People Services as required.
What happens next?
An Occupational Therapist, or other appropriate professional will contact you (and/or family or carer) to discuss what you or your child/young person are having difficulties with, such as accessing your property, maintaining personal hygiene or using the WC for example.
They will consider and assess options, such as whether equipment might help you overcome the difficulties you are experiencing.
If these options will not meet your needs they will discuss what physical adaptation(s) might help to meet your assessed needs. Alternatively, they may recommend you consider moving to different accommodation.
If they advise that an adaptation is the best solution, they will discuss and agree the appropriate recommendations with you. They will complete the necessary paperwork which they will ask you to sign to confirm you agree with the recommendations which have been made. The completed referral will then be sent to Plymouth City Council, who will then write to you to advise that they have received your application and explain what happens next.
Please note, demand for Occupational Therapy assessments are very high and we need to prioritise those people who are most at risk. Your referral will be triaged and prioritised by Livewell Single Point of Access team for adult cases or Plymouth City Council Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Occupational Therapy Service for children's cases. In both instances, if it is identified that further assessment is required, your referral will be added to the relevant Therapy team waiting list.
If your needs change or increase whilst you are waiting, for adult cases, please do contact us to update us with the relevant information, either by calling 01752 668000 or by emailing email@example.com
For children's cases, please contact Plymouth City Council Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Occupational Therapy Service on 01752 305252.
If you wish to make a complaint regarding your Occupational Therapy referral, this can be completed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much is the DFG?
The DFG amount offered will depend on your income, savings and investments and is assessed through a national means-test. This information will be used to determine how much (if anything) you are required to pay towards the cost of the adaptations. Please note that if you are in receipt of certain benefits you may not have to contribute anything.
Please note that applications for disabled children (under the age of 18) are not subject to a means test.
How do I check on the progress of my case?
When your referral is received by Community Connections, we will write to you to inform you of this. Following this, you can check on the progress of your case with Community Connections. Please note that while Livewell SouthWest, Plymouth City Council Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Occupational Therapy Service and Community Connections might not be able to give you specific dates as to when the necessary and appropriate works will be carried out, they will be able to explain the process as well as telling you the current position of your case on the waiting list.
Is there anything else that I should be aware of?
There is very high demand for DFGs and although we will start processing your application immediately, we may not be able to arrange completion of the work for some time. Your Occupational Therapist will consider (and discuss with you) the priority of your case and will be able to discuss this further.
You must NOT start any works until you have received formal approval in writing from Plymouth City Council.
It must be your intention to remain living in your home for the next 5 years.
In some cases, the grant (or part of the grant) might have to be paid back if the property is sold within 10 years of the works being completed.
Some adaptation works will require Building Regulations and/or Planning Permission.
How will a Contractor be appointed to carry out the works?
Should you agree to Plymouth City Council choosing a contractor on your behalf, we will do this via our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).
The DPS is a procurement process which is compliant with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 with all contractors requiring to be TrustMark accredited. The DPS is supported by Independence Community Interest Company (INCIC) who are a registered Community Interest Company) delivering supplier and contractor management and accreditation. INCIC also manage and monitor contractor quality and performance. They work with Local Authorities, Charities, Home Improvement Agencies and Housing Associations and are able to provide support and guidance to you which includes the monitoring of standards, compliance and accreditation.
INCIC work with TrustMark and Trading Standards to help to ensure that your contractor treats you fairly.
Maintenance and Servicing
If your works are purchased through our DPS your contractor will give you a 2 years insurance backed warranty, which you can extend to 5 years if required.
If your works are not purchased through our Dynamic Purchasing System you should consider at an early stage whether or not you will need to fund any ongoing servicing and maintenance for mechanical equipment you may be having installed, for example a stair lift or through floor lift. The grant does not cover the cost of servicing or maintenance. An extended warranty is normally offered by manufacturers/installers when they are quoting for work and you are strongly advised to consider taking this out or to look for an alternative quotation for maintenance. Following the insurance backed warranty period you (or your landlord) will be responsible for the servicing and maintenance of the installation and for rectifying any faults.
Grant Approval and Payment
Once the approval has been issued, your contractor(s) will arrange a start date. When the work is complete you will be asked to sign to confirm that you are satisfied with the work and we will then arrange to pay the contractor direct, unless otherwise advised.
Important points to note
- This approval is issued subject to The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. Please make sure you read the Grant Conditions summary, which are included in this pack. If there is anything you don't understand or if you would like a full copy of the conditions, please contact Community Connections on 01752 398500.
- The approval will be based upon current prices provided via the DPS (unless other method employed) it is not the Council's policy to alter the amount of grant unless unforeseen works occur.
- When the contractor is instructed, please be aware that YOU and NOT Plymouth City Council are entering into a contract. The contractor will ask you to sign a contract when they visit to survey the works required.
- Unforeseen works are likely to include matters which would not necessarily have been detected during the initial survey by the contractor e.g. hidden pipework, fungal attack or woodworm infestation of structural timbers.
In circumstances where you consider unforeseen works are necessary you should immediately contact Community Connections (01752 398500) to discuss these works to determine whether the works are eligible for additional grant assistance.
An estimate of the cost of the extra works will be required.
Do not instruct the contractor to proceed with the works until the costs have been agreed and authorised by the council. You will be liable for any costs not authorised by the council.
You will be advised in writing of the decision. However if any additional grant is offered the total grant offer will not exceed the £30,000 maximum INCLUSIVE OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION.
Where works are not eligible for additional grant assistance you will need to make a decision whether or not you wish to have them carried out at your expense.
The contractor will advise about all additional works which are not eligible for additional grant assistance.
If you instruct the contractor to carry out these works they will expect you to pay for them if no additional grant assistance is available.
Claims for payment of grant monies
- When submitting a claim for payment, whether interim (partial payment whilst works are in progress) or final (when works are complete) it will be necessary for the contractor to provide a fully itemised invoice.
- You will be asked to complete an application for payment by the contractor. Payment may still be made to the contractor should you unreasonably withhold the signed claim for payment form if the Council considers the work complete to a satisfactory standard. We will expect the contractor to take photos of the works before, after and during. If you do not want the works photographed please contact us immediately as we will be unable to proceed.
- Interim payments will not normally be paid on grant approvals of less than £5,000. On approvals above £5,000 one interim payment can be requested provided the appropriate amount of work has been completed. The claim must be for at least £5,000 but not more than 90% of the total grant. Professional fees of less than £5,000 can be paid once the professional adviser has completed his work.
- Plymouth City Council require you to pay your contribution (if any) to the cost of work in full before considering a claim for payment against the grant and will require your contractor to confirm that this money has been received.
- All grant payments made by Plymouth City Council for eligible works will be made direct to the contractor (unless otherwise advised).
- Should, during the course of the work, it be found that the application you submitted contains false information or that there is an irregularity with your chosen builder/professional adviser the grant may be withdrawn. Any grant money already paid will be reclaimed by the Council and any money owed to the builder/professional adviser will have to be paid by you.
- All works completed via the DPS are covered by an insurance backed warranty from the date of completion. Should you have any problems with the installation you will need to contact the contractor in the first instance. If you are unable to contact the contractor you may contact INCIC. On expiry of the warranty you (or your landlord) will be responsible for the maintenance and servicing of the installation.
- If you experience problems with the work Plymouth City Council will not be able to fund remedial or maintenance work.
Frequently Asked Question
What is meant by necessary, appropriate, reasonable and practicable?
We have to be satisfied that the works are necessary and appropriate to meet your needs as the disabled occupant and also that it is reasonable and practicable to carry out the relevant works considering the age and condition of the property.
Will I need to pay anything towards the cost of the works?
The Disabled Facilities Grant is a means-tested grant and the means test will be completed as part of your application. If you are in receipt of certain benefits (Guaranteed Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, Income Support, Employment Support Allowance (income based), Jobseeker's Allowance (income based), Working/Child Tax Credit (with a household income of less than £15,050)), you might not have to pay anything towards the cost of eligible works. We will write to you following the means test being completed to inform you if you will be required to contribute towards the cost of the works.
Please note that applications for disabled children (under the age of 18) are not subject to a means test.
Have I been given a grant of £30,000?
You have been awarded a grant of up to £30,000 to meet your assessed need(s) as discussed and agreed with a clinical professional. If your needs can be met for less than this amount, your case will be closed after the works are completed and final payment is made.
What will happen if the cost of the works is more than £30,000?
There is discretionary assistance available and this will be considered on a case-by-case basis in line with the works required and what other options might be available, e.g. moving to a more suitable property.
Aside from this, you should consider at an early stage if you are in a position to fund the element of the works that exceeds £30,000. If you are a tenant, you should discuss this with your Landlord at the earliest opportunity as they might be able to assist with the cost of this.
Will I require my Landlord's permission for the works?
Yes, we are unable to carry out works to your property without the written permission of your Landlord, whether you live in Private Rented or Social Housing.
How will a Contractor be appointed to carry out the works?
Should you agree to Plymouth City Council choosing a contractor on your behalf, we will do this via our Dynamic Purchasing System.
The Dynamic Purchasing System is a procurement process which is compliant with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 with all contractors requiring to be TrustMark accredited. The Dynamic Purchasing System is supported by Independence Community Interest Company (INCIC) who are a registered Community Interest Company, delivering supplier and contractor management and accreditation. Independence Community Interest Company also manage and monitor contractor quality and performance. They work with Local Authorities, Charities, Home Improvement Agencies and Housing Associations and are able to provide support and guidance to you which includes the monitoring of standards, compliance and accreditation.
Independence Community Interest Company work with TrustMark and Trading Standards to help to ensure that your contractor treats you fairly.
You can find out more by visiting their website at https://www.incic.org.uk/
Will the Contractor visit my property and discuss the proposed works with me?
Yes. Following a Contractor being successful in bidding for the works via the Dynamic Purchasing System, they will contact you to arrange a visit to your property. During this visit, they will discuss the proposed works and answer any questions that you might have.
Can I choose my own Contractor to carry out the works?
Yes of course. As you will appreciate, the grant is public money and as such we will require you to submit quotes (and drawings if the works are more complex). Where we need to confirm that the quotes are reasonable, we will ask a Contractor who is registered on our purchasing system to quote for the works. Where we are able to obtain a lower quote, you might be expected to pay the difference if you still choose to use your own Contractor.
When using your own Contractor, we will, as a general rule make payment to you so that you can pass this payment to the Contractor.
Where your selected Contractor is a member of your family, we will pay for materials only and receipts will be required to be submitted ahead of any payment from your grant being made.
We will require to inspect the works ahead of any payment from your grant being made.
I live in a block of flats and need works carried out to the main entrance to the building to make it easier for me to get in and out. Can this be done?
You should discuss this with your Landlord in the first instance as works carried out to make it easier for you might not suit other residents. Your Landlord might also be able to help you to move to a more suitable property. Please also note that we will also need the permission of the Freeholder for the building.
Will the grant pay to tile my whole Bathroom? Afterall, I have been given £30,000.
As a general rule we would tile the 2 walls (or parts of those 2 walls where the room is large) where the shower area is located. Should you wish to have the rest of the Bathroom tiled to match the new tiles, you should discuss this with your Contractor so that they can give you a quote as you will pay them for these works privately. If you are a tenant, you could discuss this with your Landlord as they might be able to assist with the cost of this.
The grant is not a repair grant and will not include non-eligible repair works to your property. While you have been awarded a grant of up to £30,000, this is to meet your assessed needs and often this can be done for considerably less than £30,000.
Are the works covered by a warranty?
If your works are purchased through our Dynamic Purchasing System, your Contractor will provide you with a 2-year Insurance Backed Warranty for works that have been completed by them through the Dynamic Purchasing System. You may also be able to extend your Warranty further if required, but there will be a cost for this. Further information and details can be obtained about extending your warranty by contacting INCIC, via the website at https://www.incic.org.uk.
Where works are carried out by your own chosen Contractor, you should discuss the warranty period with them direct.
Please note that if you are a Housing Association tenant, they might be able to assist in providing a warranty or a maintenance agreement for a Stairlift, Thro Floor Lift, External Access Lift. You should contact your Housing Association direct to discuss this.
What happens if my needs have changed since my assessment?
If you feel that your needs have changed or you feel that the works are now required more urgently, please contact Livewell SouthWest by calling 01752 668000 and selecting the option for Adult Social Care for adult cases or Plymouth City Council Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Occupational Therapy Service for children's cases, who can be contacted by calling 01752 305252.
Is there anything else that I need to know?
When Plymouth City Council staff and Contractors are in your home you can expect that they will be polite and respectful at all times. They will not smoke and they will ensure the working area is left tidy each day. If this is not the case then please let us know at the earliest opportunity.
We would ask that clients are also respectful at all times. Plymouth City Council staff and Contractors will not be subjected to physical or verbal abuse. We request that smoking does not take place while they are in your property and that decent working areas are provided to enable staff and contractors to complete your adaptation in a safe environment.
Is the information correct?
Let us know if the information on this page is wrong and needs to be updated.