Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)

What is a Disabled Facilities Grant?

A Disabled Facilities Grant, often known as a “DFG” is a grant available to people living in privately owned homes, housing association properties, or privately rented accommodation, to help with the cost of adapting the home to enable an individual to continue living there with the maximum amount of independence.

The DFG is available to cover the cost of works that have been recommended as essential and necessary by an Occupational Therapist for those people who qualify for the grant.

Who is eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant?

  • You need to be either registered or registerable as disabled
  • You need to be a private owner/occupier, a private tenant or a Housing Association tenant

What will the grant cover?

Grant-aid is only available for works recommended by an Occupational Therapist and may include any of the following;

  • Providing access to bathing/shower facilities - for example, level access shower
  • Providing access to a bedroom - providing a stair lift or extension
  • Providing access to and from your home - for example, ramping, shallow steps, and hard standings/dropped kerbs for vehicular access
  • Making your home safe for a disabled person living in your house - for example, guard rails, safety glass
  • Providing access to the principal family room - door widening
  • Providing access to toilet facilities - by altering bathroom layouts or providing specialist WCs
  • Providing access to a wash-hand basin
  • Enabling the disabled occupier to prepare and cook food - improved kitchen layout
  • Improving or providing space heating or heating controls
  • Enabling the disabled occupier to use and control power, light and heat - altering the position of light switches and power sockets
  • Enabling the disabled occupier to move around the home to care for another person - for example, enabling a disabled parent to care for a child

How much grant can I get?

The actual amount of grant approved will depend on the cost of the works recommended by the Occupational Therapist.

The maximum amount of grant available is usually £30,000 per applicant, however in some instances the council may provide amounts higher than this on a case-by-case basis where it is deemed necessary and appropriate. For example, this could be for the installation of an extension to an existing dwelling.

Will I have to pay anything towards the works?

DFG applicants are usually subject to a means test to determine whether you would need to contribute towards the cost of works, although DFG works which cost £12,000 or less are not now means tested following a policy update in 2023. DFGs for children or young people aged 18 or under are not subject to means testing.

Whilst works that fall under £12,000 are generally exempt from means testing, the council maintains the right to carry out a means test to ensure proper use and distribution of government grant funding. Eligibility for grant assistance will depend on your financial circumstances.

Where it is applied, the means test will look at the income and capital (for example, savings and investments) of the disabled person and their spouse or partner.

Capital of £6000 or less is disregarded.

Disabled Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance are not counted as income.

Where it is determined that the applicant is required to make a contribution, you will be advised of the amount of contribution before you decide to proceed.

Some benefits/allowances will passport you through the means test system.

If you receive any of the following, you will not have to contribute towards the works.

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not contribution-based ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not contribution-based JSA)
  • Guarantee Pension Credit (not Savings Pension Credit alone)
  • Housing Benefit / Universal Credit 
  • Working Tax Credit and/or Child Tax Credit (provided that the annual income for the purposes of assessing entitlement to the tax credit is less than £15,050)

Parents applying for a grant for a disabled child or young person under the age of 19 will not be means tested.

Will I have to repay the grant?

When the works have been completed, a local charge will be registered against your property with the Councils land charges department. This will stay in place for a period of ten years.

If the property is disposed of or ownership transferred to another person before the ten years is up, you may be required to repay part of the grant. Please see the table below.

Grant amount Amount that has to be repaid if property is sold within 10 years
£1 to £5,001 Nil (no repayment is required)
£5,001 - £15,000 The grant amount, less £5,000 (£1 - £10,000)
£15,000 - £30,000 £10,000 (the maximum charge permitted)

How do I apply?

In the first instance, you would need to contact the Health and Adult Social Care contact centre on 023 8083 3003 as you would need to be assessed by an Occupational Therapist to confirm that adaptations to your property are both necessary and appropriate.

If this is the case, a referral recommending these works will be made to the Private Housing Team at the council. We will then allocate a case officer to you as soon as we possibly can as they will need to confirm that the works are both reasonable and practicable.

Where can I get more information?