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Disabled Facilities Grants

If you want to make some adaptations to your home, you may be eligible for financial support from your council to make small changes. For larger adaptations, you can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant.

What should I do first?

Get a free care needs assessment from your local council. They will send a social worker or an occupational therapist to assess your needs. They'll then make recommendations on what equipment, adaptations, care and support you need. If your needs are considered ‘eligible’, the council will have a duty to offer you help and support.

To get help from social services, call them and ask for a care needs assessment.

Can I get equipment for free?

Specialist disability equipment is provided free of charge if it is recommended by your local council.

If the local council recommends that you need minor adaptations to your home that cost less than £1,000 – like grab rails, short ramps, a dropped curb or outside lights – these are also provided and fitted free of charge.

How do I get a Disabled Facilities Grant for major adaptations?

If you need larger adaptations to your home, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). This can be used to cover a wide range of adaptations.

A DFG is administered and paid by your local council’s housing department but you can usually only get a DFG for work that your local council has agreed you need.

Your local council has a legal duty to provide DFG funding for an adaptation in certain circumstances. Both homeowners and tenants can get a DFG. It’s means-tested and there’s an upper limit on the amount you can get, although local councils may agree to top this up in some circumstances.

If you’re a council tenant, the council should pay for major adaptations that you’ve been assessed as needing.

What if I'm not eligible for financial help?

If the local council decides after your care assessment that you don’t have any eligible needs, they won’t provide you with any equipment or adaptations. But they must still give you free information and advice, for example about where to buy equipment. You can also ask private agencies or local voluntary organisations what they offer.

Boost your income

Make sure you check whether you’re entitled to any other benefits. Many people who need help with care will qualify for a disability benefit: either Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance depending on your age. Neither benefit is means-tested so your income and savings won’t be taken into account.

Boost your income

Find out which benefits you're eligible to claim

Equity release

Equity release can be a way to release some spare cash or to fund repairs or adaptations. You borrow money against the value of your home but pay nothing back until after your home is sold – either after your death or when you go into long-term care. Alternatively, you can raise money by selling your home or part of it, but continue to live in it until you die or go into long-term care.

It’s a big decision and you are strongly advised to consider all your options before deciding. If you think equity release would be the best option for you, make sure you get advice from a fully qualified, experienced equity release adviser before taking out a plan.

Find out more about equity release

We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Apr 20 2021

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