Disabled Facilities Grant (DFGs)
Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) are used to provide home adaptations for disabled people, generally for the purpose of improving access - access into and around the home and access to, or provision of, basic amenities such as bathing and WC.
Normally the current maximum expenditure limit for these grants is £30,000, although the amount will be affected by the financial circumstances of the disabled person and any exceptional circumstances which may apply.
The grants are implemented in partnership with Lancashire County Council Adult Social Care Services, who recommend the necessary works based on their assessment of medical or physical need. They will also decide which enquiries are the most urgent, which may affect the speed of grant processing. At the present time, however, there are waiting lists for both an assessment by Lancashire County Council and also the application and survey process carried out by Preston City Council.
On this basis, you may wish to do some initial preparation by visiting the link below, which takes you to an online tool. This tool gives you information and advice around disabled adaptations and may help you to decide if you wish to pursue the next stages of the process.
Adapt My Home will give you a greater understanding of the options you might have. It will give you advice on things you can do to improve your housing that will prevent further issues, whilst explaining more about the type of support you may be eligible for. They also provide a video and information on the rules for disabled facilities grants at Adapt My Home - About Disabled Facilities Grants.
To request an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment, contact Lancashire County Council Social Services.
When applying for the grant, you will need to sign an agreement that you will, wherever possible, occupy the house for a minimum of ten years. In view of this, should you relocate within this period the council would not consider an application for grant in your new home.
A recoverable land charge will be applied where grant exceeds £5,000. Disposal of the property within 10 years of grant completion will result in repayment of such part of the grant that exceeds £5,000 but the amount repayable will not exceed £10,000.
Information on the Council's current policy, and what works are eligible for DFG funding, etc. can be found in the Improvement and Grant Assistance Policy 2022 - 2025 (Private Sector Housing).
Adaptations and house extensions
Wherever possible the council will seek to provide the adaptations within the structure of the dwelling. Extensions will only be considered where property size, internal arrangement, circulation space and cost effectiveness mean that this is the best course of action.
Housing association adaptations
Housing association tenants should approach their landlords rather than us.
Tenants of Private Landlords
You are not excluded from this process and are entitled to make an application, but your landlord will need to give their permission for any adaptation work to be done.
Stages in a Disabled Facilities Grant application
1. Initial enquiry
The disabled person should first of all contact Social Services to arrange for an Occupational Therapist to assess their needs. To request an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment, contact Lancashire County Council Social Services.
2. Visit from the Occupational Therapist
To define needs and recommend any necessary home adaptations.
3. Referral to the council's Housing Grants Team
Recommendation from Adult Social Care, based on the Occupational Therapist's assessment of needs, is made to the Council.
4. Preliminary test of resources
To estimate the amount of grant aid and the applicant's contribution.
To examine the proposed adaptations in relation to the rest of the house, confirm their eligibility, and see what, if any, other building work must be done at the same time. Assistance with completing the application forms may be given if required.
6. Schedule of work
This is sent out to the applicant, who will now need to provide a contractor's estimate, proof of ownership, and make a commitment to occupy the house.
7. Formal application
The information is returned, and an interview is arranged to carry out the full test of resources and formally submit the application.
8. Grant approval
The estimate and other technical details are checked and a grant approval notice is issued. The applicant will then have twelve months to complete the work.
9. Starting the work
When the work is ready to start, the applicant contacts the Grants Section. If necessary, a meeting can be arranged at the house for a grants surveyor to discuss the work with the applicant and contractor.
10. Finishing the work
On completion, the work will be checked by the grants surveyor and an Occupational Therapist. If they are satisfied that the work is as specified arrangements will be made to pay the grant.
Payment is made direct to the contractor.
Safe Trader Scheme
Lancashire County Council's Safe Trader Scheme helps residents find reputable traders for property repairs, home improvements, gardening services, mobility aids and other services around the home. If you are looking for a contractor to do any work of this kind you may wish to use one who is registered with this scheme. You can contact the Safe Trader Scheme via their website, Safe Trader Scheme, or by calling 0303 333 1111.