If you need to adapt your home to make day-to-day living easier for a person with a disability, you may be able to get help with the cost of the work. Your local council or another organisation may be able to help.
What help is available for adaptations?
You may be able to get help with the cost of adaptations through:
- grants from your local council
- a home improvement agency
- financial help with loans you took out yourself, if you are now in hardship
The type of adaptation you receive will normally be recommended by an occupational therapist after a needs assessment
Disabled facilities grants
Contact your local council to apply for this grant from the housing or social services department. You can only get this help after an occupational therapist decides that you need the adaptations.
You must live in the property for at least five years after the adaptations have been carried out, or you will have to repay the cost.
The disabled facilities grant usually covers adaptations costing between £1,000-£30,000 (but in some cases you may be able to get more). The amount of help you get depends on your income, savings, and capital, and that of your partner if the adaptations are needed for an adult. These are not taken into account if adaptations are needed for disabled children.
There can be delays in getting a disabled facilities grant, but you should not have to wait for more than six months to hear the council's decision, or more than 12 months to get the money.
Don't start work before the council has approved your application, as the council is unlikely to pay if the work is already under way.
Complain first to your local council if you experience delays in getting the grant. If that is not successful contact the Local Government Ombudsman.
Help with small adaptations from your local council
All equipment and adaptations costing less than £1,000 are provided free of charge if the council says you need them.
For more expensive adaptations your council may assist you in applying for a disabled facilities grant from the housing department.
Local councils have powers to provide discretionary assistance for small adaptations, to top up a disabled facilities grant, or to help people move house.
Home improvement agencies
Home improvement agencies are not-for-profit agencies that help people who are old, disabled or on low incomes to fund adaptations or repairs to their own homes.
Home improvement agencies help both tenants and home owners, and can provide handyman schemes to carry out work. Some councils may have their own handyman schemes.
Help with loans for adaptations
You may be able to get some help with interest payments on loans that you took out to repair or improve your home, if you receive one of these benefits:
- pension credit
- income related employment and support allowance
- income-based jobseeker's allowance
- income support
Home improvement trusts
Home improvement trusts operate a Houseproud scheme along with local councils to help older home owners release equity in their homes to pay for repairs, adaptations and improvements.
Always get independent financial advice before deciding to release equity from your home.
Find out more about adaptations
Use Shelter's checklist to help you look for accessibility features in a property.