We offer disabled facilities grants for the following type of works, subject to the advice of the Surrey County Council Occupational Therapists and technical advice from our Home Improvement Agency.
We also offer Small Works Grants and Loans.
a) Making it easier for the disabled person to access:
- the home or the building in which the flat or maisonette is situated.
- the room used/usable as a main family room.
- the room used/usable for sleeping.
- a room in which there is a lavatory, a bath or shower (or both) and a wash hand basin.
- a facility for the preparation and cooking of food.
b) Provision of a bedroom or bathroom
N.B. Providing a room suitable for sleeping or making it easier to use the lavatory, bath, shower or wash hand basin will only be considered where the Council is satisfied that adaptation of an existing room, or access to that room is not suitable in that particular case.
Should provision of an accessible bedroom be required and the disabled person would normally share a bedroom with someone else, that grant will enable a room big enough to maintain normal sleeping arrangements of the household.
Some living rooms may be large enough to create a room, which could be used as a bedroom instead of extending the property.
Consideration will always be given to the use of stair lifts or through floor lifts to obtain suitable access internally as an initial option.
c) Making a home or building safe for the disabled occupant or other people living with them
Such works of adaptation that may be considered are:
- providing lighting where safety is an issue or the disabled occupant is poorly sighted and needs the lighting to live independently.
- adaptations to minimise danger where the disabled person has behavioural problems which cause them to act occasionally or regularly in a boisterous or violent manner damaging the house, him/herself or other people.
- an enhanced alarm system for people with hearing difficulties to provide improved safety for the disabled occupant in connection with the use of cooking facilities or means of escape in a fire.
- other areas covered might include toughened or shatterproof glass, installing guards to fires or radiators, reinforcement of floors, walls or ceilings or the provision of cladding to prevent self injury.
d) Making it easier for the disabled person to prepare and cook food
This covers a wide range of works to enable the disabled person to cater for themselves or their family independently.
It includes specially modified or designed units, gas, electricity and plumbing installations and the rearrangements or enlargement of a kitchen, for example, to manoeuvre a wheelchair.
In the case where a disabled person does not prepare or cook food it would not be appropriate to adapt the kitchen but some adaptations may be permitted to enable the disabled person to make drinks or light meals.
e) Improving the heating system
Improving the heating system in the home to meet the needs of the disabled occupant. Alternatively, if there is no existing heating system in the home, or the system is unsuitable for use by the disabled occupant, to provide a heating system suitable for their needs.
People with limited mobility that remain in one room for long periods of time usually need greater warmth than mobile able-bodied people. Therefore assistance will be available for those parts of the accommodation used by the disabled person to provide suitable background temperatures.
Assistance will also be given where for example unsuitable heating is installed e.g. solid fuel heaters where fuel has to be carried in from outside.
Grant will not be available to heat rooms not normally used by the disabled person, so it is unlikely that full central heating systems will be grant aided.
Likewise it is unlikely that one form of central heating when replaced with another form of central heating will be grant aided except in exceptional circumstances
f) Making it easier for the disabled person to get into/out of the home and get around the home so they can care for a person who also lives there and is in need of such care
This provides for grant aid to allow a disabled person to care for someone who normally resides with them whether or not they are related to the disabled person.
This may include spouse, partner or family member, another disabled person or a child.
Such works could include the provision of access to an upper floor for care of the dependant when the disabled person would not normally have to have access to the upper floor for any other reasons.
Works can include ramps to provide access to the dwelling.
Access to all other areas of the dwelling as a matter of course would not normally be considered for grant aid.
Disabled Facilities Grants can also assist with works to the common parts of the building containing flats, where the disabled person is the occupant of one of the flats.
Normally these works are limited to those to facilitate access to the dwelling through the common parts or facilitating the use of a source of power, lighting or heating in the common parts, by the disabled person.
Who is eligible for these grants?
For the purposes of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 and The Regulatory Reform Order (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002, a person is disabled if:
a) their sight, hearing or speech is substantially impaired;
b) they have a mental disorder or impairment of any kind; or
c) they are physically substantially disabled by illness, injury, impairment present from birth, or otherwise.
A person aged eighteen or over will be regarded as disabled if:
a) they are registered in pursuance of any arrangements made under section 29(1) of the National Assistance Act 1948 ('disabled persons' welfare); or
b) they are a person for whom welfare arrangements have been made under the provision or, in the opinion of the social services authority, might be made under it.
A person under 18 will be regarded as being disabled if:
a) they are registered in a register of disabled children maintained under paragraph 2 of schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989; or
b) they are, in the opinion of the social services authority, a disabled child as defined for the purposes of Part III of the Children Act 1989 (local authority support for children and their families).
Ineligibility for grants
No grant will be given for any works started before an applicant has received a grant approval from the Council
There may be certain instances where a grant cannot be given by the Council as certain criteria cannot be met by the applicant e.g. cannot demonstrate the requisite interest in the dwelling, or provide a certificate of future occupation, or a disabled person's home cannot be classed as a "dwelling".
It may be that the works requested are not considered reasonable or practical. In these instances the Welfare Authority, the County Council, still has a duty to assist with the adaptations or alternative schemes where they have indicated the works necessary and appropriate.
How do I apply?
As a first step, you should either contact the Social Care Team of Surrey County Council or the Housing Improvements Officer at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, to discuss your situation. If it appears that you may be eligible for a grant, an Occupational Therapist from the Social Care Team will need to carry out an assessment of your needs. He/she will consider with you and, if appropriate, your family and carer, what adaptations are necessary. They will submit a report containing these recommendations to the Council and our Home Improvement Agency provider, Millbrook Healthcare Ltd, to start the grant process.
You can download a comprehensive information sheet about disabled facilities grants here.
you can download a copy of the financial assistance policy here