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Grants for Home Stair Lifts

Disabled facilities grants for stair lifts – including details of how and where to apply

Contents:

  1. Summary
  2. Obtaining a grant
  3. What is a disabled facilities grant?
  4. Eligibility
  5. What do you get?
  6. How to claim
  7. Grants in Scotland
  8. Alternative sources of financing
  9. More information
  10. Application Details by Council (comprehensive list of links to the relevant council dept)


Summary

The relevant grant for a stair lift is called the Disabled Facilities Grant. The scheme operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A separate scheme operates in Scotland which is outlined below. The grant is awarded by councils – a comprehensive application list by council is provided in this document.


Obtaining a grant

In practice there are generally two main hurdles to obtain a grant. The first is a visit from an occupational therapist to confirm a lift is required. The second is means testing, which applies unless the lift is for a child. In essence, using the criteria detailed further below, the council will determine whether the applicant can fund a stair lift themselves or not. Grants can take up to six months to be approved.


What is a Disabled Facilities Grant?

These are funds allocated by councils for disabled people to change their homes including the installation of stair lifts. The grants do not affect benefits.


Eligibility

The council needs to be sure the work is necessary, reasonable and can be done. The council will usually send an Occupational Therapist to visit to determine this. There are other criteria:

  • Either the applicant or someone living at the property is disabled.
  • Either the applicant or the person they are applying for owns the property or is a tenant.
  • There is an intention to stay at the property for at least five years (repayment of a grant may be required if this condition is not satisfied and, in certain cases, if the recipient moves out before ten years elapses).
  • A landlord may apply for a disabled tenant.
  • The applicant is responsible for planning permission or building regulations approval.


What do you get?

The grant is means tested with the exception of grants to under 18’s. The means test is based on household income and household savings over £6,000. This table is a useful tool with respect to the household income element of the test: http://www.nihe.gov.uk/grants_ready_reckoner.pdf

The maximum grant is:

  • England £30,000
  • Wales £36,000
  • NI £25,000
  • Scotland varies by council – see below

Note that stair lifts are generally much cheaper than this maximum which is set in respect of more expensive building work. A grant may be rejected if work is started before the council has approved it.


How to claim:

Contact your local council. A list of application details by council is shown at the end of this document. The appropriate council departments are normally housing or environmental Health. The council will then usually put in place the visit from the Occupational Therapist and, if the Therapist deems the work necessary, means testing.

The council will routinely require two written estimates from suppliers. Some councils maintain lists of suppliers. You may wait up to six months for a decision. You may appeal if the application is not successful.

If you are not satisfied with the application procedure provided by your local council you may register your complaint with the local authority’s monitoring officer. Alternatively you may wish to contact the Local Government Ombudsman for applicants in England – their telephone number is 0845 602 1983.

Help with your application can be obtained from your local home improvement agency (HIA). Your local HIA can be found by visiting the following links:

England: http://www.foundations.uk.com/
Wales: http://www.careandrepair.org.uk/
Scotland http://www.careandrepairscotland.co.uk/


Grants in Scotland

In Scotland, under The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, local authorities are allowed to provide grants, loans, subsidised loans, practical assistance and information or advice to home owners for repairs, improvements, adaptations and the acquisition or sale of a house.

If you are a home owner you can get a grant for:

  • Structural adaptations to a house which are essential to a disabled person’s needs.
  • Providing standard amenities intended to meet the needs of a disabled person – such as a fixed bath or shower, wash-hand basin or sink or a toilet.

The grant will be 100% of approved costs if the you or a member of your household gets income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, the guarantee credit of pension credit or income-related employment and support allowance. In other cases the grant will be 80%.

If you are a tenant you can only get a grant or loan for one of the following:

  • For work which has been your responsibility under your tenancy for a period of two years before your application.
  • For adaptations to a disabled person’s house to make it suitable for their accommodation, welfare or employment, or for the reinstatement of any house adapted.
  • For work which is required as a matter of urgency for the health, safety or security of the occupants of a house, including, in particular, work to repair it or provide means of escape from fire or other fire precautions


Alternative sources of financing

If you’re unable to obtain a Disabled Facilities Grant from your local authority, it is worth exploring other funding options such as charitable grants, equity release or property repair loans.

Examples are:

Margaretsfund.org offers financial aid to women in ill health and in need. Grants must be applied for by a Caring Professional, not individuals.

Ssafa.org.uk The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association has funds available to support existing and former members of the armed forces.


More information

If you live in England or Wales:https://www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants/overview

If you live in Scotland for disabled people in private housing:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/03/31131031/1

For local authority tenants:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/03/29091237/1

For Housing Association tenants:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/03/29091158/1


Application Details by Council:

Please call us on 0800 652 9562 for a Free Home Assessment