How you can use the Disability Facilities Grant

Ways to pay for major adaptations to your home

How you can use the Disability Facilities Grant

If you qualify for the Disability Facilities Grant (DFG) your local district or borough council must carry out the work. This falls under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act (HGCRA) 1996.

The adaptations, or eligible works, must be:

  • "necessary and appropriate" to meet your assessed needs
  • "reasonable and practical" for the age, layout and condition of your home

What the DFG covers

You can use the DFG to help you get around your home. This includes getting to:

  • a room where you sleep
  • the main family room
  • a hand basin, toilet and bath or shower
  • your garden

You can also use it to:

  • help you with food preparation and cooking
  • improve or provide a heating system
  • change controls to power, light or heating
  • make the property safe

If the works you need doing are not on this list, your district or borough council may still be able to help. They may be able to fund you under The Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002. To find out more get in touch with the grants officer from your local district or borough council.

Your occupational therapist (OT) or case worker will always start by trying to improve your current home. Sometimes this is not possible. If this happens, they will talk to you about moving. If you can't move, they may consider an extension.

If you're going to move or are on the housing register, you may not qualify for the DFG.

To find out if you might be able to get the DFG see Who can apply for a DFG.

Things you need to know

Your OT will consider what adaptations you need. The works they recommend will be the most:

  • appropriate
  • cost-effective

to meet your needs. The DFG may not pay for some minor works.

The next section explains what this means for you.

Your OT will start by looking at all the ways you can get into your home. They will need to consider:

  • the most cost-effective way to help you get in and out of your home. This could be by your back or side door
  • if works could affect common areas of your building

You may need parking closer to your home. If you can't use a disabled parking bay, your OT may consider works to create a driveway or a dropped kerb.

Depending on your needs and your family situation, adaptations may mean moving rooms around. Your OT will consider:

  • if you could move your bedroom upstairs or downstairs
  • if a room could be divided​

Your OT will only suggest moving a toilet or basin if you have a clinical need. When considering bathrooms, they will think about:

  • your family needs
  • if there's another bathroom you can use

Depending on the layout of your bathroom, your OT may suggest:

  • level access shower tray or wet floor shower
  • stepped or ramped access if a wet floor shower is not possible

They will usually recommend:

  • a full weighted shower curtain or half height shower doors instead of glass shower doors
  • using equipment to raise your toilet, rather than raising your toilet permanently

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) will not cover:

  • paintwork
  • shower pressure issues
  • flooring that doesn't meet BS EN 13845 (non-slip resistant)

If you have a water drainage issue, you may need to install a pump. This can be noisy. All adaptations will use standard, cost effective items. Your district or borough council might agree for you to pay towards more expensive items. You should talk to Your case worker about this. The DFG may not fund a power shower.

If someone else does most of your cooking, your OT may not suggest a full kitchen adaptation. They might look at helping you to do some simple tasks, like making light meals or hot drinks.

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) doesn't usually include standard appliances or white goods.

These works include installing heating in the rooms you use the most. It will not cover the replacement or repair of a broken boiler or heating system. Your OT may consider moving or replacing heating controls if that is cost effective.

Your OT will only consider central heating if:

  • this is the most cost-effective way to meet your needs
  • not having central heating would affect your wellbeing and mobility

You must also check if you can get any help from your energy company.​

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) will only cover access to your garden if you use it for things like:

  • drying your clothes
  • looking after your children
  • gardening

The DFG will only fund works to help you get to the parts of the garden you use.

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) will only cover making your home safe if you have caring responsibilities. This could be a child or partner. An example would be to let you get into the garden to look after your children.

If you live in a drifting houseboat:

  • it must have been your only home for at least 3 years
  • you moored in the same place on an inland waterway or in marine waters within the boundary of your district or borough
  • you have a right to moor your boat there

If you live in a mobile home:

  • it must have been your only home for at least 3 years
  • it has been on land forming part of the same protected site
  • you live there under an agreement covered by the Mobile Homes Act or a gratuitous licence

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