Funding Adaptations to the home
A guide for local authority tenants
This Guide details the financial help that may be available to make changes to your home to make it easier to get around
Is this leaflet for you?
- Do you rent your home from your local authority?
- Are you, or a member of your household disabled, or have mobility issues?
- Does your home need changed so that it meets your needs? Or the needs of someone else in your household?
- Are the changes needed essential?
If you answer ' yes' to any of these questions then you may be able to get help.
Everyone can get information and advice about their mobility problems. Your local Social Work Services will look at the difficulties you are facing and tell you about any help available to you.
But be aware!
Local authorities have their own local policies on the assistance they provide. The help available will vary depending where you live.
Do you rent your home from a housing association or privately? Do you own your home? You can also get help. But the arrangements are different. Ask for the leaflet which applies to you. Or go to www.scotland.gov.uk.
The work must be essential
The help described in this leaflet is only available for making significant changes to the structure of your home.
There are different arrangements for getting help with equipment, such as a shower chairs and community alarms.
Your local social work department will be able to explain more about these options when you are assessed.
Involves permanent structural changes to your home e.g.:
- Widening doors and fitting a ramp for wheelchair access
- Replacing the bath with a shower
- Fitting lower work surfaces to make the kitchen easier to use
Your local Social Work Services will advise on the full range of adaptations they provide.
The work to your home must be essential. In other words, you must need to have the work done to make your home suitable for you, or someone in your household with mobility issues.
There is no set list of the type of work which is essential. But it will always include:
- Fitting 'standard amenities', such as a bathroom or toilet.
- Changing these 'standard amenities', where this is needed so that you, or someone in your household, can use them.
- Other essential changes to the structure of your home so that it meets your needs.
What help is available?
[Your local authority will only make changes to your house assessed as essential]
- Your local authority Social Work Services will provide you with information and advice on what support is available to you. They will also carry out an assessment of your needs.
- The assessment will usually be carried out by an Occupational Therapist, and will identify what you need help with and suggest possible ways of meeting your needs, including adaptations to your home.
- The assessment will also consider if you are eligible for help from the local authority and how urgently you need it.
- Your local authority will make any essential changes to your home to meet your assessed needs. They will organise and pay for these works, and should consult you during the design process.
But be aware!
If your case is assessed as a low priority you may have to wait some time for assistance. Cases are usually prioritised as high, medium or low priority, depending on the level of need and risk to your health, wellbeing and independence. You will get more details on this during your assessment.
Limited budgets could also potentially delay any work starting.
Moving to a more suitable property
Occasionally it may not be possible to adapt your current home to meet your needs. This can happen for reasons such as:
- There is not enough space to make the necessary changes
- The way your house is built may make it very difficult or impossible to change
In some situations the local authority may suggest other solutions. Occasionally, the local authority may suggest that you might like to think about moving to a different property. Very occasionally, Councils will help to pay for the cost of buying, or even building, another more suitable home.
Getting more information
This leaflet is a brief summary of the rules on grant funding for a major adaptation. More detailed information will be available from your local authority Social Work Services or Housing Department.
Need some extra support?
If you feel that you might need some independent support to take you through this process you can ask for the help of an advocate.
Advocacy services support people to represent their own interests. Where this is not possible, the advocate will represent your views.
You can get more information on Advocacy Services, and search for an advocate in your local area, on the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance's website at www.siaa.org.uk.
What if I am not happy?
If you are not happy with the decisions made about your care needs, or your eligibility you can complain to the council.
To make a complaint contact the person who last dealt with you, or the local authority's Complaints Officer. They will advise you on how to progress your complaint.
Relevant contact details will be available on your local authority's website, or by contacting your local Social Work office.
Other sources of advice
Living Made Easy is an impartial advice and information website about daily living equipment and other aspects of independent living developed by the Disabled Living Foundation.
Care Information Scotland - Helpline 08456 001 001
Care Information Scotland is a helpline and website that has been set up to provide comprehensive information on community care for older people in Scotland
Ask Sara - www.asksara.org.uk
Ask Sara is an easy to use online self help guide that is particularly useful if you are not sure what help is available.
Ownership Options - www.ownershipoptions.org.uk
Ownership Options helps disabled people to resolve their housing issues, by working on finding tailored solutions for individuals. They work across housing sectors, including private and social renting, however, their focus is on home ownership.
Money Made Clear - www.Moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk or call 0300 500 5000. Money Made Clear is an independent advice service from the Financial Services Authority.