Disability adaptations grant. — Scope | Disability forum
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Disability adaptations grant.

JenF
JenF Community member Posts: 28 Connected
edited September 2022 in Housing and independent living
Hello, I don't know if anyone has experience of trying to claim these grants. We need a wheelchair accessible kitchen for my daughter, who lives alone in a small bungalow. So far the process has taken just under two years, or 18 months if you ignore lockdown. We have not been allowed to talk to the council officials who actually award the grants, everything has come second hand through the OT. I am sure he has tried to be helpful, but what we have got from him is mixed messages. If you do this, they might not give the grant. So back we go to the architect (the council insisted we employ one), and try to fix the problem. Then when we have, something else comes back...you might not get the grant if you do this.
My daughter initially contacted them about the kitchen, the OT then asked about the bathroom, and the access. As my daughter cannot stand to cook but can walk, what she urgently needs is the kitchen,  but the bathroom isn't wheelchair accessible. So the OT put that down as well. That doubles the cost to way over the grant limit of £30K, and the council are insisting that it must all be done or no grant can be paid. My daughter does not have that kind of money, though we can chip in a bit we are alarmed at the way the council seems to think they can control how we spend our money. When my daughter queried the cost she was told that that was no problem, she could claim two grants in different financial years. So she said, yes, the bathroom is a problem and needs adapting. Ever since then they have been refusing to say yea or nay to this, but everything they do say implies that she can't have two grants.
At last and in desperation we put in the builders' quotes we had, together with a quantity surveyors estimate (which we also had to pay for).
We were told that if we started any part of the work before grant approval we might not get the grant, now we are being told that we must complete work on the drive and access before internal work begins. 
We have got in touch with our MP and finally someone is coming from the council to actually look at the property and meet my daughter - neither the OT nor anyone else has done this.
Is it always like this? I find it difficult to believe that the council are acting in good faith. They have already picked holes in the builder's quotes and refused to accept them. I feel that whatever we do they will continue to do this and find reasons not to pay a grant that my daughter is certainly entitled to.
Does anyone out there have knowledge of this system?

Comments

  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello @JenF welcome to the community, and thank you for reaching out. It's certainly a frustrating situation, and a very long winded process. I'm afraid I have no direct experience of applying for disability adaptions grants, but I can well imagine that the experience is similar to many other types of applications disabled people make to try and access support. Meanwhile we have to continue adapting the way we live, using things which aren't fit for purpose or suited to our needs.

    To help our members share their own experiences I've marked your post as unanswered, so hopefully someone can reply with their thoughts soon. I'm sorry I can't be of more help at the moment.

    If there is anything else you feel we can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask. We're here to support you.

    Alex
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • buntieluntie
    buntieluntie Community member Posts: 2 Listener

    Hi Jen

    Sounds like a v.confusing situation to be in. Do you have a caseworker who is overseeing the adaptations process? The Foundations website is useful, it's intended for home improvement agencies/local authorities but holds lots of information on how the grant works, what to expect etc. Please see Mckeown v Islingon for a recent legal judgement which is now case law on making separate DFG applications for each purpose, each up to a maximum of £30k. You can find that info at www.foundations.uk.com/r-v-islington-mckeown/

    It's not uncommon for local authorities to be unaware of this recent case law. Hope this helps.

  • JenF
    JenF Community member Posts: 28 Connected
    Buntieluntie, thank you for your comment. No, I didn't know about the Foundations website, it looks incredibly useful.
    Things have improved since the site visit. It seems that we were dealing with a member of staff who was being useless. The push from the MP got senior staff involved and the project is now going ahead as it should, with just the kitchen  works being paid for and  no other conditions placed on the rest of the property.
  • buntieluntie
    buntieluntie Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Glad things have improved and the kitchen is being adapted.  
  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 746 Pioneering
    @JenF glad you have got your council to move on things. My wife and I are trying to replace a shower with an adapted bath. Our council have approved it, and our county council have approved a suitable bath. We are not entitled to any grant whatsoever, which we are fighting. It is getting messily legal now!

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