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Minor and major adaptations can be funded in different ways by local authorities.

Local authorities can help with funding home alterations and repairs. Wherever your relative lives, the first step is to get a professional assessment of their needs because local authorities will only fund alterations that they have deemed necessary. Our guide to Accessing occupational therapy for older people explains how to get a free assessment from an occupational therapist (OT), and what this involves.

Following the assessment, the OT will make recommendations about the adaptations your relative needs. 

Minor alterations

If you live in England and the recommended alterations cost less than £1,000, social services will often provide and fit these free of charge. However, if your relative has been allocated a personal budget to manage their own care, alterations might be funded out of this.

In Northern Ireland and Scotland, local authorities might charge for minor alterations.

In Wales, local authorities might charge for minor alterations but, in line with charging policies for non-residential care, any charges made must be ‘reasonable’ and have regard to an individual’s ability to pay. For small-scale adaptations, people may be able to apply for funding (up to £350) under the Rapid Response Adaptation Programme, which is administered by Care and Repair Cymru. Your relative must be referred for this by a health or social care professional.

Major adaptations

If the OT recommends major adaptations (costing more than £1,000), your relative can apply for a grant from their local council to help with costs.

All local authorities in the UK offer grants to help disabled people make necessary modifications to their homes, which will enable them to  live more independently. These could be adaptations that make the property easier or safer for the person to use and get around in.

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, this is called a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).

In Scotland, there is a similar grant called a Scheme of Assistance. The process for application and funding is broadly the same as for the DFG.

More information

Page last reviewed: April 2017
Next review due: April 2018