Paying for adaptations to your home
In some circumstances, local authorities will help to fund adaptations to enable disabled people, or those with limited mobility, to continue living at home. In this article we explain what kinds of funding are available.
However, if you don’t qualify for support from a local authority or another state agency, you’ll usually have to pay for adaptations yourself. Read our article about self-funding home adaptations for more help with this.
What local authority funding is available?
Minor and major adaptations are funded in different ways by local authorities.
Wherever you live, the first step is to get a needs assessment because local authorities will only fund adaptations they have deemed necessary. During the assessment an occupational therapist will visit your home to see what adaptations might help you to continue living there independently.
Following the assessment, you will be given a care plan that explains the recommendations about the adaptations you need.
- If the care plan says that you need professional care support as well as home adaptations, then you will have the option of having a full financial assessment.
- If the care plan recommends only home adaptations, you will have the opportunity to apply for funding depending on the cost of the adaptations, divided into minor and major adaptations.
If you live in England and the recommended adaptations cost less than £1,000, social services often provide and fit these free of charge. However, if you’ve been allocated a personal budget to manage your own care, adaptations might be funded out of this.
In Northern Ireland and Scotland, local authorities might charge for minor adaptations.
In Wales, local authorities might charge for minor adaptations but, in line with charging policies for non-residential care, any charges made must be ‘reasonable’ and have regard to your ability to pay. For small-scale adaptations, you may be able to apply for funding (up to £350) under the Rapid Response Adaptation Programme, which is administered by Care & Repair Cymru. You must be referred for this by a health or social care professional.
If the needs assessment recommends major adaptations (costing more than £1,000), you can apply for a grant from your local council to help with costs.
Local authority grants
All local authorities in the UK offer grants to help people with a disability to make necessary modifications to their homes, which could enable you to live more independently.
These could be adaptations that make the property easier or safer for you to use and get around in. Depending on where you live in the UK, the grants are called different things:
- in England and Wales: Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)
- In Northern Ireland: Home Repair Assistance Grant
- In Scotland: Scheme of Assistance.
We cover each of these in our article on the Disabled Facilities Grant.
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs)
If you would benefit from more advice and support around home adaptations, it's a good idea to contact your local Home Improvement Agencies (HIA).
These are small, not-for-profit organisations funded by local and central government. They provide information and support to help older, disabled and vulnerable people live well at home. They can help you determine which adaptations you need and how to go about arranging them.
Read more about what they offer in Home Improvement Agencies.
The DFG is available to people who meet certain eligibility criteria. We explain what these are and how you can apply.
If you are eligible, government funding for home care may be available. We explain the means test and other rules.
Getting the right home adaptations can help you to stay safe and independent for as long as possible.