Discretionary Assistance for Disabled Occupants

Disabled Persons Relocation Assistance (DPRA)

This provides assistance with moving costs where major adaptations to adapt a property under the Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant are not considered cost effective or feasible and where the applicant has decided to move to a previously adapted or more adaptable property.

Who can apply for a DPRA?

The assistance is available to people who own their own homes and the disabled occupant must be registered or registerable as disabled.

Who will qualify?

Applicants will be subject to the Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant statutory test of resources unless in receipt of one of the “passport” benefits;

  • Income based job seekers allowance
  • Income based employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Guaranteed pension credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Working tax credit and with an income below £15,050 (subject to change)
  • Children’s tax credit and with an income below £15,050 (subject to change)
  • Universal credit (this includes any amount of Universal Credit which is being introduced from 2013 onwards as a replacement for working age benefits and tax credits).

However if the property to which the applicant is relocating requires adaptations and the applicant will be making a mandatory disabled facilities grant application in respect of that property and they will be liable for a contribution towards the cost of adaptation work, no deduction shall be made for any contribution in respect of this relocation assistance.

What can the assistance cover?

Assistance will be considered for costs associated with moving including legal fees, solicitor fees, relocation of specialist equipment for the disabled person, estate agent fees and removal costs. It does not include stamp duty, an allowance towards the cost of a new property, nor allowance towards furnishing and fittings etc. The assistance is available whether it includes moving to another local authority area or staying within the Wealden district.

Are there conditions attached to the DPRA?

No further relocation assistance would be payable within a period of three years.

How much assistance am I entitled to?

The maximum amount is £10,000 per application less any determined contribution from the test and resources.

Applications are approved on a strict case by case assessment including an assessment by the Housing Solutions Officer and the Council has discretion to determine the reasonableness of each case.

Disabled Facilities “top-up” Assistance

The Council recognises that there has been a general increase in building costs since the maximum mandatory disabled facilities grant was set up in 2008 at £30,000. This “top-up” offers assistance for large scale disabled adaptation works deemed necessary and appropriate and eligible for a mandatory disabled facilities grant, but where the cost of grant eligible work exceeds the £30,000 limit.

Who can apply for the “top-up”?

What works can be carried out?

Are there conditions attached to the “top-up”?

  • See conditions for a Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant.
  • In addition to general terms and conditions;

    Any top up assistance awarded over the mandatory DFG limit will be registered as a local land charge in full in addition to the charge registered as part of the mandatory DFG funding. The charge will be secured against the property for 10 years (as per the mandatory DFG charge).

How much assistance am I entitled to?

  • The maximum amount is £20,000 per application.

Shared Equity Loan

This loan provides capital assistance to owner occupiers on a shared equity basis whose current home cannot be adapted or is not suitable for their long term disability needs and wishes/needs to purchase an alternative property.

Who can apply for the loan?

Owner occupiers, who are existing home owners, or currently in a shared ownership scheme, and have a level of equity, but which is insufficient to purchase suitable alternative accommodation and whose financial circumstances do not permit an increase in their borrowing capacity to fund such a suitable property.

What can the loan be used for?

Purchase of an adapted or adaptable property which will meet the disabled occupant’s long term housing need.

Are there conditions attached to the shared equity loan?

The loan will be registered as a land registry charge and repayment of the shared equity loan will be required when the property is disposed of by sale, assignment, transfer or otherwise. The loan will be administered by the Council’s third party loan provider Parity Trust Loans (external link).

How much assistance am I entitled to?

This is subject to a strict case by case individual assessment where the Council has the discretion to determine the reasonableness of each case and subject to an equitable and balanced contribution of resources within the budget year based on the level of overall applications.

Dementia Assistance

The purpose of this assistance is to make homes dementia friendly by helping people with dementia, to make small changes to their homes that will support them to live at home safely and for longer.

Who can apply?

Any owner occupier, private tenant or housing association tenant diagnosed by a health professional with dementia.

What can the assistance cover?

The assistance can be used for items such as (but not limited to):

  • Replacing floor coverings that cause confusion or safety issues
  • Replacing tiling or bathroom fittings (i.e toilet seats and rails) to improve visual perception
  • Changing cupboards to make contents visual.
  • Improving lighting schemes to improve visibility around the home
  • Noise reduction measures
  • Ensuring gardens and paths are level and free from hazards.
  • Improving safety around the home
  • Signage around the home
  • Equipment recommended by an Occupational Therapist.

Are there conditions attached to the assistance, or exclusions to the assistance?

The dementia assistance cannot pay for items that can be funded through a Disabled Facilities Grant or equipment already provided by the Occupational Therapy Team (OT) but can be used for additional OT recommendations. The assistance cannot be used to cover packages of care.

How much assistance am I entitled to?

Multiple applications can be made, but there is a maximum of £5,000 of assistance available over a 3 year period.

Hospital Discharge Assistance

The purpose of this assistance is to help support people with disabilities or vulnerabilities to be able to make necessary improvements to their home environment, so they are able to be discharged from hospital to a safe environment.

Who can apply?

Any owner-occupier, private tenant or housing association tenant being discharged from hospital to home following a referral from an OT or relevant healthcare professional.

What can the assistance cover?

Example of interventions which may be carried out include, but are not restricted to; decluttering, deep cleaning, clearing properties, urgent home repairs, hazard removal, heating systems repaired/emergency heating provided.

Are there conditions attached to the assistance, or exclusions to the assistance?

The funding will only be available if there is no other relevant heath or social care funding obtainable and excludes packages of care funded by NHS continuing healthcare.

How much assistance am I entitled to?

Maximum of £2,500.

Hardship Assistance

The purpose of this assistance is to assist mandatory DFG applicants who have an assessed means tested contribution, but have insufficient capital funds and are unable to finance a loan to cover their contribution.

Who will qualify?

Applicants eligible for a Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant

Applicants who have a means tested contribution, but have insufficient capital to meet that obligation. Applicants will first need to be assessed by the Council’s third party loan provider, Parity Trust, and deemed that the applicant / disabled person will be left in unnecessary financial hardship by making any required home improvement loan repayments.

What works can be carried out?

Works eligible for a Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant

Are there conditions attached to the assistance, or exclusions to the assistance?

See conditions for a Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant

Assistance will be awarded on a case by case basis, and is aimed at stopping applicants facing hardship in order to receive appropriate adaptations to their home.

How much assistance am I entitled to?

Maximum of £10,000.

Feasibility Assistance

The purpose of this assistance is to obtain technical advice where complex work is anticipated. It can also be used where preliminary investigations / work is required to determine whether an adaptation project/grant is viable.

Who will qualify?

Applicants eligible for a Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant

What works can be carried out?

Works eligible for a Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant

Are there conditions attached to the assistance, or exclusions to the assistance?

If a mandatory DFG is approved the fee for technical support will be included within the mandatory DFG (maximum of 12.5% of the cost of the works) and will not be paid as an extra additional separate amount for any initial visits or plans carried out prior to approval.  

How much assistance am I entitled to?

Maximum of £1,500.