I/we (my partner and I are thinking of applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant to help with accessing out front door. As it stand the step has a fifteen inch drop and is dangerous for a 75 yo woman with a disability.
But I am given to understand that the financial assessment is very rigorous. We are in receipt of pension credit and have savings below £6,000, but my partner feels this should be enough for an assessment. She gets stressed out when these things come up. What i am asking is, how invasive are these assessments. We would meet the criteria i am sure, but don’t want the stress of a ‘star chamber.’
What we were hoping to find out, however, was just how invasive the financial assessment is? Just a declaration or will them want the full access to backdated bank statements etc. Not that we have anything to hide, but we bank on the internet and would have to obtain them if simple print outs wont work.
We had a third party trust out to do my brothers financial assessment, as they were providing the funding for adaptions to the LA. They were satisfied by tenancy agreement as they had to obtain LL permission and my brother was in receipt of HB, so the award letter was enough evidence, as he had been financially assessed as having below a certain level of income.
I started the process of applying, (for my wife’s benefit) but I was eventually confident (it took a lot of digging to find the figures) that we wouldn’t qualify as we’re so stinking rich.
They wanted details of every Savings account, Bank account, ISAs, Premium Bonds, and anything else you can think of, they wanted to know the dates these accounts were opened etc etc. I did collate all the figures, (just in case), but when we had a visit for the assessment it came down to one question:- “Does your wife have more than £23.500 in savings?”
With the answer being yes, we weren’t eligible. However, had we been eligible, the amount provided would be on a sliding scale depending on how much we did have in savings - this should tell you, that if you are eligible they will want chapter and verse on whatever you’ve got stashed away to work out where you are on the scale.
We both have over that figure in savings in our separate names.
It’s a mixed blessing, it’s nice to not have any financial worries, but it does mean that any major outlay falls on us.
What’s especially hard to take is that Attendance Allowance doesn’t qualify you for any Mobility payments. Since my wife became unable to walk properly, I’ve had to sell our car, (hadn’t had it long and I usually keep them until they fall apart), buy a new van, install a hoist in the back for her scooter, and subsequently when she became unable to weight bear I had a hoist installed in the front to lift her in as well. The two hoists cost what I received when selling the car, nothing is cheap when you’re disabled as you’re something of a captive market.
With hindsight, a wheelchair accessible vehicle would have been a better buy. If only you could buy hindsight!
We applied for a grant for our 2 year old son. The grant application process was worth it. I had a social worker help me with the paperwork. It meant a lot to us as well. I was able to continue to work part time as a childcare provider which I love doing. It enables my son to participate in normal everyday activities like children his own age. The money is spent on his wheelchair. It also helps our boy to be independent.
I’ve just gone through process. I want to build an extension to accommadate a downstairs toilet and upstairs wetroom for my wife. My budget for this is £30000-£35000. Our local council will do a financial assessment BEFORE any application is made for a DFG. I have found that very useful as it took less than a week to do and get a decision.
It’s important to remember that it is the HOUSEHOLD that is assessed for these purposes not just the applicant. You cannot choose to be assessed independently. If you don’t want to disclose theinformation then you might as well not bother. Like any means tested benefit full disclosure is neccessary.
Any benefits for the disabling illness are ignored in the income fields as are some other benfits. That means PIP and DLA for instance are ignored as is the first £6600 of savings as capital… The downside for me is that liabilities cannot be offset against assets such as savings etc. As I understand it, a set amount is taken into account for living expenses but what this is no one seems to know.
I wasn’t hopeful as both my income and assets exceed those normally set for means tested benefits and that proved to the case. I was told that should I make a formal application then it probably would be granted but at the £NILrate so I won’t bother.
I’ve since found out though, that the whole of the construction work and some of the fittings will qualify for VAT at the zero rate. So there will be some savings at least but the rest will have to come out of my own resources.
Hope that is informative
Thanks for that , Ron … will benefit other readers.
As for the assets / liabilities bit , interesting.
One problem I encountered almost 20 years ago now was how the system coped with one person having , say , £ 20K on
an account as backing for a bank guarantee to another person … assume in this instance , carer and caree.
( Said account would be styled … XYZ Bank re : ( Name of Account Holder ) … common practice when " Cash " is used
as security behind a guarantee to a third party. )
Interesting problem and not one encountered very often. I suspect that would make the system crash, lol
The reason I mentioned the assets/liabilities issue is that all of the assets are in my name but I have no debt. My wife has no assets but substantial debts (from a business venture that went south some years ago).
One thing that I didn’t mention with regard to the OP is that if his LA does what mine did and do a financial assessment before any application, then he probably won’t have to submit any supporting evidence such as bank statements etc.That will give an indication as whether or not he would be successful. I believe that should he proceed with a full application that supporting evidence would be required. From what he said, he should sail through the process. and be successful.