This Factsheet is about complaints relating to Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs). It should be read together with our ‘How to Complain’ webpage, available on the ‘Making A Complaint’ tab.
The DFG is a mandatory council grant that helps to meet the costs of adapting a disabled person’s home so that they can continue to live there as independently as possible. Tenants, owner occupiers and landlords who have a disabled tenant can apply for a DFG. The DFG is a means tested grant to disabled adults ( means testing does not apply to parents of dependent disabled children or young people under 19). This means depending on your income, savings and outgoings, you might have to make a contribution towards the cost of the works. In Wales, the maximum DFG award is currently £36,000.
Examples of the sorts of adaptations the DFG covers include:
Before a formal DFG application is considered, a social services department’s occupational therapist (OT) will usually need to assess the disabled person’s needs, including whether
the works are “necessary and appropriate”. The OT’s recommendations are normally put to the Housing Department who administers the DFG. The council will then have to decide whether it is “reasonable and practicable” to do the works.
Depending on the OT’s recommendations, there are a number of other checks that a council may carry out at the initial enquiries stage. Your local council should be able to tell you more, including whether you have to complete a pre-application DFG enquiries form. Once this stage is satisfactorily completed, you normally have to submit a formal DFG application along with other documents. Provided the council has received all the relevant information, legally it has to approve a completed DFG application within six months of its receipt.
The Ombudsman can look at:
The Ombudsman cannot:
You can find further information regarding DFGs in the following locations:
National Assembly for Wales “Housing for Disabled Children and Families” www.assemblywales.org/qg12-0013.pdf
Examples of cases that the Ombudsman has looked at can be found on our website, on the ‘Publications’ tab under ‘Our Findings’ & ‘The Ombudsman’s Casebook’.