How to Get Financial Help to Install a Stairlift
Outfitting a home with a stairlift to make it more accessible for a disabled resident can be a very expensive endeavor. Fortunately, local authorities in the UK have a system to provide financial aid to eligible applicants trying to remodel their home to improve access and make their lives better. There are certain steps that need to be followed for a successful application.
The most important thing to remember for those looking to install a stairlift is to not perform any work on the home prior to going through the application process. Local councils never award grant funding after the fact.
*Who can apply – A disabled homeowner or tenant may apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant to improve access in the residence. A landlord may also apply on behalf of a renter. Applicants will be required to live in the home for at least five years.
*Where to begin – Contact the Housing or Environmental Health departments of the local council and request an application form. Be prepared to demonstrate average weekly income, savings and expenses.
*Get quotes – The local council is likely to require at least two estimates of how much it will cost to install a stairlift in the residence, and will need to agree that the work is necessary and appropriate to meet the disabled person’s needs. It will also take into account the age and condition of the residence. Arrange for two companies to visit and provide an estimate on the scope of work to be performed and how much it will cost. The local council may be able to provide a list of companies that it works with on such matters. An occupational therapist can also help determine which changes will be needed.
*Length of time – It can take quite a long time to receive approval for a Disabled Facilities Grant, especially if there is a long waiting list of applicants. Keep in mind these funds can be used to make other improvements to homes and are not exclusive to stairlifts. The local council will also need to schedule visits to assess the home situation and ensure the changes are warranted. On the other hand, the authorities should be able to estimate how long the wait will be and provide an update within six months of application.
*Conditions – It is important to note that one of the circumstances of the grant is that the disabled person must live there for five years. If they move out before that, they will be required to pay back the amount of the grant. The grant is means-tested, so the amount awarded, if any, with depend on the applicant’s financial situation.
The Disabled Facilities Grant helps disabled people make changes to their residence to provide better access, increase their freedom of movement and generally improve their lives. Installing a stairlift is one such example. For those that cannot afford to make this improvement on their own, a Disabled Facilities Grant through the local council can vastly improve someone’s quality of life.
Claire Bradshaw writes on behalf of a website that has more information on stairlifts grants and how to apply for them.