Disability aids and equipment
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disabled facilities grant for a shower - advice please

Clare_1970Clare_1970 Member Posts: 8 Listener
Hi everyone.
I am 48 years old have osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and Lipedema and am now at the point where I can’t use my bath anymore so need a walk in shower and remove the bath from the bathroom. I have just had a hip replacement and the knee needs replacing too. Looking for advice regarding disabled facilities grants and experience of the means test allowances. I don’t want to waste mine or the Council’s time and resources by applying if it looks like we won’t get any help. Does anyone have experience of what the allowance amounts are so I can gauge any help I may or may not! Be able at access
thank you in advance

Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,839 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Clare_1970
    Welcome to the community! I too am waiting for a shower to be fitted downstairs and the council are doing it, because I'm deaf my mum has contacted them and so I don't know much about grants, sorry. Wishing you all the best :)
    Community Champion
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • Clare_1970Clare_1970 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi Ami thank you for your reply. Can i ask how long the process took to sort out the shower for you. I heard they can take up to 6 mths to give a decision
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 541 Pioneering
    Research this with care. Find sites with the experiences and photos and horror stories, of what happens in real life worst cases, not only what happens in theory. 

    DFG is a statutory duty, But,But, But

    A wet room is a standard and often welcome improvement to your home, adding value, for benefit of you or your landlord. .

    Why bother to pay, if you can get it through DFG? 

     Because either deliberately or through incompetence, three  things happen when officials provide 

    1.  There will be absurd, frustrating, stress inducing delays

    2.   The style, colour, layout, quality of materials, final appearance will be the opposite of  what you would select, after a lot of research into prices and options

    3.    The start date, the behaviour of builders, the times and days they work, their politeness and tidiness, how long they leave you without a water supply or access to the bathroom, will be directly under your own control when you yourself are the paying customer. 

    If not,  will they finish off the job properly? Will they return if there is a problem, or a leak, or a loose tile?    On a good day, you may or may not get through to someone in the council.  That person may or may not contact the builder, who may or may not take any notice


    Frequently, the free competetive market will produce what the customer wants, at a fraction the price officials will authorise. (See mobility,  see n.h.s payments for tens of pounds for  stuff every pharmacist sells for pennies)  And that is why those involved in such circles will attempt to keep fresh air out.  It's like lifting a stone

    (By contrast, there is apparently a good scheme in Ireland, where they use EU money and improve their housing stock. Old or disabled people get their homes improved to top eco and disabled friendly standards, by any builder they choose, from a list of those approved as reputable and qualified.)

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing this with us @Clare_1970- I wonder if @Jean_Scope can offer any input?
  • markyboymarkyboy Member Posts: 374 Pioneering
    I had a disability grant for a walk in shower it took 3 years from first applying till work completion 
    First you have to have a visit from a Occupational therapist to see what your needs are this report is sent to the council they then come out to see if you  qualify for a grant  then you go on a waiting list as they only have limited funds allocated each financial year  and when you get the green light the council invite tenders for the work 
    It can be a long process
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering
    Hi @Clare_1970

    Thanks for @Pippa_Scope for inviting me to join this conversation.

    There is so basic information about the Disabled Facilities Grant  (DFG) scheme on the Scope website: https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/disabled-facilities-grant

    With regards to your specific query about the financial means test. Each local authority is at liberty to set their own criteria so you need to know the calculations used in your area. Ask your local authority for a copy of the criteria that they use. Generally speaking if you are living above the level of means-tested benefits you will probably be asked to contribute something. However, local authorities also have discretion with this.     

    Like all government funded schemes DFG isn't perfect and some people do encounter issues with it as @newborn has pointed out. I would say that the main complaints people bring to Scope relate to timescales and being offered adaptations that meet their OT assessed needs but aren't a good match for their decor, life-style, family needs or what they think they need. 

    Of course vast numbers of people do successfully navigate their way through the DFG process every year. For some disabled people who don't have access to other resources it is often their only option to get the adaptations they so desperately need. I would hate to think of anyone who really needs a DFG being put off applying  because of some of the negative stories. 

    DFG has recently been under reviews and we can expect an announcement about changes in the foreseeable future. The Guardian published an article about DFG this week: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/29/disabled-facilities-grant-one-best-kept-secrets-uk-welfare-system-risk

    Best Wishes

    Jean

      

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • Clare_1970Clare_1970 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Thank you Jean, i really appreciate the feedback received by everyone on here. I did call my council yesterday to cagse the Ot appt and was told they are having to prioritise and basically i wouldnt be on that list and thats on for a home visit at the moment! So yes agree to be positive but cant help feeling its going to be a long slog. It would be great to get the allowances for the  council in regards to DFG so i know whether its worth pursuing but it all seems to be too secret! And no one will part with it. Currently i am going to a sheltered accomodation locally to use their disability adapted bath but times are limited and if i havent got a lift there i cant access it. Otherwise having a strip wash and my husband having to wash and dry my body waist down which doesnt feel right even if our vows were in sickness and health! 
    Clare

  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 541 Pioneering
    I put an answer in for this thread, accidentally on the one for the lady with a stairlift. Maybe someonknows how to move it?
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