FOR OTs and LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Benefits of a WashPod temporary disabled wetroom to local authorities:
- Buy through a DFG and re-use again later so saving much needed funds. Interim storage can be arranged
- Speed of installation (typically one day) especially good for end-of-life care
- Minimal disruption as no adaptations needed
- Perfect for social housing where adaptations may be unattractive
- Good for disabled children as can suit changing needs for interim periods
- A service agreement can be set up with us
- A low-cost option given a 10 year WashPod lifespan and the option for multiple use
- High specification so minimal maintenance
- Can be adapted internally to meet specific client needs
FOR PRIVATE CUSTOMERS
DISABLED FACILITIES GRANT (DFG)
A WashPod unit can be bought using a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) via your local authority. The cost of the smaller pods lie well within the Grant allocation. The larger units may need top up funding from other sources of funding or a financial contribution from the applicant.
The local authority then benefits from owning the WashPod and being able to reuse* it for other applicants, using a service and maintenance agreement with us.
*The Housing Renewal Grants (Additional Conditions) General Consent 1996 entitles authorities to reclaim specialist equipment.
WHAT IS A DISABLED FACILITIES GRANT (DFG)?
A DFG is a grant for people with a permanent disability of any sort – including physical and learning disabilities, sensory impairments and mental illness. A DFG is means tested for adults over 18 years but not for children. Either way, it can help with changes to your home that will help you to continue living there.
WashPod units are often used for children with disabilities as they can provide a temporary, interim answer to the washing question to accommodate different needs as the child grows.
Wet room provision and adaptations to your bathroom fall under the DFG remit, so long as an Occupational Therapist deems it necessary, appropriate and possible and an assessment.
How much is available for a DFG (2021-22)?
- In Northern Ireland, up to £25,000 is available
- In England, it’s possible to get up to £30,000.
- In Wales, up to £36,000 is available.
- In Scotland, the sum is discretionary, depending on the local council
Who can get a DFG?
For adults, the DFG is means-tested, so the amount that you could get depends on your household income and savings. The means test looks at your income and savings together with that of your spouse or partner, if you have one. The amount you can get will depend on the cost of the work that needs doing. Some people might get the total cost of adaptations paid for; others might have to contribute towards the cost.
Applying for someone else?
If you’re a family member, landlord or Home Improvement Agency supporting a disabled person, you can apply for a DFG on their behalf. The DFG is available whether you rent your property or own your home. If you’re a local authority or housing association tenant and you apply for help with adaptations, the local authority/housing association will decide whether to carry out the work itself or refer you for a DFG.
How is a DFG paid?
The DFG can be paid either:
• by instalments as the work progresses, or
• in full when the work is finished.
The council may pay the contractor directly or give you a cheque to pay the contractor themselves.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A DISABLED FACILITIES GRANT (DFG)?
1. Get an assessment
Find out what changes are needed to your property and how much these will cost. If you’ve already had an assessment from the council (either an Occupational Therapist Assessment or a full Needs Assessment) this will list recommendations.
If you need an assessment, your council will visit to assess if your home is suitable for adaptation and what is needed. There might be a long waiting list, in which case ask if you can use a private OT. You should be able to include the cost of this in your grant application but check with your council first.
The council will normally need two written estimates for the cost of the work. There is nothing else quite like WashPod but this is what makes it particularly attractive – cheaper than permanent alternatives and requiring no disruptive adaptations or building work.
2. Complete a DFG application form
This is available from your local authority or, in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). This must include a description of your proposed adaptations and two estimates of the cost together with details of any other fees and charges.
3. Provide documentation
You must be the owner or tenant of the property or intend to become the owner or tenant and there must be a disabled person living in the property. You will need to provide documentation to prove either of these scenarios, which must be submitted with the DFG application.
Written consent: if you are renting a property, the owner(s) must provide written agreement for the work to be carried out.
Certificate: if you are the applicant, you must complete a certificate which states that you will be living in the property for at least five years after the work has been completed, unless you’re unable to due to health problems.
4. Apply for planning permission
You will need to apply separately for any necessary planning permission or building regulations approval (unless this is done by the Home Improvement Agency or other organisation).
5. Submit the application
You’ll need to return the completed application to the local council for approval before work starts on the property and they should respond, in writing, within six months of the application date.