Published September 14, 2018 at 16:30
Disabled people in Rossendale could receive more financial support if they need to adapt their house or install specialist equipment.
Councillors have agreed to use discretionary powers which will help some residents meet the substantial cost of making these alterations.
It means that the maximum disabled facilities grant a household could receive will be increased from £30,000 to £60,000.
There will be a £7,000 threshold before a means test is needed, or if the adaptation includes only one prescribed item.
Other flexible arrangements include:
- A relocation grant of up to £5k if a person’s house is not suitable for the work to be carried out
- Up to £2k to support discharge from hospital where other funding is not available
- Up to £2k for professional fees if the job does not proceed
- Help with assessed contribution following means test
- Up to £5k to repair equipment not under warranty
- Up to £3k to repair heating
All these changes are aimed at improving the health of disabled people and helping them to live independently and safely in their own homes.
The move was approved by councillors at Wednesday’s (September 12) cabinet meeting. They say that the extra cost will be relatively minor and, while the number of people who will benefit may be small, the changes will have a big impact on their lives.
It will cut ‘red tape’ and reduce means testing, therefore encouraging more people to apply for the grants and enabling the adaptations to be made quicker.
The move has been prompted by increases to the Government’s Better Care Fund, out of which the disabled facilities grant comes.
Councillor Barbara Ashworth, Rossendale Council’s portfolio holder for health, housing communities and customers, said:
We want to make it easier for our most vulnerable residents to receive the help and support they need to stay in their own homes.
That’s why we have decided to use the discretionary powers available to us to increase the grants we can provide above the current mandatory level, and to introduce a threshold before a means test is needed.
This will make a real different to the lives of some people with disabilities.