If your limited budget is your main concern, don’t rule out a stairlift until you’ve looked into all your options. You may be able to get a grant to help with the cost, from either your local authority or a charity fund.
Finding out about sources of financial aid can be time-consuming. Our aim is to help you save time and money when you buy a stairlift. That’s why we’ve done the research – so you don’t have to! Read on to learn about the grants that may be able to get to help with the cost of installing a stairlift.
If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant from your local council. This type of grant is paid for by the government and you will need to apply through your local council to find out how much help you might get. A Disabled Facilities Grant can be used towards the cost of various home adaptations that a disabled person might need. It can be awarded for things such walk-in baths, wider doorways and ramps as well as stairlifts.
It is important to know that you may not qualify for a grant at all and any grant offered may not cover the full cost of installing a stairlift. You may still need to contribute towards the cost yourself. This is because Disabled Facilities Grants are means-tested. This means the council will take into account your household income and any household savings over £6000 before making a decision.
The maximum amount you could receive depends on which country you live in. People in England can get up to £30,000, in Wales up to £36,000 and in Northern Ireland up to £25,000.
If you think you may be able to get a grant from your council, you will need to wait for them to approve your application before you get your stairlift fitted. Your council will tell you when and how you will be paid the grant. The council may pay the invoice directly or give you a cheque to pass on to the stairlift company.
There are certain criteria to be met before a council will approve a grant. For instance, you (or the person applying for the grant) must plan to live in the house for the foreseeable future, which is usually the next five years. You can apply if you’re disabled and either own your own home or are a tenant. The council will assess whether installing a stairlift is “necessary and appropriate” for your needs. The work required needs to be considered “reasonable” and must be able to be carried out given the condition of the property.
You will need to contact your council to find out exactly what the process is for applying in your local area. An occupational therapist will probably visit your home to assess your needs and discuss what adaptations you would like to make. The council will also be able to give you an idea of the timescale involved. Be aware that in some cases it can take up to six months from application to receive a decision.
If you live in Scotland you can apply for a mandatory grant under the scheme of assistance from your local authority. This is similar to the process of obtaining a Disabled Facilities Grant in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Councils in Scotland provide grants for disabled people for structural adaptations, such as fitting a stairlift, so long as the work is assessed as essential for their needs.
If you are awarded a mandatory grant it should pay for a minimum of 80 percent of the cost of the stairlift installation. Local authorities have the discretion to award more than an 80 percent grant in certain circumstances. Exactly what financial help is offered in your area will be outlined in your local authority’s scheme of assistance statement.
It is possible to get a grant to pay for 100 percent of the work if you are in receipt of specific benefits. You will be eligible for a full grant if you receive any of the following: Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, guarantee credit part of Pension Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit.
There is no upper limit on the cost of home adaptations that a grant will cover. How much help you will be eligible for will be determined by your individual assessment of need. You will not be able to get a grant for any work that is not deemed necessary for your needs.
If you don’t qualify for a grant from your local authority, or you require further financial assistance,you may be able to get a small amount of financial aid from a charitable organisation. There are several charities that offer grants for people with a disability or long term illness to adapt their homes.
Independence at Home
Independence at Home is a charity that was established over 50 years ago. It can provide financial help for people with long term illness or disability to improve their independence at home. To be eligible for a grant the person applying must be in financial need. In other words, finding it hard to afford the cost of everyday living and unable to afford the equipment needed.
You will need to get a professional, such as an occupational therapist, social worker or physiotherapist, to assess your needs and apply on your behalf. You can expect to receive a decision within 2 weeks of applying.
If you qualify for a grant the amount awarded could be between £200 and £600. This amount can be used towards the cost of a stairlift and you may be able to get an additional grant from another source.
The Glasspool Trust
The Glasspool Trust is a national charity that aims to help people in need by awarding small grants to help with the cost of various things. To be considered for a contribution towards a home adaptation such as a stairlift you will need to get a recommendation from an occupational therapist.
This charity does not accept applications from individuals and you will need to use an approved third party organisation to apply on your behalf. You can find full details of referral agencies on the charity’s website.
The Headley Trust
The Headley Trust (part of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts) runs a programme that provides grants of up to £2,500 towards equipment that can help increase a disabled person’s mobility. Usually no more than half the total cost of the mobility equipment will be awarded as a grant. The funds to pay for the remaining cost will need to be raised separately.
In order to apply you will need to be referred by a third party such as a social worker, healthcare professional or registered charity.
The Barchester Healthcare Foundation
The Barchester Healthcare Foundation provides grants for older people over 65 as well as other adults with a disability. The grants can be used to purchase items such as a stairlift that will improve a person’s mobility and independence.
The size of grant awarded can range from £100 to £5,000. Applications must be made by a third party who knows you in a professional or community-based capacity.
The ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation offers grants of up to £2,500 towards equipment that can help a person live independently at home. Applications will only be considered in cases where statutory funding is not available. Priority will be given to people on the lowest incomes with the greatest need.
The Turn2us website has a Grants Search facility where you can enter your details to find out about any grants you might be able to receive.