- A Guide to Disability Aids and Grants - Version 2

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Hi,

I have been asked to post this article I posted previously in the Chatroom, which may help many people in this Group. It covers most of the ways of obtaining disability aids, which you could either never afford or did not know you are entitled to, by other means.

The reason I put this document together was to show people with disabilities/disorders like myself can use other channels to obtaining equipment, this could even mean having a downstairs toilet built on to the side of your property. Under UK Government Legislation a disabled person on low income can apply for adaptions like this using a DFG (Disability Funding Grant) which you can apply for by contacting an Occupational Therapist to apply on your behalf. *Please read the details below on how to do this.

Many people do not know who to contact when they require help with making their lives easier - just enough to be more independent, whether this is indoors or outdoors. You may look on the internet at disability aids, but the prices are completely out of your range. Well, those items are not really out of your range, it is just you do not know how to get the financial backing, without going to debt.

I wrote this guide to enable people with disabilities, to know where to find grants and funding, (what are your options, or cost to you). Basically, disabled people should not feel ‘alienated’ in this world, just because we have disorders that have caused us bigger problems, with being unable to do things we used to be able to do, feeling the loss of being independent can cause further health problems.

If you are in receipt of DLA or PIP then you will find there is help out there to get wheelchairs, walking aids, bathing aids, riser/decliner chairs, electric hospital beds, and much more. The problem most people hit is who you contact to even get such help, first would be your own doctor, they can do a lot more than just give you medication. They can refer you to District Nurses, they can supply you with many aids and will ask you various questions on how they can help you. If you see a Consultant regularly at the hospital then you could ask them.

1st Your Doctor

Now, your doctor could ask you to contact your local Adult Care Services, whom are normally situated in your local Council Offices. You would need to ask for an Occupational Therapist Team to review your house and needs.

2nd An Occupational Therapist

An Occupational Therapist has much more power to get grants for you, these can be from the Occupational Therapist Funding or they will apply on your behalf for a DFG (Disability Funding Grant). Currently, the top limit for anyone applying for an item or items must be under £25,000 per year - this can be found on UK Government Legislations website (accurate at 6th June 2015).

Occupational Therapist Funded (Quick Low Cost items)

An Occupational Funded Grant comes from their annual funding, and is mainly for low cost items or items that are required urgently. Low cost refers to things like Bio-Bidets (Bowel Problems & Hygenic), etc.

Disability Funding Grant (Slow Process - Expensive Items)

A Disability Funding Grant or DFG is a grant that is paid by the local Council for your area and has a limit of £25,000 per year. This could be one item or more, but are all covered by the DFG. The only problem with this type of grant is it can take up to 6 months to all go through the system, as it involves a lot of paperwork. Items under this funding can include Bath/Shower Conversions, Stair Lifts, Clos-o-mat (Bidets), etc.

Other Optional Grants and Funding

Now, there are other places you can obtain grants from but these usually require the backing of a health professional, your doctor or a social worker could help. To find these go to Google and type in the search box “turn2us” omit the quotes. This is a Specific Area Grant Finder, and it relies on the keywords you type in. If all the above fails, then check for Welfare Reform Fund in your area, usually they operate from Council Offices. You can use Google to find yours by typing in the search "Welfare Reform Fund" and at the end enter your town.

Riser/Recliner Chairs (Disabled = VAT Exempt)

I mentioned a Riser/Recliner Chair these can only be funded by a grant from one of these companies and not an Occupational Therapist or District Nurse. Most will give you a limit of around £500-£750 – so then you will need to find a chair in this range. Now, because the chair is for a disabled person you are exempt from paying VAT, so you will need the price of the chair without VAT, but make sure you include delivery, this is usually a 2 man job, since it requires building in the room you will be using it in.

VAT Exemption for Disabled Aids

If you are disabled then you are exempt automatically from paying VAT. Any item that the sole purpose is for use by a disabled person, means you will need to fill in a form to state that at your abode, you are disabled.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

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  • Posted

    Afternoon Les63 !

    Thank you very much for this information most appreciated, I have copd stage 2 but before I found out what I had I would get worn out & get pains in my back & joint's on standing or sitting for too long even 15 minutes can be uncommfortable at times I wandered what it might be, & would get breathless with it some times then had chronic coughing! i am an ex smoker stopped almost seven years now & was surprised but as I'd not smoked for nearly seven years buut then I have a weak immune system & hypertension hypothyroidism since of age 1 or 2 yrs of age & varicose veins. I had a occupational therapist visit me, & because he saw me walk to my front door & the fact that I didn't at the time struggle getting up from the toilet seat around the time before now even though going up & down stairs is a pain on my knees as thats where most of the discomfort is compared to every where else is this made no difference I was told I'm not entitled to any help with adaptations to get a toilet put down stairs, We live in a 3 bed terraced town house owned by London & Quadrant I have one of my daughters,my son & grandson who lives with me!All that happened in the end was that the occupational therapist said he'd refer me to social services to see if they could help as my son is 6+ &  grandson 5+ yrs well the social services wasn't able to provide any help neither so it looks like i'll just have to wait untill my symptoms get worse.I didn't get an O.T through our GP! Oh well, Thank you agin for this information you've given us all!smile  

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    • Posted

      Hi Les63 again! 

      I forgot to add that when the O.T saw me get off the bus he didn't see how I'd get breathless & tire by walking as the bus stop to where my children & I live is just outside the square to where we live it doesn't take even 2 minuetes walking slowly to get to our door I've counted before & actually saw him get on the stop before he got off but didn't know it was him untill he reached our front door after I got there as he got off the stop after apparently! Also I wasn't breathless at that time he arrived as I took my blue rescue inhaler half an hour before I reached home, very inconvenient I must say, he also suggested I could get a comode but I said that would not be a good idea as my boys might start messing with it & there's no space to store it out of there reach or anywhere private downstairs to use the comode plus it would smell & I'd still have to reach upstairs to empty & clean the part that needs emptying not a pleasent idea! have considered moving either to a bungalow or house already adapted or with bathroom/water closet downstairs but would be scared incase of night mare neighbours! we would all rather stay put really! have spoken to L&Q & they sent me a form to fill in but I'd still need to get a grant to pay the cost off adaptions to which I'm not entitled too.Don't know where to turn to next what would you suggest to all those of us in this situation Les!?

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen,

      You're most welcome regarding the detailed article.

      Now, It looks like you have a Occupational Therapist just like mine, and this is how bad she used to be, but with me it does not pay to 'rub me up the wrong way'.

      Bear in mind I had asked the Occupational Therapist Team to Review my case, I only had some work done last year via a DFG and cost came to just over £4,000 back then, and that was to have our toilet and bathroom knocked in to one room. Now, my OT stated on the form to our Housing Association that we should have 2 doors that opened outwards, so if I had a seizure it was easy to get to me (that was a joke!). Anyway, I asked for if I could see the Housing Associations Surveyor, I was put through to him and explained the situation.

      Now, you are probably thinking this was a strange thing to do, but not really, thinking in the long run, if any adaptions are made to a property that are 'fixed' then that property becomes worth more to the Housing Association. Anyway, an appointment was made and he came out took one look and said "whoever said fit 2 opening doors the opposite way was totally ridiculous!". He asked me for the name of the Occupational Therapist so he could write to her explaining why the idea was totally wrong, and it would mean doing many changes over months - so he put to her to knock both the partitioning wall and the wall between the toilet/bathroom and hallway, remove the two small radiators because they were not fit for their purpose. The OT Officer agreed with him, and gave him the authorization for the Architect to measure the place up, and removing both doors and replace them with a sliding door that would fit a wheelchair through. It took 6 months to get the whole lot completed, but it  made one major difference to the property. Cost came to just over £4,100 to the council fund (DFG).

      Anyway, this year my mobility as become worse in the past year. But I also have problems with swollen legs, ankles and feet, of course this means I cannot stand up to use the toilet. What didn't help matters was I had 2 major operations about 3 and half years ago, where I nearly died in surgery - basically, I was dying from the inside out. My first operation was on the Tuesday, I had over 50cm of my intestine removed. Then by Thursday I should have been getting better, I become worse in a few hours I could keep no food, drinks or even medication down orally. They rushed me back to surgery, my doctor phoned my wife "Telling her to get to hospital as soon as possible, because they cannot guarantee I would pull through the surgery being done". I woke up about 7 hours later, the doctor told me, you had us all worried, there was more of the intestine that was gangrene which had touched part of the liver, which had also gone gangrene. The reason why it all happened was from a previous operation when I had Testicular Cancer (I've only just came out of remission for that!). All that and that's not even my main disorders!! Since then I suffer major diarrhoea, so me and toilets do not mix well together.

      So, basically I had a word with my doctor, bearing in mind now I'm in a wheelchair and a Zimmer to get around the house. She went to move my leg, and I nearly shot through the roof! The pain was intense, so she said we need to get you an hospital bed and a riser/decliner chair at least, as for the toilet issue I think you really need to see what the OT can suggest, just ask them for a Review. The following day, we had a phonecall from GIS wanting to deliver my new hospital bed, of course we need to make and did not have the time, so my wife managed to put them off until the following day. Getting a OT Review was another matter, I spoke to the woman on the phone and she turned up at 3.30pm on the Friday. I was her last call. Now everything we were talking about involved the bathroom and her suggestions were beyond belief. I looked at UK Legislation on Occupational Therapists and how they should help with getting a disabled person more independent, yet the things my OT Officer had broken 4 protocols out of 6 for her job!! I could have reported her, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and that was totally wrong with what was coming. A week later, she telephoned me asking if I had found a riser/decliner chair for under £750 (this was a private grant limit), I said no, because they are so expensive - so I had been on the internet, then she stated "the company that gives the grants do not like using internet". Then, she said she had a good idea regarding the toilet which is a bowl that sits in the toilet so you can wash yourself off after each bowel movement, then wash yourself properly in the bath!!! I said but I can't stand without both hand on the zimmer, so how can I even fill a bowl to sit in the toilet? She said well we could fit a rail from the floor to the ceiling!! I said I'll hold on and see what I can find something that's suitable! I also asked her do you even know my main medical disorder? She said "It's seizures isn't it?" I said I will enlighten you in a letter.

      She was expecting me to have a bath after each time after I had a bowel movement (this can be up to 13+ times a day!), which to me was so unhygienic to the rest of the family it was beyond a joke, even suggested a pole!! I would need 2 pairs of hands. After some research I found a Clos-o-mat (bidet) basically a toilet but you cannot use any toilet paper and they cost £5,000 - £7,000... My wife and I put a letter together basically telling her how to do her job, and suitable alternatives, it was fully backed up by my doctor - my doctor is very good with me, I am a very complex case, my medical history at the hospital is 3 volumes long.

      My OT Officer phoned me after she received my letter, my doctors backup letter and the Grant Form for a Riser/Decliner Chair. When she phoned me her whole attitude was totally the opposite, probably because of the contents which not only listed all disorders I suffer from including all dates, all hospital outpatient appointments with Neurotherapists, Neurologists for BoTox 6 Injections every 10 weeks, Appointment dates to see the British President of Neurologists, Epileptic Specialists, Pain Management Clinicians, etc. All my medications which totals 13 a day, but a quantity of 30 tablets a day.

      It was enough information to get the go ahead on virtually everything I wanted, apart from the Clos-o-mat, that has now been changed to a Bio-bidet, which costs £1,000 and just replaces your normal toilet seat, but offers all the features of a bidet as well.

      Basically, you can ask for the OT Officer to Review your case, if you do not wish to do this on the phone, then write a letter to him. If you still get no satisfaction then you take your case to an higher review. This rarely happens because a letter is usually enough to make them do their jobs properly and not just treat you like a statistic, which I hate.

      If you need help let me know.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi LLes63!

      Omg You have definatley been through the mill so the saying goes! You don't need all this messing about what with your health the way it is & the cancer that you have just gone through is terrible enough & she & who ever else she works for really think your actually going to be cleaning your self 13 times a day!That's beyond crazy & quite dangerouseek it's good to be clean but thats going to far what's wright with some of these O>T's! Sorry your going through so much I hope you get everything that needs doing sorted, these O.T's sometimes don't seam to have any idea what so ever.Well Thank you aswell for your advice Les! I shall try again & will keep you updated I hope you & your wife get through this differcult time & get well soon!smilePlease let us know how you get on Les GodBless!

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    • Posted

      Hi Les!

      Your sharing of this information was amazing!!! But....how do I find out the same policies for the United States??? Please tell me....I go for my 2nd disability hearing next month and am praying this time I get it. Thank you!

      Ladyjack51

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    • Posted

      Hi Ladyjack,

      I would have no clue how to gather such information in the USA, because our cultures and government legislations differ so much between our countries.

      I can tell you how and where I got the information from in the UK, if that's any help - perhaps you can compile a USA version, we have many many US citizens on the forums as well.

      My first port of call was doctors, they have the power to push things to be done in the UK. This includes actions to District Nurses, letters to push things to be done, letters to write debts off under special circumstances (**normally mental problems).

      **Writing debts off under Mental or Medical Conditions in the UK.

      It is possible by writing a letter to all creditors to write off bad debt in the UK, as long as it is backed up by a Form or Letter stating that you suffer from mental issues that have risen from either a progressive medical condition or you are on medication that can cause you to spend, gamble, forgetful of what money you have, or spend outside your limits without realizing. If any of this applies to you under UK Legislation, once you have informed them with a letter backing your letter up from a doctor - no creditor is allowed by law to pester you by post, phonecalls, email or any other form of communication, if they do then you can report them for haressment by law - because it can cause stress and depression, amongst make other issues.

      Right, Ladyjack - sorry about that I missed that off the original post, which I assume would apply in some way in the USA.

      Additional information and resources I found online at time, and checked to see when they last updated on our Government website. Most information came from cross-referencing my information with local information. I have a tendancy to ask many questions, because I am an inquisitive person.

      All I did then was make adjustments to various parts and wrote the document in Word, it took time and you have to keep your eye on the numbers of characters that you can post in a single post (this includes spaces), it must be under 8,000 - that may seem a lot, but I have hit that target many times, so I have to rewrite parts in different ways.

      I hope that is some benefit to you

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Of course Les63, I appreciate even just you responding. There's so much red tape out there making it hard for needy people and then out of nowhere, a door will open with someone saying "oh yesss....you could've gotten this...or that..." Maybe those are really just blessings from God that come to us. I am a government patient right now, even tho I had insurance and worked all my life but I'm on the hospital's program....not the state bc I'm not the right age or something. Haven't been approved yet for disability but please pray that I get approved next month after 4 years of trying...and slowly dying.

      Ladyjack51

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  • Posted

    Hi Les63,

    This is great information and thank you for taking the time to research, compile and share it with us. I'm happy to say that at the moment I don't need anything like this but we all know we won't always keep this level of independance.

    Thanks once again, take care

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    • Posted

      It is handy to know Linda who you can approach and obtain various disabled items. Some of the items I have came from Social Services, but that was because my Neurologist was not happy when I said I a seizure in the bath. I didn't know you are not supposed to have baths if you suffer from any type of seizure. He said even Cold or Hot water can start a seizure off. He sent so many departments around our premises it was unreal, but afterwards I had items I never knew even existed, just to give me a bit more independence, which I was thankful for.
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    • Posted

      So having a bath can set off a seizure but it was suggested you bathe 13 times a day?? It's a good job you know your stuff Les. I thought I had a lot of problems until I read your post. It makes me feel I'm not that badly off after all.

      Thanks again and please take care.

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda,

      That is correct, if a bath is too hot or too cold, for a person that suffers from Epileptic Seizures or Functional Episodes (there is 28 variations of this disorder), it is quite possible to cause a shock to your system and set off a seizure, regardless of what type it is. But my OT, did not do any background work on me, or she would have known.

      The letter my wife and I, put together was 4 pages of A4, and we typed it up - it certainly opened my OT's eyes on everything, what I have to deal with everyday. As the saying goes everyone is different, the disorders I have got, I would not wish on anyone - the chances of a person even having all my disorders is even rare. It took an American Professor in Neurology and his own team of Neurologiists to actually diagnosed me, that took 2 years nearly, and I was the only 7th known case in the UK.

      The letter was very detailed, because missing out anything she could use against us, so we had to word it carefully to stay within guidelines of Government Legislation, especially when I knew she had messed up on 4 protocols out of 6, which is bad and could of easily cost her job, if I took it further. I hate having to report people, but if they do their jobs properly in the first place then we wouldn't have to complain.

      The worst complaint I have ever made to our housing association, bear in mind this was a complaint, about 3 repairs that I tried for 6 months to get fixed. At first the complaint procedure went well, then we reached 28 days!! "We got a letter asking for our Opinion on the Repair Work done!" - I thought, this is a joke!!! So, I emailed them straight to complaints to Complain about a Complaint that they had closed and wanted feedback on, when none of the work had been done during the 28 day deadline. I escalaated it to their CEO via a BCC (Blind Carbon Copy), so it would be seen not only be the Complaints department but also their CEO as well. Within a week, all the repairs were done and I was sent £50 in Tesco Vouchers for compensation!! lol I could of taken it another way, and got the media involved, but I gave them one last chance. Now, we have another problem 6 months and still not fixed - but this one is much bigger, and should have been fully completed within 3 months.

      We are just normal people, yet we get problems after problems... but thats life for you! lol

      Anyway, Linda take care.

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for this info, I need a hospital bed for my husband and will check out all the options you suggest. Many thanks to you.
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    • Posted

      Hi Susan,

      To obtain a hospital bed you need to go to your doctor, and ask them to order a hospital bed from the District Nurses. Delivery is usually within 2-3 days maximum.

      Mine was given to me because of my swollen legs, ankles and feet.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      The hospital bed I was given also massages you and adjusts to your body shape, it's got an Intelligent Matress which basically maps your body out. Two rubber pipes attach to a pump which is fitted to the foot-board.

      You can do all the standard things via a wired controller.

      You have optional buttons to change the beds shape from flat to tilt, sitting position, legs in a sitting position (ideal for watching TV). I think it has about 8 adjustments on the bed, The Mattress adjusts itself because it is clipped at the top and bottom - it changes shape when you adjust the bed, air is blown in and out of a pump, it may seem noisey at first but you get used to it... it sent me asleep on the first day, in the middle of the day! lol

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