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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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