Disabled Facilities Grants
DFG Self Assessment
Accessible homes hugely improve independence and reduce risk of future injury. As a sector we need to make sure vulnerable and eligible people can easily access the funding they need to live as comfortably as possible.
Yet in 2014/15, around 365,000 homes were classed as unsuitable for their occupants in England. This number becomes increasingly more concerning as the need for adaptations grows, not only to allow people to stay in their homes, but to mitigate risk of further injuries.
According to a new report by the CSJ (opens a new window), “there are problems with the way the current DFG process works which highlights the potential drivers for unmet demand.”
The report highlights an “outdated and stringent means test, amongst many other problems that prevent adaptations being funded.”
In response to this, Foundations, in partnership with Iizuka and Leeds Beckett and Heriot Watt Universities, are thrilled to be in the latter stages of developing a new DFG Website, AdaptMyHome, which is set to make drastic improvements to the application process that will benefit both eligible clients and local authorities. The project is funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org (opens a new window)
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The report released by the CSJ (opens a new window) highlighted two of the biggest barriers to access for the DFG as the application process and the lack of awareness surrounding the support available.
With waiting lists that can sometimes stretch over 6+ months, it can mean that people are enduring months waiting, only to find out that they were not eligible for any kind of funding, wasting significant amounts of time for both the client and the Local Authority.
The new website hugely cuts the time taken in the current application process, with a simple user-friendly interface and results, including adaptations recommendations in as little as 10 minutes.
Users of Foundations Case Manager will also have the added benefit of these results feeding directly into their workflows, so they can easily process all eligible applicants and manage their applications.
Currently in beta stages, we are looking for Local Authorities (opens a new window) to be the first to test this exciting new site and provide feedback with any additional notes on how this can be improved for user experience. If you are interested, you can apply to be a beta tester here.
For Local Authorities, there are some huge advantages in the introduction of this new site. Not only will it cut the waiting time down for clients that need the support, but it will also make the process more streamlined from application to project start.
AdaptABLE will enable clients to fill out their own details, or have a family member do it with them, meaning staff members are not needed for the first stages of an application. The data from both the indicative assessment and means test will be incorporated into just one simple form which will be sent directly to the Local Authority. Currently around 30% of applicants are non-eligible, but the introduction of this site will make sure this is detected by an earlier means testing stage.
This will be even more simplified for Foundations Case Manager users, as the data will simply populate in the relevant section of your systems, removing any additional admin, and making it incredibly simple to then progress to the next stages. The system will also have a monitoring and tracking system, storing client information, project stage and budgets all in one place.
The final stages of testing are currently in place, so we’re looking for BETA testers to help us put the finishing touches to the site. If you would like to get involved in our beta testing round, click here. We will also be hosting a series of interactive webinars over the next few months to offer demonstrations and to answer any questions about how this will affect you. If you want to save your spot at one of those, you can sign up here (opens a new window).