Charities call for ‘fairer’ disabled facilities grant

Mencap has teamed up with Barnado’s and Scope in a bid to persuade the Government to stop means testing families when they apply for the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).

The charities are members of a coalition of 11 disability organisations that are calling for a thorough overhaul of the DFG, which is given to the families of disabled children to help them make vital adaptations to their houses.

The launch of the campaign was timed to coincide with Wednesday’s (3 November) meeting of the Review Group set up by the Government to assess and report back on the DFG process.

The coalition is arguing that the means test fails to assess a family’s ‘true financial outgoings’ and may force parents to go into debt.

It is targeting the Review Group, MPs, disability and childcare media and regional and national press with its report, which recommends that the means test be abolished, the DFG process streamlined and the grant’s maximum level raised.

The charities are using the example of a family on an income of £14,000 who need to find £10,000 to accommodate their son to illustrate that the current assessment process is unfair.

Other case studies being sent to media include a woman who is forced to carry her eight-year-old son up the stairs to the toilet after her application for a DFG to install a bathroom downstairs was refused.

The coalition includes Child Brain Injuries, Contact a Family, Council for Disabled Children, Down’s Syndrome Association, Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and Parent Project UK.

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