Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our FAQs below. Simply click on each question to view the answer.

Any health or social care worker, or worker for a voluntary organisation, who is supporting the client, is capable of assessing their needs and willing to act on their client’s behalf and take their application forward, for example a:

  • Social Worker
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Specialist Nurse

  • or, a Case Worker from a:

  • Housing Association
  • Care and Repair Agency
  • Citizens’ Advice Bureau
  • Charity that works in support of people with a disability or long term illness
  • Independence at Home can help anyone of any age who has a disability or long term illness that has a serious negative impact on daily life, who is in financial need and living in the UK. Click here to see our list of eligible medical conditions.

    We cannot help people living in residential care or in hospital, groups of people or organisations.

    By financial need we mean that the person or family of the young person is struggling to meet everyday living costs and cannot afford to purchase or replace the equipment or work that is required.

    They have been unable to obtain the funding that is required from statutory sources-their Local Health Service, their Local Authority Welfare Provision in England, the Scottish Welfare Fund, the Discretionary Assistance Fund in Wales or a Community Care Grant in Northern Ireland.

    Independence at Home has a policy to ensure that clients have exhausted all possible support from public funds before making an award.

    If you are a qualified health or social care worker your statement of your client’s medical diagnosis is sufficient.

    If you are a caseworker from a charity that supports clients with a particular medical condition your statement of your client’s medical condition is sufficient.

    Otherwise we need as much information as possible that you can provide about your client’s medical condition from a qualified health or social care worker. It is very likely that your client will already have letters or reports in their possession that can be copied and sent to us. Examples are:

  • A copy of the Consultant outpatient clinic letter to the GP
  • A copy of the patient’s summary computer print-out following the client’s attendance at the GP surgery
  • A copy of a medical certificate stating the medical condition
  • A copy of the client’s prescription/s relevant to the medical condition that is creating the need for a grant
  • A copy of an Occupational Therapy report with needs assessment, stating medical diagnosis and requirements.
  • We will not normally consider an application where an individual has more than £6,000 in savings or £9,000 for a couple although for elderly applicants (over 75 years of age) the threshold rises to £10,000 for an individual and £15,000 for a couple.

    The grants can be made towards any expense which is not covered by public funding and which is related to the person living at home with a disability or long term illness. Click here to see the list of allowable items.

    We cannot consider making grants for medical treatment or therapies, debt relief or arrears, funeral expenses, telephone rental or call charges, televisions or licences or motor vehicles (although we may be able to help towards the cost of adaptations). We cannot make a grant if the item of equipment or work needed has already been paid for.

    We are normally only able to assist with one item per successful application. Please speak to your client to prioritise the item that they most need.

    Grants vary between £200 and £600 depending on the equipment or adaptation required. The average grant is currently £300. Often Independence at Home grants are not big enough themselves to allow the purchase of expensive equipment, home adaptations or other major items. However, when used together with funds raised from other charities and sometimes from public funding, even the most complex and costly needs can be met.

    Only one grant can be made to an individual in any 12 months, no regular grants. We do not encourage repeat applications unless there has been a significant change in the client’s circumstances.

    If all of the information requested is provided (see How to Apply) we can normally make a decision within two working weeks of receiving the application.

    If an application has been successful we can usually process a cheque or make an electronic bank transfer within 3 working days following the decision. The payment is made directly to the supplier or contractor if they will accept a cheque or bank transfer from Independence at Home, or to the referring agency. We do not make payments directly to the beneficiary.

    No it is up to the referrer/individual who will receive the grant to find a local supplier who is prepared to accept a cheque or a bank transfer of funds from independence at Home. As an alternative Independence at Home can pay the referrer’s organisation direct and they will arrange for the supply of the required equipment.

    We rely on the referrer to inform the client or the client’s family of the outcome of an application.

    You may wish to look at the following websites that may help. In addition, there are a wide range of other charities specific to a person’s disability or background, including those benevolent funds associated with employment or service in the Armed Forces.

    This website provides information on benefit entitlement and helps you to search for other grant giving charities.

    This website provides information on charities that provide grants for disabled people.

    Glasspool Trust is a UK wide grants giving charity that provide one-off grants to individuals. This Trust is one of a few charities that have no restrictions on the type of beneficiary. Grants go towards the cost of white goods, beds & bedding, essential household items and other household goods, clothing, including school uniforms, baby needs, travel expenses for hospital visits, contribution towards equipment and adaptations for people with disabilities, flooring where there is an exceptional circumstance for people with disabilities, driving lessons/tests where there is clear evidence of an employment offer, educational computer equipment/television where there is a permanent or substantial disability/illness. This charity makes one-off grants to older people on a low income and people with physical or learning disabilities or mental health problems. The grants go towards the cost of basic household furniture, equipment and clothing costing up to £200.

    The Newby Trust makes small grants of up to £250 to assist individuals and families in crisis. The grants go towards furniture and furnishings, household equipment, emergency clothing and school uniforms and baby equipment. Occasionally grants are made towards the cost of rent deposits, household repairs or adaptations particularly for older or disabled people, travel costs, course fees or training equipment, respite breaks in the UK and mobility equipment.

    The charity provides powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters for severely disabled children and adults who cannot obtain them through statutory sources or purchase such equipment themselves.

    The ACT Foundation provides grants to individuals and other charities with the aim of enhancing the quality of life for people in need, particularly those with mental and physical disabilities. The grants go towards the cost of home, school and hospice building modifications, specialist mobility, disability and medical equipment and short term respite breaks at a registered respite centre.

    The League of the Helping Hand provides financial assistance to people who are in hardship due to illness or disability. This includes physical and mental health problems, learning disabilities and people caring for an adult or child with a disability. One-off Grants are generally awarded towards essential household items and specialist equipment not available from statutory agencies and for fares, travel expenses and regular travel costs for hospital visiting . When funds are available, the League of the Helping Hand also offer grants towards carer's breaks.

    The Florence Nightingale Aid in Sickness Trust provides grants to help people in need who are ill, convalescent or disabled. The grants are used to provide medical, disability and household aids that make a huge difference to people's ability to manage at home and live as independently as possible, and respite care.

    Health through Warmth is an initiative set up by NPower to assist vulnerable people in England and Wales who have long term cold related illnesses and need assistance to fund and install heating and insulation in their homes.

    The British Gas Energy Trust helps individuals and families living in fuel poverty or other suffering or distress who are struggling with their gas and/or electricity debts by awarding grants.