Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can apply?

Any professional worker from health, social care, housing or a charity, 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 office
  • Charity that works in support of people with a disability or long term illness

2. Who can Independence at Home help?

We can help anyone of any age who has a disability or long term illness that has a serious negative impact on their daily life, who is in financial need and living in the UK. Click here to see our list of eligible medical conditions.

3. Who cannot be helped?

We cannot help people who do not have a right to reside in the UK, or who are living in residential care or in hospital, groups of people or organisations.

4. What is meant by the term ‘in financial need’?

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 building work that is required.

They have been unable to obtain the funding that is required from statutory sources whether NHS or Local Authority.

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

5. What is meant by confirmation of medical condition?

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

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

Otherwise, we need as much information as possible about your client’s medical condition in the form of written documents from a qualified health or social care practitioner. It is very likely that your client will already have letters or reports in their possession that can be scanned and attached to the application form. 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.

6. What about savings?

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.

7. What items can we assist with?

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

8. What items cannot be considered?

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

9. Can I apply for more than one item for the same applicant?

We are normally only able to assist with one item per applicant. Please agree the priority item with your client before submitting the application.

10. How much are the grants worth?

Grants vary between £250 and £500 depending on the equipment or adaptation required. The average grant is currently £350. 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.

11. How many grants may be made?

The majority of our grants are one-off. Only one grant can be made to an individual in any 12 month period. We do not make regular grants. We do not encourage repeat applications unless there has been a significant change in the client’s circumstances.

12. How long will it take to receive a decision?

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

13. How long will it take for my client to receive the grant?

If an application has been successful we can usually process a cheque or make an electronic bank transfer within five working days following the decision. The payment is made directly to the supplier or contractor, or to the referring agency, by BACS or cheque. We do not make payments directly to the beneficiary. Large companies like Argos, Currys and John Lewis will not accept payment directly from charities like Independence at Home and are not suitable suppliers for this purpose.

14. Does Independence at Home order the equipment?

No, it is up to the referrer/individual who will receive the grant to place the order with a local supplier who is prepared to accept a bank transfer of funds or a cheque 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.

15. Do you contact the client directly?

No, we rely on the referrer to inform the client or the client’s family of the outcome of an application.

16. Where else can I go for help?

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

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

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

The Florence Nightingale Aid in Sickness Trust makes grants to people who are in poor health, convalescent or who have disabilities. The grants are available for convalescence or respite care, medical and sensory equipment or other aids.

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

Glasspool Charity Trust is a UK wide grant making 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. The Percy Bilton charity makes one-off grants to older people on a low income and people with physical or learning disabilities or mental health problems.

The League of the Helping Hand provides financial assistance to people who are in hardship due to illness or disability. This includes physical or mental health problems, learning disabilities and people caring for an adult or child with 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 grants are made towards the cost of carers’ breaks.