Test of resources - means test
The Test of Resources
For all statutory Disabled Facility Grant (DFGs) applications the Council must carry out a Test of Resources (commonly called a Means Test) and this must be in line with the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 and the details and criteria provided by Government. The Council is not permitted to use any other form of financial assessment / test of resources than this.
There are 4 stages to the Test:
1. The Council must assess how much the household needs to live on. This is referred to as 'allowable income' and is calculated using a set of standard allowances for living costs using basic amounts of income support and housing benefit. These allowances and the method of calculation is set by Government.
2. The 'allowable income' is compared with the applicant (and their partners) actual income to see if they have any 'surplus' income that the government considers a household could use to ‘pay-off’ a loan to pay for the cost of the required adaptations.
If the household is in receipt of any means tested benefits, they are automatically 'passported' through and awarded a 100 per cent grant even if they have some small surplus income according to this calculation. Your household is not in receipt of any means tested benefit and therefore youa re not ‘passported through’.
3. For those not in receipt of means tested benefits (i.e. your household), the size of the loan is determined by calculating what they can afford to pay off using their 'surplus' income. Again this is based on Government calculations. The individual circumstances that may exist in a household for example their expenditure on other items and or their credit history or credit scores to be able to secure a loan are not considered by government to be material factors.
4. The size of the loan is then compared with what could be afforded with the cost of the work needed to see whether they qualify for a grant. If the calculated loan amount is the same or greater than the cost of the adaptations, they do not get any grant. This is the case with your application. If the loan amount is less than the cost of works, the amount of grant is calculated as the total cost of works minus the calculated loan amount.
Where the Test of Resources indicates that an applicant’s contribution is greater than the cost of the grant works no DFG will be offered. The council does not have loans to cover contributions that are necessary by home owners towards adaptations.
Agency Service where a financial contribution is needed by the applicant
Before we are able to consider offering our discretionary Agency Service to help design and secure adaptations through a DFG we will need to see that an applicant has sufficient funds to pay for all of their contribution towards the grant eligible works.
Funding your contribution or the cost of works
In other similar cases residents have used a variety of methods to pay their contribution including;
- Donation from family and friends
- Charitable contribution
- Personal loans from banks and building society or credit unions such as Walsave
- Equity release loans or re-mortgages
We would always recommend that someone obtains Independent Financial Advice when considering how to pay for their contribution.
This page was last updated on 16 February 2016