Initial assessments are carried out by the community Occupational Therapy (OT) service either in Children's or Adults Community Services. The OT will visit the disabled person and assess the work needed. A referral is then made to the Home Improvement Agency (HIA).
An HIA case manager will visit the disabled person at home. They will make a financial assessment (a 'means test') and advise the disabled person if they will need to contribute to the cost of the work.
The amount paid is based on the financial assessment of your average weekly income in relation to your outgoings. There is no means testing for families of disabled children under 19 years of age. Capital is included in the means test and will take into account savings above £6,000.
Certain benefits including Personal Independence Plan and Income Support are generally ignored. If you have a partner, your combined income will be assessed jointly.
The HIA case manager will also ensure that you are receiving all the benefits and services you are entitled to.
Applicants can use our HIA technical service to help organise the work, or use their own contractor and architect. We will check the scheme to make sure it meets needs.
When you use the HIA a specification and drawings are prepared. Once they have been agreed by the OT they are sent for quotes on the disabled person’s behalf.
Once an acceptable quote is received, and the forms completed, the grant is approved.