Finding and applying for grants

Finding funds and grants

Your income may not be not enough to meet the extra costs of disability. You might need money for:

  • mobility and other equipment
  • adapting your home
  • a holiday or short break
  • therapies and treatments

Be aware that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may consider a grant or fund as income. This could affect your benefits, so check how savings affect means-tested benefits.

For aids or adaptations to your home, contact your local social services.

If you’re eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), an Occupational Therapist (OT) will visit you to help identify what you need.

How to apply for grants

Scope does not give grants, but you can search for grants online.

Charities and grant-giving trusts rarely give money for things that the state provides for, so check your benefits first.

Do not apply for a grant from a charity or trust unless you've checked what you can claim. Explore your options with your occupational therapist, care manager, or local disability information and advice organisation.

Making your application

When you have a list of likely funders, you can start making applications. The process can be long and complex.

Make sure you match each charity or trust's eligibility criteria.

If you are applying for a large sum, you'll probably need to apply to several funders.

  • Find out how to apply - in writing, online or on a special application form.
  • Some trusts and charities insist requests come through a third party, like social services or a professional, and will not accept them directly from the applicant.
  • Some only accept 1 application per year.

Give as much relevant information as possible in your application, but try to be brief. Include these sorts of things:

  • Background – The person's diagnosis, how it affects them and any problems it presents.
  • Purpose – What is the grant for? Is it for equipment, a holiday or household items? Explain how this will benefit the person and any positive effect on other family members or carers.
  • Professional view - If possible, include a letter from a professional who works with the individual. The letter should confirm the item is appropriate and explain its benefits.
  • Amount – Confirm the amount of money needed. Get several quotes, so you can show the price range, that you've done the research and will be paying the right price.
  • Statutory sources – If you've tried to get funding through statutory sources and have been told you cannot have funding, ask for a letter confirming this. Enclose the letter with your application.
  • Personal contribution – Say if you or your family can contribute to the overall amount.
  • Trustees – Say if you'll be approaching several trusts and charities to try to raise the funds collectively. Thank the trustees for considering your application and give contact details for further information.

You could start with our sample grant or trust funding application letter. It helps you with what to write.

Fundraising yourself

Warning Fundraising

The DWP may consider money from fundraising as income. Find out how fundraising could affect your means-tested benefits.

Debt advice

Few organisations will give funds for debts or pay for items you've already bought. If you already have debt or fear you are about to, seek professional advice. Talk to your local Citizens Advice or The National Debtline.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 13/12/2018

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