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How to Get a Stairlift from Social Services in the UK

Navigating the process of acquiring a stairlift in the UK can seem daunting, but there are resources available to help you. Social services provide assistance, and in some cases, funding for stairlifts to make your home more accessible. By understanding the steps involved and the criteria for eligibility, you can take the appropriate action to obtain the support you need.

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Firstly, applying for equipment and adaptations to your home due to a disability or old age can be done through your local council. They assess your needs and provide the necessary installations, such as stairlifts, ramps, or grab rails. In some cases, you may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant to cover the costs of these adaptations, depending on your financial situation.

The National Health Service (NHS) also offers guidance on home adaptations, such as fitting stairlifts, banisters, and other modifications to improve accessibility. Consultation with healthcare professionals and exploring other funding options, like grants from charities, can further support your efforts in making your home safer and more comfortable for you.

Understanding Stairlift Grants

Disabled Facilities Grant

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is a means-tested grant available to UK homeowners and tenants, helping to fund home adaptations, including stairlifts, for people with disabilities. To apply, you should contact your local council or visit the Gov.uk website for more information. They will assess your needs and eligibility, as well as provide guidance on the application process. Remember, this grant is meant to help you maintain your independence within your home, so applying for a stairlift should be no issue if it meets your needs.

Independence at Home

Independence at Home is a UK charity providing financial assistance for people with disabilities and long-term illnesses to help adapt their homes for better accessibility. Their grants can be used to fund stairlifts and other necessary mobility equipment. To apply for a grant from Independence at Home, you should visit their website and fill in the application form provided.


Turn2Us is a UK-based charity which provides support with financial issues, including grants for essential home adaptations. If a stairlift is necessary for your mobility and independence, Turn2Us could potentially help you fund the installation of one. To begin exploring their available grants, you can visit their website and search using the provided grant search tool. By doing so, you could find a grant that suits you and your needs.

Age Co

Age Co is a UK organisation that provides support to older people, their families, and carers. Whilst they do not directly provide stairlift grants, they can advise you on funding options available to help you afford the necessary equipment, such as stairlifts. Including their advice on both Disabled Facilities Grants and charitable organisations that can help, Age Co is a valuable source of information when looking to fund your stairlift.


Although Handicare is primarily a stairlift manufacturer and does not provide grants themselves, they have a range of resources and assistance available to help you explore the funding options for your stairlift. By contacting their team or visiting their website, you can access information on Disabled Facilities Grants, benefits, and charities that may be able to provide financial support for your stairlift installation.

Eligibility for Stairlift Grants

Residency Requirements

To be eligible for a stairlift grant, you must meet residency requirements in the UK. Generally, you need to:

  • Be a UK resident
  • Live in the property where the stairlift will be installed
  • Plan to continue living in the property for the foreseeable future

Check with your local council for specific residency requirements and application procedures.

Household Income and Savings

The eligibility for stairlift grants can be influenced by your household income and savings. Grants are often means-tested, meaning that your total income and savings may determine the amount you receive, if any. Here are some factors of your financial situation to consider:

  • Your income and benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Your spouse or partner’s income
  • Your savings and any other capital assets

Keep in mind that grant amounts and eligibility criteria may vary by local council, so it’s essential to consult with your area’s specific guidelines.

Disability Requirements

To be eligible for a stairlift grant, you or someone living in your household must have a disability or mobility issue that necessitates the stairlift installation. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • A physical disability which makes using stairs challenging or dangerous
  • A long-term illness that affects mobility
  • An age-related decline that reduces your ability to use stairs safely

Remember, it’s crucial to provide evidence of your disability or mobility needs when applying for a stairlift grant. This may require medical documentation or an assessment by a health professional. Reach out to your local council or relevant organisation to learn more about the specific eligibility criteria for stairlift grants in your area.

Application Process

Occupational Therapist Assessment

Before applying for a stairlift from social services in the UK, you will need an assessment from an occupational therapist (OT). This professional will evaluate your needs and determine if a stairlift is suitable for your situation. They may visit your home multiple times during the assessment process to ensure that they fully understand your needs and can make the best recommendations for your specific situation.

Contacting Local Council

Once you’ve completed the OT assessment, the next step is to contact your local council. You should provide them with the necessary information from your assessment and inquire about the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), which can help cover the cost of installing a stairlift if you’re eligible. Your council may have their own application process and specific forms to complete.

Required Documentation

When applying for a stairlift grant or other financial assistance from your local council, you’ll likely need to provide several documents, which may include:

  • Occupational Therapist Assessment report: This report provides details about your needs and justification for the stairlift.
  • Personal and financial information: You may be requested to provide proof of income, disability benefits, and other information to demonstrate financial eligibility.
  • Quotes for the stairlift installation: Obtain estimates from reputable suppliers and installers; councils typically ask for at least two or three quotes to ensure that you’re getting a fair price.

By completing the application process with the mentioned steps and providing the necessary documents, you should be on your way to receiving the support you need for a stairlift installation in your home. Remember to keep in touch with your local council and follow up on your application, as it may take some time for the process to be completed.

Home Adaptations for Stairlifts

Installation and Changes

If you’re considering installing a stairlift in your home, the first step is to inform your local council or, in Northern Ireland, your Health and Social Care Trust. Typically, their social services department will send an occupational therapist (OT) to assess your needs and determine what home adaptations are required. The OT referral process can vary, and you may need to get in touch with your GP, community nurse or another professional to have a referral made on your behalf.

Once your needs are assessed, you may be eligible for financial assistance to cover the costs of stairlift installation. The council may pay for each adaptation that costs less than £1,000, while more expensive adaptations like installing a stairlift can be covered through grants such as the Disabled Facilities Grant. In Northern Ireland, the maximum grant available is £25,000, which you can apply for through your local health and social care trust.

The cost of installing a stairlift can range from £500 to £1,500, depending on factors such as the length and shape of your staircase and the presence of a properly located electrical outlet. Some stairlift manufacturers or resellers may include the cost of installation in the product’s purchase price.

Small Adaptations to Enhance Accessibility

In addition to installing a stairlift, there are other small home adaptations that can improve your home’s accessibility. Your council may cover these costs if they are less than £1,000. Examples of such adaptations include:

  • Grab rails to help you maintain balance and stability on the stairs and in other areas of your home.
  • Concrete ramps or steps to facilitate easier access to your property.
  • Doorway lights that are activated when someone approaches, making it easier to see who’s at the door.

These small adaptations can significantly enhance the safety and accessibility of your home, even when used in conjunction with a stairlift. It’s essential to discuss your needs with your local council or Health and Social Care Trust, as they may be able to help you access these additional adaptations and funding sources.

Additional Support and Benefits

Local Authority Assistance

If you need to adapt your home due to a disability or old age, you can apply to your local council for equipment or help. Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) are available to people of all ages and housing tenures. They can be used to purchase items such as stairlifts that will improve mobility and independence. The size of the grants can range from £100 to £5,000, and typically, your council should pay for each adaptation that costs less than £1,000.

To get started, contact your local authority for an assessment of your needs. The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution also offers stairlift grants to farming families across the UK, and they can provide free stairlifts to successful applicants. Call their freephone helpline on 0808 2819490 to begin the application process.

Grab Rails

Grab rails can be an essential aid for safety and accessibility at home. Your council may provide these for free to help support your mobility in various parts of your home, such as near the front door or in the bathroom. Make sure to mention your need for grab rails during your assessment with the local authority, as they can help determine the types of rails that would be most beneficial for your situation.


Concrete ramps are often provided by councils to enhance accessibility for people with mobility difficulties. These ramps can be installed at entrances or exits to your home, making it easier for you to enter and leave the building. As with grab rails, mention any specific needs for ramps during your assessment with the local authority. They may cover the cost of the ramp if it’s under £1,000.

Stairlift Installation in Different Regions

England and Wales

In England and Wales, you can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to help cover the cost of home adaptations, including stairlift installations. The grant is means-tested, so your household income and savings will be taken into account. If you’re eligible, the amount awarded can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.

To apply for a DFG, you should contact your local council or housing authority. They will assess your needs and provide advice on the application process. Usually, this involves an assessment by an occupational therapist, who will recommend the required adaptations for your home.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the Home Disability Assistance Scheme is designed to support individuals who require essential adaptations to their homes, such as the installation of a stairlift. You can apply for the assistance by contacting your local Health and Social Care Trust, where an Occupational Therapist will assess your needs.

If approved, the Home Disability Assistance Scheme may cover some, if not all, of the cost for your stairlift installation. The amount awarded depending on your financial situation and the complexity of the installation.


In Scotland, you can access the Scottish Government’s Scheme of Assistance to help fund the installation of a stairlift in your home. Each local council has its own implementation of the scheme, and they will assess your eligibility based on your individual circumstances.

To apply, contact your local council and request an assessment by an occupational therapist. They will recommend any necessary home adaptations, such as a stairlift, and advise on the application process for financial assistance.

Remember to always check the specific details and requirements for your regional scheme, as there may be differences in eligibility criteria or funding amounts between regions.

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Permission from Landlord

As a tenant, you should always seek permission from your landlord before making any changes to the property, including installing a stairlift. It’s crucial to have a clear, written agreement between both parties, detailing the terms and conditions of the stairlift installation. Approach your landlord with a polite and professional request, outlining the reasons for the stairlift.

If your landlord denies your request, you may want to discuss your specific needs further, or seek advice from a legal advisor or tenant support service. It’s essential to maintain open communication with your landlord throughout the entire process to avoid any misunderstandings or potential conflicts.

Maintenance and Repairs

Once the stairlift is installed, as a tenant, you’re responsible for its proper maintenance and repair. Regularly inspect the stairlift for signs of wear or damage and ensure it’s functioning correctly. Consider creating a maintenance schedule, as this will help keep the stairlift in good working condition.

If you encounter any issues, it’s important to promptly address them. Contact the stairlift company, or consult the user manual for guidance on troubleshooting and basic maintenance tasks. For more complex repairs, you may need to hire a professional stairlift engineer.

In some cases, your landlord might have specific requirements related to the maintenance and repair of the stairlift. Ensure you adhere to these guidelines to avoid any disputes or potential breaches of your tenancy agreement.

Remember to keep track of all maintenance and repair documents, such as receipts and invoices. This will serve as evidence of your efforts to maintain the stairlift in good condition, and may be useful if any disputes arise with your landlord or if you need to claim through a warranty or insurance.

In conclusion, understanding your rights and responsibilities as a tenant regarding stairlifts is essential for a smooth and hassle-free experience. Always seek permission from your landlord, maintain open communication, and be proactive in maintaining and repairing the stairlift to enjoy its benefits without negatively impacting your tenancy.

Gov.UK Resources

You can apply for equipment to adapt your home, like a stairlift, through your local council if you’re disabled or have a mental health condition. To do this, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Home assessment: Before applying for equipment or adaptation funding, get a free home assessment to evaluate the changes needed in your home. This can help identify the requirements, such as fitting a stairlift, widening doorways, or installing ramps.
  2. Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG): This grant is available for residents in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Contact your local council or social services to check your eligibility. The DFG covers expenses such as installing stairlifts, ramps, widening doors, or providing heating systems tailored to your needs.

Some key points about the Disabled Facilities Grant are:

  • Availability: England, Wales, Northern Ireland
  • Eligibility: People with disabilities and mental health conditions
  • Covers: Stairlifts, ramps, widened doors, modified heating systems, etc.

Remember to keep in mind that your eligibility for a DFG is affected by your financial situation, so don’t hesitate to engage with your council or social services to discuss your options.

To learn more about home adaptations and to fill out any necessary applications, visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-equipment-for-your-home.

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