There are many avenues of financial support for someone with a disability that needs specialist equipment.
Funding can be obtained via social care support from your local authority, through your NHS Trust e.g. Wheelchair Service Scheme, or through charitable funding. We cover NHS and Local Authority funding in a previous article.
This article focuses on charitable funding streams, as people in the community may have already had a needs assessment through their local council but still need extra equipment to enhance their daily lives and do the things they want to do.
If you are in this situation, do not give up hope, there is a minefield of available funding out there, and we are here to help you navigate the funding landscape and direct you to the right funding for your needs, supporting you every step of the way.
There are scores of charities to fund disability equipment for disabled adults. We have an extensive charities database, covering charities across all different conditions. Download our charities database for free and find the ones most relevant to your needs. Turn2Us is another very useful resource to help point you to the right charity for your needs.
It is important when applying to check you are eligible, and some charities will want to see that you have investigated support through your local council first.
To accompany your application, you may need a written report from your OT or health worker. If you are using the funding to purchase equipment from ourselves we can assist you with the application process using our resource library, as a free-of-charge complimentary service.
The Richmond Group of charities is a collaboration of leading organisations in the voluntary sector, representing the needs of people living with long term health needs at a high level, giving them a voice.
Our charities list has an extensive number of charities for young people and children, use this as an invaluable research tool to come up with a shortlist of options.
Caring for disabled children is a full-time challenge, it’s not just equipment that is needed, but respite breaks and support for carers too.
Home adaptations may be needed to make the home more suitable for care of the child, such as disabled lifts, level access areas, or even therapy rooms or pools. Our sister company Innova Care Concepts specialises in hydrotherapy pools and hoisting systems for the home, and Aquadapt provide general home adaptations such as disabled bathrooms or ramping.
Whizz Kidz, a charity listed on our free database, is the UK’s leading charity for young wheelchair users. Our experienced assessors can conduct wheelchair assessments here at our showroom or in your home, to assess your needs and show you what options are available to you in the wheelchair market.
Sportability is another charity that encourages disabled adults and young people to venture into the great outdoors by hosting outdoor sporting events. Their motto is to take the ‘dis’ out of disability and show that people with physical disabilities or chronic conditions like MS can participate in any outdoor activity with the right equipment, such as quad biking, water skiing or scuba diving! They work with Experience Community, a not-for-profit organisation who provide the equipment to trial. We were pleased to sponsor an event at Leeds Urban Bike Park last year, where volunteers tried out the specially adapted trikes and bikes.
The Access to Work grant scheme provides funding for equipment that employees need to do their job, including commuting to work. Existing benefits you may already receive do not affect eligibility for this grant. This guide covers more details on how to apply for the grant, this is not just equipment but covers a range of support such as sign language interpreters, mental health support, or special computer software. The equipment belongs to the employer, but they are entitled to gift it to you if you leave their employment.
The Disability Grants website filters grant providers by category so you can narrow down the search to the categories most relevant to you.
The Money Saving Expert website has a list of funding options if you are on a low income.
Although this is funded by local authorities rather than charitable funding, it’s important to be aware of this as another string to your bow. Apply via gov.uk to access funding towards home improvements to make your home more accessible for disabled users. The work will usually be assessed by an OT and will not be means-tested for children under 19, up to a maximum grant of £30K in England. Our sister company Aquadapt specialise in home adaptations and have worked on many DFG-funded projects.
Notwithstanding the above options, there is a network of external funding support should you not get all the funding you need through official channels. Crowdfunding sites like JustGiving or GoFundMe are very popular and can attract lots of donations if you share your story and the mission you want to achieve. Social media can be a very powerful tool to run a campaign and promote your story to a wider audience.
Making grant applications can be a time-consuming process but we are here to help and support. We have a range of justification tools in our resource library that can support your case for particular products and services.
You may need a written report from a healthcare professional such as an occupational therapist or health worker.
Always check on eligibility criteria first before starting the application process, to avoid the disappointment of finding that you don’t meet the funding criteria.
No matter what your situation or condition, there is external support and funding available to enhance your independence and quality of life.
A great place to start is by researching our free database and resources, to set you on the path towards your funding goals.
If you know of someone who would benefit from our equipment but may need extra financial support, send us their name and contact details and we will get in touch with them.