Disabled Facilities Grant legal charge ‘lacks compassion’ when families suffer a bereavement says Cllr Ross Shipman

Lib Dem Councillor, Ross Shipman has submitted a motion to add the ‘bereavement of claimant’ as a reason to waive Disabled Facilities Grant legal charge on properties.

The Disabled facilities Grants aids families for the care of their disabled relatives by funding necessary adaptations to properties, such as, room conversions and the purchase of specialised equipment in their own home.

District, Borough and Unitary Councils place a legal claw-back charge on properties if they are sold on within 10 years of the grant being issued – this can vary between difference authorities on the amount paid back and the criteria in which these are paid back in the event a property is sold.

In North East Derbyshire, residents are asked to pay £10,000 if they sell their property, even if the persons in which the grant was for has passed away.

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Ross Shipman said: “I am currently working with one of the residents in my ward who has been asked to pay this legal charge, because they want to move property after the sad passing away of their child.”

“I can understand the intention of having a legal claw-back charge to prevent local authorities having to convert rooms and buy new equipment on lots of different properties, however in cases where there is a bereavement, I believe the current policy lacks compassion.”

“This is why i have submitted a motion to North East Derbyshire District Council for them to add bereavement as a key criteria for waiving the legal charge, so families are able to move on with their lives after such a heart wrenching situation.”

END

Disabled Facilities Grant – https://www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants

Disabled Facilities Grants motion TEXT:

Council notes;
Disabled facilities Grants aid North East Derbyshire families for the care of their disabled relatives by funding necessary adaptations to properties, such as, room conversions and specialised equipment.
That the Council places a legal clawback charge on properties if they are sold on within 10 years of the grant being issued
That, under certain qualifications (such as financial hardship), Council will waive this fee.
That, under the current policy, bereavement of the claimant is not one of the criteria in which the legal charge would be waived.

Council believes;
That it is not unreasonable for families to move home following the death of a loved one.

Council resolves;
To add ‘Bereavement of the individual on whose behalf the application was made’ as one of the criteria for waiving the legal charge.

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