The Mobility Aids Grant Scheme provides grants for works designed to address mobility problems in the home, such as the purchase and installation of grab-rails, a level access shower, access ramps or a stair-lift. The scheme is primarily for older people, but people with a disability can also apply for it.
If you need more extensive works done, or if you do not qualify under the means test, you can apply for the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability instead. Depending on your situation, the Housing Aid for Older Persons Scheme may be more suitable for you.
These 3 schemes are administered by local authorities, under the Housing (Adaptation Grants for Older People and People With A Disability), Regulations 2007, which were amended by new Regulations in 2014.
You can apply for a refund of VAT on the aids and appliances that you need. This refund scheme also applies to the cost of the installation work.
The Mobility Aids Grant Scheme is available to people with a household income of less than €30,000 per year.
The grant can be paid to people in:
You must satisfy the local authority that you will occupy the property as your normal place of residence when the works have been done. If you are a tenant, you must also get written approval from your landlord.
Your application for the grant will be prioritised according to your medical need. Highest priority will be given to people who are terminally ill, or where alterations or adaptations would facilitate their discharge from hospital or the continuance of care in their own home.
When the local authority receives your application, it may request an occupational therapist's (OT) assessment. The local authority can arrange for this, or you can employ an OT yourself and recoup up to €200 of the cost from the local authority as part of the grant, subject to the maximum grant limit of €6,000.
Your total household income is assessed to find out if you qualify for the grant and at what level of assistance.
Household income is:
The following is not taken into account when calculating your household income:
When applying for the Mobility Aids Grant Scheme, you must provide:
You must provide evidence that the Local Property Tax on the house has been paid. There is a relief from Local Property Tax (LPT) on properties that have been adapted for occupation by a disabled person. Read more in our document, Exemptions from Local Property Tax and in Revenue’s guidelines (pdf).
You must include a written itemised quotation from a contractor, indicating the cost of the work required. If the local authority considers that this quotation is unreasonable, it will ask you to get another one. It is recommended that the proposed works should include the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, if they are not already present and operating in your home.
If you intend to pay more than €650 to a contractor, your contractor may be asked to submit their Tax Clearance Certificate to the local authority.
It is expected that the work will start within 6 months of your grant approval. If this does not happen, the local authority may allow a time extension.
In general, the work done on your home is expected to be appropriate to your future needs as well as your current needs. However, if your needs change substantially over time, you may find that further works are required. You can apply again for a Mobility Aids Grant and your application will be assessed in the normal way. There is no minimum time limit between the payment of a first and second grant.
The maximum grant available is €6,000, which may cover 100% of the cost of the work.
Note: The maximum amount may not be fully awarded. Grant amounts are subject to the funding of each local authority, so the local authority can decide whether they pay the full grant or a percentage in each case.
Download an application form from your local authority’s website or ask for one to be posted to you. The form contains detailed information on the scheme’s conditions and a checklist of documents that you must include.
If you are unhappy with the local authority’s decision in your case, you can appeal the decision. The appeal must be in writing and must be made within 3 weeks of the decision. You must state the reasons and grounds for your appeal. Further information is available from your local authority.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.