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FAQ Independent Living Major / Minor Adaptations

What do you mean by ‘Independent Living: major and minor adaptations?’
Our Independent Living service aims to help older people and people with disabilities to live more independently at home by broadening the choices available.

To access the service, you will need to undergo an assessment by an occupational therapist to determine your level of need. Depending on the results of your assessment, you may then have access to a number of services, such as signposting to other services, help to carry out adaptations to your home, help to move home and access to financial help.

Find out more about getting adaptations and equipment for your home.

These Frequently Asked Questions explain more about what the service can offer.

GENERAL

How do I arrange an assessment?
How do you measure my level of need?
Can I appeal against the assessment of my level of need?
Can I have a different scheme to the one recommended by the occupational therapist?

MAJOR ADAPTATIONS

I need a major adaptation. Can you help me to pay for it?
How long will it take to complete my adaptations?
Can I pick my own builder to carry out the work on my home?
I am an owner occupier. Once the work has been completed, who will carry out maintenance and repairs?
Is the work guaranteed?
I had a lift fitted four years ago, but it is no longer required. Will you remove it?

MINOR ADAPATATIONS

I am not always at home. Do you offer an appointment system?
I had a handrail fitted, but it is no longer needed. Will you take it down and repair any damage?

OTHER

Can I become more involved in helping to monitor the Independent Living service?
How else can I share my views about the Independent Living service?
Who do I contact if I have any other questions about adaptations?

GENERAL

How do I arrange an assessment?
You need to telephone the Older People’s Access Service (OPAS) on 0121 303 1234 to arrange an assessment. This will be carried out by an occupational therapist from the Adults and Communities Directorate.


How do you measure my level of need?
This will be determined as part of your assessment. There are four levels of need:

  • level 0 – this means you have no substantial need and you will be sent a letter explaining this.
  • level 1 – this means you have a low-level need and you will be sent details of the alternative options offered by the Independent Living service
  • level 2 – this means you have a medium level of need and assistance will be offered within six months
  • level 3 – this means you have a high level of need and will be offered assistance immediately.

Can I appeal against the assessment of my level of need?
Yes, you can appeal if you have an assessment level of 1, 2 or 3 and your physical function has deteriorated since the assessment. The appeal procedure is administered by Independent Living. To find out more, telephone Independent Living on 0121 303 6330.

Can I have a different scheme to the one recommended by the occupational therapist?
Yes, you can have a different scheme although the occupational therapist must be satisfied that it still meets your needs. However, the financial assistance you will receive will be based on the cost of the scheme recommended by the occupational therapist. If your scheme costs more, you will have to pay the additional cost.


MAJOR ADAPTATIONS

I need a major adaptation. Can you help me to pay for it?
If your needs assessment result is level 2 or 3 then we will make an appointment to visit you to discuss your needs. At the same time, we will complete a financial assessment. You may be eligible for access to financial help such as Disabled Facilities Grants.

How long will it take to complete my adaptations?
This depends on the nature of the work. Your improvement officer will discuss the timescales with you.

Can I pick my own builder to carry out the work on my home?
Yes, but there are several conditions that apply to your choice of builder. You will need to discuss this with your improvement officer.

I am an owner occupier. Once the work has been completed, who will carry out maintenance and repairs?
Once the works are complete, the materials and maintenance are the responsibility of the owner. The council will not carry out any maintenance work.

Is the work guaranteed?
All of our work is carried out by approved contractors and they use quality materials which comply with our specification. If you have a problem with either the quality of the workmanship or the materials used, please telephone us on 0121 303 6330.

I had a lift fitted four years ago, but it is no longer required. Will you remove it?
If you are an owner occupier, we will remove a lift free of charge if it is still within the five year warranty period. If the lift is outside the warranty period and you still want us to arrange its removal, you will be charged. If you do not know the warranty expiry date, please telephone us on 0121 303 6330.

If your home is a council house, we will only remove the lift if you have written agreement from the local housing manager.

If your home is owned by a housing association, we will only remove the lift if you have written agreement from the housing association manager.

MINOR ADAPTATIONS

I am not always at home. Do you offer an appointment system?
Once we have passed the referral to the contractor, they will contact you directly, usually by telephone, to make an appointment for a convenient date and time.

I had a handrail fitted, but it is no longer needed. Will you take it down and repair any damage?
Once any adaptations are complete, any future maintenance is the responsibility of the owner. You may contact a contractor to remove it for you, but you may be charged for this work.

OTHER

Can I become more involved in helping to monitor the Independent Living service?
Yes you can – we value feedback from customers as it helps us to improve and develop our services. If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved, please telephone the Independent Living team on 0121 303 6330.

How else can I share my views about the Independent Living service?
You can telephone us on 0121 303 6330 or write to us at Independent Living,PO box 16606, Birmingham, B2 2FD.

Who do I contact if I have any other questions about adaptations?
You should telephone the Older People’s Access Service on 0121 303 1234.