Financial Means Test


What is means testing?

A Means Test is a determination of whether an individual or family is eligible for help from the government.

The assessment applies to:
The owner, where they, any joint owner or a member of any of their family occupies the house as their main home
A private tenant who us eligible for grant under part 6 of the Act
A disabled occupant, or the parent/guardian of a disabled child

Persons assessed are:

The applicant
The applicant's partner
Except where grant relates to adaptations for a disabled person, any joint owner or joint tenant with the applicant, and the spouse of any joint owner or joint tenant. 

How assessed:

  • The amount granted is based on a financial assessment- a 'means test'- of your average weekly income.
  • Means testing will take into account savings above a certain limit.
  • Not all income is taken into account e.g. attendance allowance, council tax benefit, disability living allowance, housing benefit, mobility allowance are all disregarded. 
  • A range of premiums and allowances is used for all essential outgoings e.g. rent, mortgage, personal expenditure etc.
  • Actual outgoings are not taken into consideration.

Depending on the outcome of this assessment the amount of financial assistance offered can vary from 0 to 100 % of the cost

How is the award worked out?

The award works as follows:

  • If your income is less than your assessed needs you will not normally need to contribute to the costs of the works.
  • If your income is more than your assessed needs, a proportion of your income will be used to calculate how much you could contribute towards the cost of the works
  • If this assessed amount is less than the cost of the works, the difference between the two is paid as a Disabled Facilities Grant.

The method of means testing is both complex and time-consuming which can lead to delays in grants being awarded. 

Department Work and Pensions

Benefits and Financial Support

Citizens Advice Bureau