Direct Payments for equipment and minor adaptations

If you have had an occupational therapy assessment and the outcome is that you need equipment and/or minor adaptations to help with your day to day living, you can elect to purchase this via a direct payment.

You would receive a payment from us towards purchasing the equipment.

What are the benefits?

  • You will have more control and choice over what equipment you purchase, eg style, design or colour, rather than receiving a basic stock item issued directly by us
  • You can put the direct payment towards a more expensive, higher specification model of your choice
  • You may wish to purchase the equipment from a different supplier than we would use

We must be satisfied that the equipment or minor adaptations you choose to purchase are going to adequately meet your assessed needs.

You would only receive money towards equipment or minor adaptation that we would normally have a responsibility to provide.

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The direct payment will include the cost of the equipment plus fitting, training and maintenance for three years.

You will have the responsibility of maintaining the equipment once any manufacturer’s guarantee has expired. You may choose to fund any further warranties privately. You should arrange this directly with the manufacturer.

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Minor adaptations

Minor adaptations up to the cost of £1,000, eg grab rails in your home can be purchased through a direct payment. However you will be responsible for ensuring that they are installed and maintained safely.

For works above £1,000 the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) process would be used. Your occupational therapist will discuss this with you.

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Ownership and responsibilities

Any equipment purchased via a direct payment will belong to you. You will be responsible for its care and maintenance. If the equipment requires regular servicing, we will usually give you additional money as required, to cover this cost.

When the equipment is no longer of use to you, it is yours to dispose. We are not able to buy it from you. Any income raised by the disposal must be put towards the cost of new goods/equipment and will form part of any new Direct Payment.

You will need to take all legal responsibility for the equipment which includes health and safety.

Any unauthorised expenditure may be re-claimed from you.

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Cost of the equipment or minor adaptations

The direct payment will only fund the amount that it would ordinarily cost us to pay for the equipment or minor adaptations. You would have to top-up any additional costs privately.

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What happens next?

  • You will sign an agreement. This will state the type of equipment, how much the direct payment will fund and what your responsibilities are
  • Your occupational therapist will agree a timescale for the purchase of the equipment
  • Once you have purchased the equipment, you must contact your occupational therapist. They can then visit you and advise on whether the equipment meets your needs adequately and appropriately. Any necessary risk assessments will also be completed
  • If the equipment requires insurance or a warranty then you will need to purchase this and provide a copy of all relevant documentation to your occupational therapist for our records. You should keep these documents in a safe place. You need to keep any related invoices or receipts as proof of purchase for your equipment or minor works, for a minimum of seven years.

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Where to get equipment

Here are some other suggestions:

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Video: #LiveNotExist - Fred's Story

Video shared with kind permission of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, October 2018.

Note for iPhone users and Youtube. There is a known bug with iOS and Youtube, Two buttons are read before the player but provide no functionality. We advise that you skip these to access the content.

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Support from us

If you would like to talk to us about equipment and what additional support we provide, please contact First Response Team by email: or phone 020 8489 1400.

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Page last updated:

March 7, 2023