Occupational Therapy Advice and Information

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Handy Person Scheme:Info Icon

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  • Handy Person Schemes

These vary across the country and are subject to area specific criteria.

In general, the scheme sets out to help elderly, disabled and vulnerable people but there are differences between Councils as to exactly which specific age group of people they will assist and in some areas you will find that people over the age of 60, that meet additional qualifying criteria, will be assisted and in other areas the age increases to the over 70s. The scheme will also cover people with disabilities that mean they cannot carry out the work themselves and single parents with child/children under 16 years old – some Councils stipulate that the single parent has to be on an income related benefit and others stipulate that there needs to be a least one child that has a disability.

The schemes are well publicised on the internet for Councils in your particular area and clearly set out their criteria. Most  Local Councils will also have information about the schemes in local Connection Services for people to call in for advice and information.

Age UK operates Handyperson services in over 80% of the country. These services offer older people extra help with small practical jobs to make their lives easier and safer around the home.

If you want a Handyman (or Handywoman) you will find that some local Age UKs charge a small fee and some are free of charge.

To find out details of your local Age UK handyperson service please call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65.

Exact handyperson services differ from place to place, but these are the sorts of jobs they can usually help with:

  • Small repairs - putting up curtain rails, shelves and pictures
  • Safety measures - fitting smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and grab rails
  • Home security - door and window locks, door chains and door viewers
  • Energy efficiency checks - installing draught excluders, radiator heat reflectors and energy efficient light bulbs


  • Handyperson Grants

The Handyperson Service arranges minor jobs in the home for older, disabled or otherwise vulnerable people.

To qualify for the basic Handyperson grant the applicant must be:

  • aged 60 or over (and not in paid employment) or
  • disabled or
  • a single parent in receipt of an income-related benefit(*) living with children under 16

The type of work carried out includes:

  • replacing light bulbs
  • temporary heater in winter following a break down
  • setting thermostats/timers
  • fitting smoke/carbon monoxide alarms (but not supplying them)
  • unblocking or sealing around sink/basin/bath/shower trays
  • unblocking toilets, replacing toilet seats
  • re-fixing/re-grouting small numbers of loose wall tiles
  • putting up curtains/tracks/blinds (but not curved corded types)
  • fixing down hazardous carpets, rugs, trailing electrical leads etc.
  • fitting grab rails, towel rails, shelves, etc., to walls
  • advising on energy efficiency and condensation/dampness
  • changing door locks (except special types), fitting door chains to  timber doors

The following conditions/limitations apply:

  • Each visit is limited to 90 minutes of work on site.
  • Maximum of three visits per year in any 12-month period.
  • Clients must agree to a brief survey to identify other work and/or hazards.
  • All materials to be supplied or paid for by the client.
  • Clients must have the power or duty to carry out the works on the property where they live and are requesting help.


  • Handyperson Plus Grants

The Handyperson Plus Service provides a range of assistance to enable vulnerable people to live in their homes in safety and comfort. Home Improvement Agencies administer the scheme and assists with all aspects of the process in some areas so look on your local Council website or visit their Connections office for helpful information and advice.

Type 1: Essential works to enable vulnerable people to remain in their own homes (instead of going into care/hospital). Disabled equipment repairs (e.g. stairlift, hoist) used by a disabled person; installing safety equipment (e.g. alarms), or work (requested by the NHS/CCG) at the home of a hospital patient to enable them to be discharged (eg moving a bed downstairs). Assistance is also available for certain energy efficiency measures.

Type 2: Emergency works (up to the value of £1000 in any 12 month period). In exceptional circumstances work over this amount can be approved at senior officer level where a referral has been received by a health professional.

A referral for an equity release loan can be arranged for owner occupiers over the age of 55. If taken out, the start-up costs of the loan will be funded.

The following conditions/limitations apply to type 2 above:

  • All adults living at the property must be receiving a means-tested benefit (subject to change).
  • The applicant must have the power or duty to carry out the works.
  • Customer must be an owner-occupier or private sector tenant (not a council tenant or a tenant of a registered social landlord or housing association).
  • The applicant must pay all costs above the £1000 limit (payable before work starts).
  • If unforeseen work becomes necessary during the course of the grant work, the limit may be increased subject to approval by the council.


Grant conditions-an Example of scheme run by a Council

The following conditions apply to all services:

  • Unless the Council has given written permission (except handyperson or handyperson plus type 1 services) for the works to be started, no funding will be paid
  • The Council’s Repairs and Adaptations Service/ Home Improvement Agency will act as Agent in every case to enhance customer care, ensure quality of work and guard against fraud
  • Work must be carried out by an approved contractor selected by the Council’s Repairs and Adaptations Service/ Home Improvement Agency
  • Payments will be made direct to the Contractor
  • Works must be completed within 12 months of approval
  • No funding will be paid for work covered by an Insurance Policy

Please note that all services that are marked “(discretionary)” are subject to the Council having sufficient funds to approve the work.

The following cannot be included under Handyperson or Handyperson Plus Services:

  • Maintenance work, housework, decorating, gardening, etc
  • Personal care (washing, etc)
  • Provision or repairs to appliances such as cookers, fridges, etc
  • Provision of floorcoverings, curtains, wardrobes or furniture
  • Work to conservatories, garages or outbuildings
  • Provision of extra living accommodation or loft conversions
  • Home improvements

 The following is a current (subject to change) list of benefits that qualify as income related benefits (2015):

  • Income Support.
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance.
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Working Tax Credit (provided the award is based on income below set threshold).
  • Child Tax Credit (provided the award is based on income below set threshold, currently £15,910, subject to change).
  • Pension Credit with Guarantee Credit.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Universal Credit.

For more information of what is the best option for you, get in touch with us.