Financial Help - Benefits and Grants
Advice on benefits:
If you are caring for a child with a disability you should be aware that a great deal of change is taking place at the present time when it comes to considering the financial help, benefits and tax credits available.
Full and up to date information can be found by visiting the "Contact - for families with Disabled children" website and then click on to the box titled "Your right to benefits and tax Credits - read more." This website can be found by consulting Resources and Reports shown opposite.
Universal Credit - all means tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age are to be replaced by a new Universal Credit. At the present time families with a disabled child are not expected to claim Universal Credit in most areas . However, this is gradually changing as the government rolls out the Universal Credit to more and more Job Centres. In these full service areas, a family with a disabled child will be asked to claim Universal Credit if they have fewer than three dependent children and they try to make a new claim for any means tested benefit or tax credits.
The government also intend to move existing claimants of means-tested benefits and tax credits into Universal Credit. This is scheduled to start in July 2019, being completed by March 2022.
The benefit changes referred to below apply to England, Scotland and Wales. Most of the changes also apply to Northern Ireland, although there may be differences in the date when this happens.
The benefits listed, and explained on the Contact-a-family website in some detail are set out below:-
- The benefit cap
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Universal Credit
- Carer's Allowance
- Tax credits
- 'Bedroom tax'
Other benefits - these are a range of benefits that families may be able to access depending on their circumstances. These include:-
- Income support
- Employment and support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Support with Council tax
- Council tax disability reduction
Information is also provided about the eligibility criteria.
Details on a whole range of subjects, including those referred to above, can be found by visiting the "Citizens Advice" website. To view this website, consult Resources and Reports shown opposite. To find the "Search and navigation tools" click on to "Search for advice" ("A to Z of advice") to provide information on a particular topic. The address of the nearest Citizens Advice Bureau can be found by visiting "Search for your local Citizens Advice".
The Benefit Enquiry Line is no longer available. There are other help lines available to assist with benefits: for example Carers & disability benefits - GOV UK. This website can be found by consulting Resources and Reports shown opposite.
Disability Rights UK publishes the "Disability Rights Handbook" - a guide to benefits and services for all disabled people, their families, carers and advisors. This publication contains in depth information and invaluable guidance on the benefits system and social care services and is updated yearly. The current edition is number 43 - April 2018 to April 2019 price £33.99 (£18.50 if you are on benefits). The handbook can be obtained by visiting the website - details of which are shown under Resources and Reports opposite.:-
Get a Benefits check
There are many other benefits and concessions, which you may qualify for, so it is always best to get a full benefit check done regularly. Ring Contact a Family national free phone help line on 0808 808 3555 if you would like one of their specialist advisors to check you are getting all you should be.
Other practical sources of help:
You could get a grant from your Council if you are disabled and need to make changes to your home; for example to widen doors or install ramps. A disabled facilities grant will not affect any benefits you get. Further information can be found by visiting the Disabled Facilities Grants-Gov.UK website - for details consult Resources and Reports shown opposite.
The Family Fund gives grants to lower income families with disabled children for things that make life easier and more enjoyable. Grants are given to those raising a disabled or seriously ill child to help improve well-being and ease the pressures they often face. A grant can help with such items as washing machines, fridges, bedding, specialist toys and much needed family breaks. The Family Fund uses their own eligibility criteria to ensure it only helps those families who are most in need. For more information visit the Family Fund website - details are given under Resources and Reports shown opposite.Alternatively phone 01904 621 115.
Next review: December 2019