Financial help – benefits and grants

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.

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 Contact for families with disabled children or Citizens Advice.

The benefits listed and explained in some detail include:

  • Disability Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal independence Payment (PIP)
  • Universal Credit
  • Carers Allowance
  • Tax Credits
  • ‘Bedroom tax’

Universal credit is a relatively new benefit for people of working age, and is replacing most of the means-tested benefits  If you are in receipt of one of those benefits, you’ll have to move on to Universal Credit by 2023, although the recent COVID-19 pandemic may lead to delay. Universal credit is replacing:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Housing benefit

There are also other helplines available to assist with benefits: for example, Carers and disability benefits – GOV UK.

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 annually.

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 on their national free phone help line 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

Disabled Facilities Grants – 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.

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.

Date of next review: December 2021

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