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Types of Benefit

Benefits for disabled children are complex. The following is a guide to some benefits which parents or carers who care for disabled children should be aware of. Additionally, there is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called a benefit cap.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if somebody has a disability so severe that they need somebody else looking after them. Depending on how much care they need an individual is entitled to either the lower rate of £58.70 or the higher rate of £87.65 a week.

It is therefore important to know that some other benefits that you may receive could increase if you get Attendance Allowance. This does not cover mobility needs. To claim Attendance Allowance, visit the Gov.uk website

Blind Person’s Allowance

A person’s tax allowance is increased if they are registered as either of the following with their local council:

  • Severely sight impaired (blind)
  • Sight impaired (partially sighted)

As a result, they can earn more money before they start paying income tax. The additional allowance for the tax year 2019-2020 is £2,450, bring the individuals personal tax allowance threshold to £14,950.

The Blind person’s pre-tax allowance can be transferred to a spouse or civil partner if either:

  • The person claiming does not pay tax, or
  • The person does not earn enough to use all of the allowance.

Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit available for carers. You could be eligible to you could claim £66.15 a week if you:

  • Care for someone at least 35 hours a week (you don’t have to live with them or be related to them)
  • Care for someone who receives the higher-rate or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, either rate of Personal Independence Payment daily living component or any rate of Attendance Allowance
  • If your earnings are less than £123 a week (after deductions)
  • If you are not in full-time education

You can receive your payment either:

  • Weekly in advance
  • OR every four weeks

For each week you get Carer’s Allowance, you will automatically get National Insurance credits. Carer’s Allowance can affect your existing benefits. Apply now for Carer’s Allowance.

Carer’s Credit

You may be entitled to Carer’s Credit if you care for someone at least 20 hours a week. This credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in a person’s National Insurance record. Your income does not affect your eligibility for Carer’s Credit.

Children’s Funeral Fund for England

You could receive some help with funeral costs if:

  • If you have a child under 18 who has passed away
  • or a baby stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy

The fund can help pay for burial fees, cremation fees and a coffin or casket. The fund is non-means tested. Click here for more information.

If you need financial support for elements of the funeral that aren’t covered by the Fund, The Child Funeral Charity (CFC) also offer help with things like flowers, orders of the ceremony, plaques etc.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

DLA is a benefit for disabled children and may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who is:

  • Under 16 and
  • Needs more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability.

There are eligibility requirements, with a care component and a mobility component. A child may qualify for one or both components. The weekly rate for the care component ranges from £23.20 to £87.65 a week. The mobility component ranges from £23.20 to £61.20 a week. You can apply for Disability Living Allowance here.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is ending for people who were born after 8 April 1948 and are 16 or over. This will happen even if you have an indefinite or long-term award. Invitations to apply for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) are sent to those affected.

Disability Premiums

Disability premiums are extra amounts of money that top up your:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment
  • Support Allowance
  • Housing benefit

The three types of disability premium for adults are:

  • Disability premium
  • Enhanced disability premium
  • Severe disability premium

Disability premiums will be automatically added to the above benefits if you are eligible. You should not have to claim them separately. Although disability premiums may be affected by your child’s disability benefit, they will be paid to you as the adult. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus if they have not been paid.

Disabled Facilities Grants

If a disabled person wants to stay in their own home but it needs adapting, this grant could help. You can use this Grant against the cost of:

  • Ramps
  • Widening doors
  • Adapting heating and lighting controls
  • Improving bathroom facilities.

The grant depends on a person’s household income and household savings of over £6,000.

For disabled children under 18, it is possible to receive a grant that does not take parents’ income into account. Do not start work on a property until the council approves your application, as you may not receive a grant if you do. Apply for the Disabled Facilities Grant via your local council.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If somebody has a disability or health condition that affects how much they can work, they can claim money to help with living costs. Furthermore, they can receive support to get back into work once they are able.
A person can claim ESA if they are:

  • Employed
  • Self-employed
  • Unemployed and are replacing Incapacity Benefit.

Get more information and start your ESA application here.

Income Support

Income Support can help cover costs for those on a low income. Eligibility for Income Support is dependent on entitlement to the severe disability premium.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP can help with extra living costs if a person has a long-term health issue or disability. People may be entitled to between £23.20 to £148.85 a week if they are over the age of 16 and below pension age.

The amount a person receives will depend on how the condition affects their day-to-day life, not the actual condition itself. To claim PIP, a person must have had difficulties with daily living or getting around for 3 months, additionally, they must expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months. You can claim by telephone or post.

Universal Credit

Paid monthly, Universal Credit is a payment to help with living costs which someone may be able to claim if they are on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit is replacing:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment
  • Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK. People do not have to do anything until they hear from the DWP about moving to Universal Credit unless there is a change in their circumstances.

For more on finances, the grants available and other resources on benefits for disabled children, visit our Directory of useful contacts.

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