Financial Support

If your child has a disability, financial and practical support from the Government may be available to help you manage. As soon as you think you are elibigle, please make a claim as these benefits are not automatic or linked to your child’s medical team.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the additional cost of looking after a disabled child. This benefit is for children under the age of 16 and who have difficulty walking or additional needs compared to a child of their own age who does not have a disability.

There are two elements to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Care Component: this is for people from age three months to 64 years who have need additional care due to their disability. The financial support for this component comes in award rates lower, middle and higher.

Mobility Component: this is for people from age three years to 64 years who have mobility problems due to their disability. The financial support for this component comes in award rates lower and higher.

For more information on DLA visit: https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/overview

Here you will be able to find out the current rates of benefits, eligibility and link to online application.

Between April 2013 and October 2017, new DLA claims for people over the age of 16 has been replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Children under the age of 16 who are already claiming DLA are not affected by these changes, however on their 16th birthday they will be invited to claim for PIP instead.

For more information on PIP visit: https://www.gov.uk/pip/overview

Here you will be able to find out the current rates of benefits, eligibility and link to online application.

This benefit is for parents on low income who can’t work because of either their own are caring for a disabled child. Income Support will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit between April 2013 and October 2017. You can make a claim through your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/income-support/overview

Child Tax Credit (CTC) is an income dependant benefit for anyone with responsibility for a child who normally lives with them. CTC is made up of elements with the basic being the ‘family element’. Depending on your circumstances additional elements can be added to your claim (e.g. disability element) so keep HM Revenue & Customs notified of any family changes as soon as possible. Between April 2013 and October 2017 CTC will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit/overview

Carer’s Allowance is for people who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a child who gets the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or either rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment. There are certain rules in order to be eligible such as your weekly income and how many hours you work employed, self-employed or as a student. Carer’s Allowance is also a taxable benefit so it may affect any other benefits you receive.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/overview

If you live in a rent paying household and on a low income, some or all of your rent may be covered if someone in your household has a disability. Eligibility and Housing Benefit will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit between April 2013 and October 2017.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/housing-benefit/overview

For families who are in reciept of certain benefits and either you or your child has a disability, you may be eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment. Usually there is no need to apply as it will be paid automatically to you. If in doubt or to check eligibility you can check the link below or alternatively contact your energy supplier.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment/overview

For children or young adults in receipt of the higher rate mobility element of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, the motability scheme can help provide a car, motorised wheelchair or scooter.

For more information visit: https://www.motability.co.uk

Disabled drivers or people who provide transport for a disabled person can apply for this parking scheme. This enables the disabled person or carer to park closer to destinations, use larger parking bays for mobility or in some cases offer free of charge parking. Charges and entitlement rules for the Blue Badge scheme vary across the UK.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/blue-badge-scheme-information-council

Here you can find your local council, apply online and check eligibility.

Need help with disability benefits?

The Citizden’s Advice Bureau estimate that more than £16 billion in means-tested benefits and tax credits goes unclaimed every year. Even if you’re not certain about your eligibility, you still can make a claim (and may be pleasantly surprised!). Disability benefits are there to help you and your family and figuring them out and filling in the forms can often be overwhelming and complicated. Fortunately, there are free expert help and advice services for you to navigate through this system.

Disability Benefits Centre (here there are different helpline numbers for each disability unit): https://www.gov.uk/disability-benefits-helpline

Contact a Family (an information, advice and support service for families with a disabled child): http://www.cafamily.org.uk/

Are there any care or respite services I can access for my child?

Caring for a disabled child can be very rewarding but also at times it can also be challenging. As a carer you may feel that sometimes you, your child or even your family may need a short break away. A coffee with a friend, a walk in nature, or even a day or over night trip can help with recharging depleted batteries. Unfortunately, there are no set services across the UK to help with respite. However, there may be services available in your local area through Social Services or any local charities. If you feel you would benefit from this type of service, please dicscuss your feelings with your child’s GP or Paediatrician. They are there to help, signpost or even refer you or your child to local care or respite services if they are available in your area.