Written by: Cally Worden
It can be tough to make ends meet for those families where a parent or child is disabled. Financial help is available from the government but it is not automatically granted. If disability affects you or a member of your family, then read on to find out more about your right to financial assistance.
Change of Rules
Applications for the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) were previously open to those aged from 3 months to 64 years of age. Since April 2013 the DLA for adults aged 16 and over has been being migrated across to the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit. This shift is expected to be complete by October 2017, with many existing claimants not expected to be contacted until at least October 2015. Upon contact, existing beneficiaries will be invited to claim PIP instead of DLA Any new claimants must claim for PIP. The age range for this benefit is from 16 to 64. The DLA remains extant for children under 16.
PIP and DLA Overview
Benefits may be available to anyone who has difficulty walking or getting around, or for anyone who needs significantly more care than an individual (child or adult) who does not suffer from a disability. The current benefit payout for both PIP and DLA ranges from ¬£21.55 to ¬£138.05 per week, depending on the needs of the individual child concerned, and you can apply if you are in work. The amount received is based on the level of care required, the ease of mobility, both of which are classified from lowest to highest in terms of need.
Additional Benefits to Consider Include:
- Motability Scheme – for those applicants whose mobility has been rated as needing the highest level of financial assistance this scheme can provide a scooter, car, or motorised wheelchair
- Housing Benefit – for households paying rent additional assistance may be offered if you or someone living with you has a disability. Note that Housing Benefit is also being migrated to the Universal Credit scheme, on the same timescales as the shift from DLA to PIP described above
- Blue Badge Scheme – entitlements and charges vary across the UK, but you may be eligible for the Blue Badge Scheme if you are a disabled driver yourself, or regularly provide transport for someone who is disabled
- Carer’s Allowance – this may be available to anyone caring for a disabled person for a minimum of 35 hours each week, for whom the disability is classified as medium or highest in terms of care needs
- Other Benefits – Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Cold Weather Payments, Council Tax Reductions, and Income Support may all also be available to you depending on your circumstances.