Disability benefits for children and young people
Applying for benefits can be confusing especially if your children are transitioning from one to another. Some forms appear straightforward but filling them out correctly and providing the right evidence of need can be difficult to get right.
Papworth Trust’s Information Service offers free advice throughout Cambridgeshire. Staff can arrange home visits and even accompany you on assessments. If you want help on what to apply for or how to do it, or just want someone to check over your paperwork, you can arrange an appointment by calling 0800 952 5000. Calls are free from a landline phone. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm.You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
Top tips from Caroline Tyrrell-Jones, Papworth Trust Information & Guidance Manager
- Do ask for advice. Professional information advisors or friends can both help identify relevant points to include in applications. As a family carer, it’s easy to forget just how much you do to support your children/YP day to day. This might include prompting, motivating or encouraging.
- Don’t be tempted to exaggerate or bend the truth – it won’t stand up to scrutiny.
- Don’t get side-tracked providing evidence of things that are not asked for. Do gather good evidence from various sources about your child/YP’s care needs and daily living/mobility challenges. EHCPs and recent assessments are good starting points.
- Make a photocopy or scan any paperwork you send
- Get proof of posting for any applications. Some applications can take up to 10 weeks to acknowledge**. It’s tempting to just use the freepost envelope provided and put in the postbox. But if you go to a Post Office to do it, you can ask for a Certificate of Posting. This is your proof that you have posted the item declared on the certificate into the Royal Mail network. The certificate needs to be date stamped and signed at a Post Office window to be valid. Note: **It can take DWP up to 10 working days to acknowledge that they have received an application. They will frequently send a text message to acknowledge if you have provided a mobile number, however do not rely on this as acknowledgement is not always sent. Following receipt applications are usually processed and a decision received within 6 to 8 weeks.
- Calling the DWP or assessment company about a benefit? Keep a log of who you talk to and when.
- Send in applications in good time. Delays can cause benefits to be withheld. And if you don’t meet specified deadlines, payments could stop.
- If your young person cannot manage benefits themselves, apply to the DWP to become an Appointee so that you can look after applications and payments on their behalf. More information at https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits
- You can search for and download PIP and ESA descriptors which show how applications are scored.
- Personal Independance Payment (PIP) descriptors link
- Trial the PIP test
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) descriptors link
- Trial the ESA test
10. Be persistent. Applying for and appealing benefits can take time.
Visit Pinpoint’s webpage on benefits for more information and contacts. http://www.pinpoint-cambs.org.uk/information/benefits-payments
Free advice sessions for Cambridgeshire parent carers
Pinpoint has organised two more Benefit Information Sessions with Papworth Trust this year just for parent carers raising young people aged 14-25. They are:
- June 28, 10-12 at the Medway Centre, Huntingdon
- September 21 at Ely Library September 21st 12.30-2.30pm
To book: email email@example.com or call 01480 499043