Benefits for families of children with disabilities

Family benefits include

 Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit to help with extra costs if a child under 16 has a disability, illness or health condition severe enough they:
• need much more looking after than a child of the same age without a disability, or
• have walking difficulties, or both

The government website has a DLA overview, with information about how to claim using the online forms (which can also be printed and posted)

Contact has lots of practical information about DLA on its website, including DLA factsheets about claiming the benefit.

You can also download a step-by-step guide to filling out DLA Forms from Cerebra , the national charity improving the lives of children with neurological conditions through research, education and direct, ongoing support.

Disability Living Allowance helpline 0345 712 3456

Personal Independence Payment

Read our parents’ guide to PIP blog, with top tips and information about help with PIP in Cambridgeshire.

Disability Rights has a helpful guide to PIP, including advice on filling out the forms.  Download a copy

Contact’s summary factsheet outlines all the basics about Personal Independence Payment – also known as PIP

It also has a new guide for parents on PIP other benefits at 16, which looks at what tests are used to decide if someone gets PIP, how the points system works, plus other benefits and rights entitlements when a child reaches 16 years of age and is staying on, or leaving, non-advanced education or approved training.

Parents can request their free copy of the guide through the freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555. It’s also free to download from the Contact website.

PIP helpline:  0345 850 3322

Universal Credit

This new means-tested benefit is being rolled out across the UK.

It’s for people of working age and is gradually replacing new claims for income support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit.

Contact has lots of information about Universal Credit on its website and how it will affect families with disabled children.  You can also download all the essentials via its UC  factsheet

Carer’s Allowance

If you spend 35 hours or more caring for your child or young person, you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Read an overview of the Carer’s Allowance benefit and learn about eligibility and how to claim on the government website

Contact has factsheets and a video explaining who can claim.  Visit  CaF’s Carer’s Allowance webpage to learn more.

Parents’ top tips

  1. Get advice. Benefits can be complex and eligibility does depend on individual income and circumstances.
  2. Think ahead. If you know you’re going to have to go to an interview or face-to-face consultation or fill out a form, gather all the evidence you need in good time.
  3. Take a photocopy of any forms you fill in.
  4. Send them by registered post — payments can stop if you don’t meet the deadlines
  5. Be specific about how your child is affected by their disability or SEN.  Spell out exactly how it impacts them, on separate sheets of paper if necessary.

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