There are a number of benefits and tax credits that you may be entitled to.
Some benefits can be paid because your child is disabled while others may be paid to you for other reasons. For example, you may be getting disability living allowance (DLA) for your child and carer’s allowance as their carer. However depending on your income and certain other factors you may also be able to claim benefits such as income support, child tax credit and housing benefit.
From June 2013 DLA has been scrapped for disabled people aged 16 or above and replaced by a new disability benefit called the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Like DLA, PIP has two types of payment – a mobility component and a daily living component. However, the decision about whether someone qualifies for PIP will be based on different rules from DLA and will depend on the number of points you score following a medical assessment. There are a number of organisations that can provide you with information about all the benefits that you may be entitled to:
What am I entitled to?
The national charity for families of disabled children, Contact a Family has a freephone national helpline on 0808 808 3555 and can provide you with a free benefits check service and have a wealth of information and factsheets on their website.
Your Local Citizens Advice Bureau or welfare rights unit can carry out a full benefits check for you. A range of useful information about benefits is available from their country-specific website pages:
The Gov.UK website has a useful online benefits calculator to help you to work out what benefits you may be entitled to claim.
Together for Short Lives has developed factsheets about personal budgets which can be accessed here. A personal budget is a sum of money that is made available to someone who needs support. The money comes from their local authority social care or education department or NHS and is allocated to the individual or family to spend on help and support to meet their assessed eligible needs and to achieve agreed outcomes.
Until recently most personal budgets have been for adults who need social care, but now they are being extended to children and young people with special educational needs or disability (those who qualify for the new Education, Health and Care Plans) and to support some health needs (those with continuing care needs from 2014, those with long term conditions from April, 2015). When the money comes from the NHS it is referred to as a Personal Health Budget.