Benefits you can claim when you have care needs

If you have care needs or a disability there are benefits to help you manage with the extra costs. Most of these benefits aren’t affected by income or savings and you may be able to keep them if you have to go into a care home.

Why it’s important to claim all the benefits you’re entitled to

The amount you pay towards your long-term care is worked out as if you’re already receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.

So it’s important to claim everything you can, otherwise you’ll end up paying more than you need to.

What benefits are you entitled to?

Financial support is available whether you need help to live safely and comfortably in your own home, or you need to move into a care home.

What’s more, not all benefits are means-tested. Disability benefits that help with personal care needs or the extra costs of getting around don’t take your income or savings into account.

Personal Independence Payment

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and have difficulty getting around or everyday tasks you can make a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

This benefit is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16 to 64.

PIP is tax free, paid weekly and not usually affected by your income or savings.

There are two parts to PIP:

  • a daily living component which is paid if you need personal care
  • a mobility component if you need help getting around

There are two rates for each payment. Which one you get will depend on how severe your needs are.

Personal Independence Payment rates 2015/16

Daily living component Mobility component
Standard rate £55.10 Standard rate £21.80
Enhanced rate £82.30 Enhanced rate £57.45

If you’re in England, Wales or Scotland, find out more about PIP, including how to claim, on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, find out more about PIP on the nidirect website.

Disability Living Allowance

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can only now make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you’re claiming for a child under 16.

DLA is tax free, paid weekly and not usually affected by your income or savings.

There are two parts to DLA called components:

  • the DLA care component helps with the extra costs of personal care – it is paid at one of three rates
  • the DLA mobility component helps with the extra costs of getting around – it is paid at one of two rates

It is possible to get either or both components.

Disability Living Allowance rates for 2015/16

Care component Mobility component
Higher rate £82.30 Higher rate £57.45
Middle rate £55.10 n/a
Lower rate £21.80 Lower rate £21.80

If you are aged between 16 and 64 and are currently getting DLA, you will be invited to be reassessed for Personal Independence Payment a few months before your current DLA award is due to end or if your condition changes.

If you’re in England, Wales or Scotland, find out more about DLA on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland find out more about DLA on the nidirect website.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is tax free and is not usually affected by any savings or income you may have. You may be entitled if:

  • you’re aged 65 or over and need help with personal care because of illness or disability (this could be a physical, mental disability or learning difficulty)
  • your disability means you need supervision to avoid putting yourself in danger (for example you need someone to make sure you keep to a strict diet or help you take certain medications)

Attendance Allowance is based on the care you need, not the level of care you’re currently receiving.

So even if you don’t receive support from a carer at the moment, you may still be entitled to this benefit.

You can get a lower rate if you need help in the day or night and a higher rate if you need help day and night.

Attendance Allowance rates for 2015/16

Higher rate Lower rate
£82.30 £55.10

If you’re in England, Wales or Scotland, find out more about Attendance Allowance, including how to claim, on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, find out more about Attendance Allowance, including how to claim, on the nidirect website.

Council Tax discounts and exemptions

You may receive a reduction on your Council Tax bill if you’re getting certain benefits.

If your home has been specially extended to help you stay there, you should not have to pay any extra Council Tax.

To find out more, find the details on the GOV.UK website.

Council Tax only applies to people living in England, Wales and Scotland.

If you live in Northern Ireland, you might get a reduction in your Rates through the Rate Relief Scheme. Find out more on the nidirect website.

Other benefits

If you’re on a low income, you may also be entitled to other benefits and help with health costs.

Check out Turn2Us, a charity that helps people access welfare benefits, grants and other support.

Find out more about help with health costs on the NHS website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, find out more about other benefits on the nidirect websiteopens in new window.

State Pension and Pension Credit

Did you know?

Having savings doesn’t mean you can’t claim benefits. Some benefits don’t take your savings into account, and the savings limit on others may be higher than you think.

The State Pension gives you a regular income once you reach State Pension age.

It is based on National Insurance contributions and the amount you get depends on how much you paid in.

Pension Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum and there are also other retirement benefits available.

Benefits for carers

If you’re caring for someone who is ill or disabled, it can affect your financial situation too.

Help is available – you don’t even have to be related to or live with the person you care for.

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