Financial support if you or your child has a disability

If you or your child has a disability, financial support may be available from the state to help you manage. But it’s not paid automatically – so to avoid missing out, claim as soon as you think you’re eligible.

Changes to disability benefits

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being gradually replaced by a benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

  • If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and you’re a new claimant aged between 16 and 64, you will need to claim Personal Independence Payment.
  • If you’re already claiming Disability Living Allowance and aged between 16 and 64, you’ll be invited to claim Personal Independence Payment instead. Most people won’t be contacted until October 2015 at the earliest.

  • Children under the age of 16 won’t be affected by these changes.
  • Use the PIP Checker on the GOV.UK website to find out when you’re likely to be affected.
  • Find out more about benefit changes.

Benefits if you or your child has a disability

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Who is it for? People aged 16 to 64 who need help with daily living or mobility as a result of a long term health condition or disability.

More information: GOV.UK – Personal Independence Payment

How to claim: Call the PIP claim line on 0800 917 2222 or Textphone on 0800 917 7777.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Who is it for? People from age three months to 64 years who need care because of a disability.

People from age three years to 64 years who have mobility problems because of a disability.

DLA is now closed to new claims from people aged 16 to 64. All new claims are for Personal Independence Payment (see above – Changes to disability benefits).

More information: GOV.UK – Disability Living Allowance

How to claim: Claim online on the Department for Work and Pensions website.

Motability Scheme

Who is it for? People in receipt of the higher rate mobility element of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment – the scheme can provide a car, motorised wheelchair or scooter.

More information: Find out more on the Motability website.

How to claim: Call Motability on 0300 456 4566.

Blue Badge Scheme

Who is it for? The Blue Badge scheme helps those with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport to park close to where they need to go. Charges and entitlement rules for the Blue Badge scheme vary across the UK.

More information: GOV.UK – Blue Badge Scheme

How to claim: Apply online on the GOV.UK website or contact your local council.

Housing Benefit

Who is it for? A household paying rent. More of your rent may be covered if someone in your household has a disability.

Housing Benefit will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

More information: GOV.UK – Housing Benefit

How to claim: Contact your local Jobcentre Plus/Jobs and Benefits Office or local council office.

Help with Council Tax

Who is it for? The person responsible for paying Council Tax. More of your bill may be covered if someone in your household has a disability.

Council Tax Benefit has now been replaced by Council Tax Reduction schemes run by local councils in England, Wales and Scotland.

More information: Your local council website.

How to claim: In England contact your local council to apply for their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

In Scotland contact your local authority to find out about their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

In Wales contact your local authority to find out about their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

Income Support

Who is it for? Parents on low income who can’t work because of a disability or are caring for a disabled child.

Income Support will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

More information: GOV.UK – Income Support

How to claim: Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

Cold Weather Payment

Who is it for? If you’re getting Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or income-related Employment and Support Allowance and either you or your child has a disability.

More information: GOV.UK – Cold Weather Payment

How to claim: You don’t need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically.

Benefits if you have a disability

Working Tax Credit

Who is it for? Adults who work at least 16 hours a week and get Disability Living Allowance or certain other disability or illness-related benefits.

Working Tax Credit will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

More information: Use the tax credits calculator on the HM Revenue & Customs website to find out if you qualify and get a rough idea of how much you could be entitled to.

How to claim: Call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

Employment and Support Allowance

Who is it for? People who are unable to work because of illness or disability.

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

More information: GOV.UK – Employment and Support Allowance

How to claim: Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

Benefits if your child has a disability

Child Tax Credit

Who is it for? Anyone with responsibility for a child who normally lives with them. How much you get will depend on your household income.

Child Tax Credit will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

From April 2017, there are changes to who can get Child Tax Credits and Universal Credit, limiting support to the first two children.

However, all disabled children are protected. So if you make a new claim after this date, you will still be able to get the disabled premium for any of your children who are disabled.

If you already have more than two children and are getting Child Tax Credits or Universal Credit, you won’t be affected by the changes.

More information: Use the tax credits calculator on the HM Revenue & Customs website to find out if you qualify and get a rough idea of how much you could be entitled to.

How to claim: Call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

Carer’s Allowance

Who is it for? Someone spending at least 35 hours a week caring for a child who gets the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or either rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment.

More information: GOV.UK – Carer’s Allowance

How to claim: Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

Need help figuring out disability benefits?

Top tip

More than £16 billion in means-tested benefits and tax credits currently goes unclaimed every year. Even if you’re not sure, make a claim – you may be surprised what you could get.

Source: Citizens Advice Bureau

Although disability benefits are there to help you, figuring them out and filling in the forms can often be really complicated.

To get some expert help and advice for free, call these helplines or arrange a face-to-face meeting. While the disability benefit system is being reformed, it is particularly important to ensure you receive specialist help.

  • Disability Benefits Helpline: 03457 123 456
  • Contact a Family Helpline: 0808 808 3555
  • Enter your postcode on the Citizens Advice website to find your local bureau.