People with disabilities and their carers have been hit hard over the last decade by the rise in living costs and are too often missing out on financial help such as welfare benefits that could make a huge difference to their life.
Government sources suggest that £2.4 billion worth of support goes unclaimed so it’s well worth reviewing whether you or the person you care for are receiving your full entitlement. Among the most overlooked benefits are those aimed at carers. In claiming these benefits, carers can alleviate some of the financial challenges they and the people they care for, face.
The main welfare benefits available for carers are Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Credit and the Carer’s element of Universal Credit. We have summarised some key information below on the basic eligibility criteria:
Carer’s Allowance – If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and the person you care for is getting a benefit because of their disability.
Carer’s Credit – If you are under State Pension age and you are caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week.
Income Support – If you, and your partner are on a low income or not in full-time employment and fall into a category of people who do not have to look for work. You must usually be 18 or over but under Pension Credit age (some 16 and 17 year old’s can get Income Support). Income Support is being replaced by Universal Credit.
Pension Credit – If you or your partner have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit.
There are also a number of benefits available for people who are ill, injured or disabled. To find out what you are entitled to you can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator online or if you struggle to access information online you can also use the Turn2us Helpline and speak to advisors who can help you through the process.
The list below summarises some of the main benefits available to people with illnesses or disabilities:
Attendance Allowance – If you are aged 65 or over and are affected by physical or mental illness or disability and you need help with your personal care.
Disability Living Allowance (children up to age 16) – If your child is aged under 16 and has extra care needs or mobility needs (difficulty getting around) as a result of a disability. Disability Living Allowance (Northern
Ireland) – If you are aged 16-64 and have extra care needs or mobility needs (difficulty getting around) as a result of a disability.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits – If you are disabled as a result of an accident at work or a disease caused by your job (but not if this is self-employment).
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – If you are aged 16-64 and have extra care or mobility needs (difficulty getting around) as a result of a disability.
Employment and Support Allowance – If you are aged 16 or over and under State Pension age and are unable to work because of sickness or disability and aren’t getting Statutory Sick Pay. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance is being replaced by Universal Credit.
Statutory Sick Pay – If you are an employee and you are sick and unable to work. If you are getting Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit or Pension Credit, check if you can get an extra amount called the Severe Disability Premium.
Universal Credit is gradually replacing Income-related Employment and Support Allowance. You may also be eligible for help with housing costs.
Turn2us is a national charity helping people when times get tough. They provide financial support to people to get back on track.
Visit: www.turn2us.org.uk or call the Turn2us helpline on: 0808 802 2000 (open 9 am – 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday – excluding bank holidays).