Disability does not just affect people physically. With high numbers of people with health issues seeking support from Turn2us, we know that it can have a huge impact on their personal finances, and their carer’s finances too.

By Una Farrell, Turn2us 

Many people are left unable to make ends meet, so it is crucial that people receive all of the support that they are entitled to and eligible for.

There is a range of benefits available for people who are living with a disability, eligibility for which will depend on your own individual circumstances. Here is a summary of some of the help available and details about who might be eligible to apply for it.

Attendance Allowance 

Attendance Allowance is money for people aged 65 or over who have care needs. It could include help outside the home although it does not cover mobility needs. It doesn’t matter if you are actually receiving this help, as long as you can show you need it. It is not means-tested so your income and savings are not taken into account when assessing if you qualify for the benefi t. Claiming Attendance Allowance won’t reduce any other income you receive. If you’re awarded it, you may become entitled to other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

Disability Living Allowance 

Disability Living Allowance is money for children who have care needs or mobility needs.

To qualify, your child must be under the age of 16. For the low rate mobility component they must be aged over five, and for the high rate mobility component, they must be aged over three.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is for people who become disabled through an accident at work, or who have certain diseases caused by their work (but not if this is selfemployment).

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaces Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16-64 who have extra care needs or mobility needs (difficulty getting around) as a result of a disability. It is intended to support those in most need to remain independent. There are two parts, called components, the daily living component and the mobility component; you may qualify for one or both of these.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is money for people who have limited capability for work because of their sickness or disability but do not get Statutory Sick Pay. There are two types: income-related Employment and Support Allowance and contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

Income-related ESA is means-tested and Contributory ESA is non means-tested and based on your national insurance contribution record, while Income-related ESA is not taxable, Contributory ESA is taxable.

Statutory Sick Pay 

Statutory Sick Pay is money paid to you by your employer if you are sick and unable to work. It is non means-tested and is taxable.

Income Support 

This is available if you and your partner – if you have one – are on a low income, not in full-time work, and you fit into a specific category. Income Support is a means-tested benefit which helps people who do not have enough to live on. It is only available for certain groups of people who do not get Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance and are not in full time employment. Carers and lone parents with children under five are common examples of claimants who can claim Income Support.

You must usually be 18 or over but under Pension Credit age (some 16 and 17 year olds can get Income Support).

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a meanstested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income. It is replacing six existing means-tested benefits: Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Housing Benefit; Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. Universal Credit is paid on a monthly basis.

Entitlement is worked out by comparing the basic financial needs that the Government says you need to live on with your financial resources.

Universal Credit is being introduced gradually. Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances. It has been rolled out nationally to all single jobseekers without children for new claims. It is gradually being rolled out to all claimant types of working age making new claims (apart from families with more than two children), but this is still only occurring in certain areas currently.

Pension Credit 

Older people who are disabled or carers, may also qualify for Pension Credit to top up their income.

Further help 

In addition to benefits, there is a range of other help that you might be eligible for.


Charitable funds give grants to people in financial need who meet their eligibility criteria, using a sum of money that the grant-giving charity has set aside for this purpose. They are run by charities or organisations (such as energy companies) that have grant-giving as part of their aims and objectives. Although some grant-giving charities have only one fund, others run several funds that give money for different purposes.

If you don’t think that you are receiving all of the help that you are entitled to or eligible for, the Turn2us website has a Benefits Calculator to find out what welfare benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to and a Grants Search tool to find out if you might be eligible for support from over 3,000 charitable funds, as well as a range of information and resources to help people in financial hardship.

Turn2us can also provide direct financial assistance through a range of specific funds that are managed directly by the charity, including the Elizabeth Finn Fund which supports people from over 120 different professions. For more information, please visit: www.turn2us.org.uk

Housing costs

Housing Benefit is money to help you with your housing costs if you are on a low income. It can help with rent and some service charges.

The amount of Housing Benefi t you get may be restricted by the Local Housing Allowance rate in your area if you are a private tenant, and could be restricted by the number of bedrooms you have if you are a social tenant. A benefit cap may be applied to your housing benefit if the total amount of certain benefits that you get is more than a specified amount.  Your housing benefit is reduced if the Benefit Cap applies. You are exempt from the cap if you receive a disability benefit such as Personal Independence Payment or receive Carers Allowance.

You cannot get Housing Benefit to help with the costs of a mortgage or home loan. If you own the home you live in, you may be able to get help with your mortgage interest if you are getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related ESA or Pension Credit, or Universal Credit.

Localised Council Tax Support schemes provide help for people on low incomes with their Council Tax bill. While Discretionary Housing Payment is awarded at the discretion of your local authority which can help towards housing costs. You can only get it if you are entitled to Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit.

If you are on certain benefits, you may be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if the weather in your area falls to 0° centigrade or below for seven days in a row. If your electricity supplier belongs to the Warm Home Discount scheme and you’re getting the guarantee part of Pension Credit, you will automatically get an annual discount of £140 off your electricity bill. Many other people on certain benefits may also be eligible for this discount but will have to claim.

A range of benefits is available for people who are living with a disability.