Disabled people may not realise that they are eligible for benefits that can help them with the extra costs associated with disability. Even if they are, they may not realise that they could be eligible for a grant that could make life a lot easier for them.

By Una Farrell, Turn2us

It is crucial that disabled people are made aware of the help available to them and more importantly – that they get that help. Here is some of the help available and who might be eligible to apply.


Charitable funds give grants to people in financial need that meet their eligibility criteria, using a sum of money that the grant-giving charity that 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.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is money for people aged 65 or over who have care needs. It could include help outside the home. It does not matter if no one actually gives this help, as long as you can show you need it. However, it does not cover mobility needs. It is not means-tested so your income and savings are not taken into account when assessing if you qualify for the benefit. Claiming Attendance Allowance won’t reduce any other income you receive. If you’re awarded it, you may become entitled to other benefi ts, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefi t or Council Tax Reduction.

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance is money for children who have care needs or mobility needs. 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 are disabled because of an accident at work, or who have certain diseases caused by their work (but not if this is self-employment).

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, for instance) 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

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

This 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 and 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

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 means-tested 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 calculated by comparing your 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 currently only occurring in certain areas.

Pension Credit

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

Turn2us Can Help

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 charitable funds, as well as a range of information and resources to help people in financial need. 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 and the Turn2us Response Fund. For more information, please visit: www.turn2us.org.uk