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Guide to financial support for disabled people

This section will help you find out the range of benefits, tax credits and other disability-related financial support you may be able to get. It is only a general guide.

Main disability and sickness benefits

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

This is a benefit you can get if you need help getting around and/or looking after yourself because you are ill, disabled or terminally ill. You must claim before you reach age 65.

Attendance Allowance (AA)

This is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 or over who have an illness or disability and need help with personal care.

Incapacity Benefit (IB)

If you can't work because of illness or disability you may be able to get Incapacity Benefit. It is paid in three weekly rates depending on how long you've been unable to work.

Health and independent living

Direct payments - arranging your own care and services

If you have been assessed by your local council as needing care and support services, you may want to choose direct payments. They allow you to buy in and arrange help yourself instead of receiving it directly from social services.

Equipment for independent living

You may be entitled to help towards the cost of equipment to enable you to live independently in your own home, or towards the cost of getting standard home equipment adapted so that you can use it.

Health equipment, prescriptions and hospital travel

You may be entitled to help towards health costs such as free NHS prescriptions, dental care, hospital travel costs, plus equipment such as wheelchairs and hearing aids.

Value added Tax (VAT) relief on equipment and services

Some goods may qualify for VAT 'relief' if the item has been designed, or adapted, solely for a disable person's use. This includes some medical appliances, certain adjustable beds and hoists and some adapted vehicles.

Services that may qualify for relief include: installation of equipment, adaptation of equipment and certain building alterations.

Independent Living Fund

Payments awarded from the Independent Living Fund help to support severely disabled people to enable them to live independently rather than in a care home. The money is for payment towards personal and domestic care.

Employment

Work schemes

'Access to Work' is one scheme that can provide you with practical support in work. This includes paying towards special equipment, or a support worker or help with the additional costs of travel to work for you if you are unable to use public transport.

Job Grant

You can claim Job Grant if you take up full-time work (at least 16 hours a week). You must also have been claiming certain benefits for at least 26 weeks before starting your new job, these include Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance (you can no longer make new claims for this benefit).

Your income - in or out of work

Working Tax Credit

If you are in work but on low pay, you can apply for Working Tax Credit to top-up your earnings. You may get extra if someone in your household is disabled.

Income Support

If you are aged between 16 and 60, on a low income, not working or working on average less than 16 hours a week you can claim Income Support. Income Support is affected by savings.

You may qualify for the Disability Premium, the Severe Disability Premium or the Enhanced Disability Premium.

If you are sick and are not getting Statutory Sick Pay, you should claim Incapacity Benefit as well as Income Support.

You will also automatically qualify for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit and may receive help towards health costs - such as prescriptions.

Blind person's tax allowance

The blind person's allowance allows you to receive an amount of income without having to pay tax. It is added to your personal tax allowance.

Families and disabled children

Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit is an allowance for parents and carers of children or young people who are still in full-time education. You may get extra if you care for a disabled child.

Disability Living Allowance

You can claim Disability Living Allowance for a child with a severe physical or mental illness or disability if they need much more help or looking after than other children of the same age.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

This is a one-off payment to help towards the cost of a new baby if you are on a low income and receive certain other financial support including Income Support and/or Working Tax Credit where a disability element or severe disability element is included.

Home and housing

Council Tax

You may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax bill if your home has certain features that are essential to you living there - for example, if you have an extension for a downstairs bedroom. If it puts your property into a higher valuation banding, there may be a one-band reduction in your bill.

Housing and Council Tax Benefit

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are paid by local councils. If you are on a low income and paying rent claim Housing Benefit.

If you are on a low income and paying Council Tax, claim Council Tax Benefit.

Disabled Facilities Grants

A Disabled Facilities Grant is a local council grant to help towards the cost of essential adaptations to your home to enable you to continue to live there.

Television licence discount

If you are registered blind with your local council, you can get a 50 per cent discount on the cost of a TV licence.

Vehicles and transport

Blue Badge parking scheme

The Blue Badge scheme provides a range of parking benefits for disabled people with severe walking difficulties who travel either as drivers or as passengers.

The Motability Scheme

The Motability Scheme can help you with leasing or buying a car, powered wheelchair or scooter if you are getting the higher rate of the mobility component of Disabled Living Allowance.

The leasing or hiring of certain equipment and vehicles may qualify for Value Added Tax (VAT) 'relief'.

Vehicle excise duty (car tax) exemption

You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or the War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement.

Community and public transport

Your local council may operate dial-a-ride or taxi schemes, for example, using vouchers or tokens. You may also be eligible for a Disabled Persons Railcard.

Education

Disabled Students' Allowances

Disabled Students' Allowances provide help for students in higher education who, because of their disability, have additional costs. Things they help pay for include specialist equipment plus non-medical personal assistance.

Employment - injuries and illness caused at, or by, work

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

If you are disabled as a result of an accident at work or disabled as a result of a disease or deafness caused by work, you may be entitled to receive Industrial Injuries Benefit.

Constant Attendance Allowance

If you need daily care and attention because of a disability and you claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit you can claim Constant Attendance Allowance.

If you have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces

War Disablement Pension

You may be able to claim War Disablement Pension if you've been injured or disabled during a time of war or as a result of service in Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

Constant Attendance Allowance

If you need daily care and attention because of a disability and you claim War Disablement Pension you can claim Constant Attendance Allowance.

Caring for someone?

If you are caring for someone who is disabled, find out about financial and practical help for carers - including carer's assessments and Carer's Allowance - in the 'caring for someone' section of Directgov.

Who does what and who you'll deal with

In a concise and easy-to-understand section you can find out which government departments and offices are responsible for the different types of financial support. 

It also includes an introduction to how income, savings and/or capital can affect your entitlement to receive certain support.

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