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Guide to financial support for people with disabilities

There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions. You can get an overview of what's available on this page.

Main disability and sickness benefits

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults to help with extra costs you may have because you are disabled. It is not based on your disability but the needs arising from it

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a tax-free benefit you may get if you're aged 65 or over and need help with personal care because you're physically or mentally disabled.

Incapacity Benefit

Incapacity Benefit and Income Support, paid because of an illness or disability, has been replaced with Employment and Support Allowance for new claimants only. If you already receive Incapacity Benefit, you will continue to receive it.

Health and independent living

Direct payments - arranging your own care and services

Direct payments are local Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust payments for people who have been assessed as needing help from social services - and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local trust.

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.

Personal equipment, prescriptions and hospital travel

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

Value Added Tax (VAT) relief on equipment and services

If you have a long-term illness or you're disabled, you don't have to pay VAT on certain goods and services that you buy or bring into the UK. Certain building work that you have done can also be free of VAT.

  • Equipment and vehicles for disabled people might be free of VAT (money, tax and benefits section)

The Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) makes payments to people with disabilities to help them lead a more independent life. The ILF is no longer accepting any new applications.

Employment

Work schemes

There are a number of work schemes to help people with disabilities into employment.

Job Grant

Job Grant is a work related payment you may get when you or your partner move directly from benefit into work.

Your income - in or out of work

Working Tax Credit

Tax credits are payments from the government. If you're responsible for at least one child or young person, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but are on a low income, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit. You can often get both types of tax credits. They aren't taxable

  • What are tax credits? (money, tax and benefits section)

Income Support

Income Support is extra money to help people on a low income. It’s for people who don't have to sign on as unemployed. Whether you qualify or not and how much you get depends on your circumstances.

Blind Person's 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.

  • Blind Person's Allowance (money, tax and benefits section)

Families and children with disabilities

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 child with disabilities.

  • You have children - can you get tax credits for them? (money, tax and benefits section)

Child Trust Fund - disability payments

The Child Trust Fund (CTF) is a long-term tax-free savings account for children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

If you're on a low income, the Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment to help towards costs associated with a new baby. The grant comes from the Social Fund and you don't have to repay it.

Home and housing

Housing Benefit and Rates Relief are paid by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Rates Relief

Where a property has been suitably adapted or has additional features to meet the special needs of a resident disabled person, there is an entitlement to a 25 per cent reduction in your rates.

Housing Benefit

If you're on a low income, whether you're working or not, and need financial help to pay all or part of your rent or rates, you may be able to get Housing Benefit.

Disabled Facilities Grants

A Disabled Facilities Grant is provided by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to help to improve the home of a person with a disability, and may be based on the recommendation of an occupational therapist.

Television licence discount

If you are registered blind or severely sight impaired, you can get a 50 per cent reduction on the cost of a TV licence. You may also be entitled to a concessionary TV licence if you live in residential care or sheltered housing.

Vehicles and transport

Blue Badge parking scheme

The Blue Badge Scheme is an important service for people with severe mobility problems that enables badge holders to park close to where they need to go.

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

Vehicle 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

Some areas have community transport services for people who have difficulty using public transport.

Education

Disabled Students' Allowances

Disabled Students' Allowances provide extra financial help if you have an impairment, health condition (including mental health conditions) or a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia. They are paid on top of the standard student finance package and don't have to be repaid.

Employment - injuries and illness caused at or by work

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

If you have a disability as a result of an accident at work or have a disability 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 or a War Disablement Pension, you can claim Constant Attendance Allowance.

If you have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) provides compensation for any injury, illness or death caused by service on or after 6 April 2005. The War Disablement Pension compensates for any injury, illness or disease caused by service which occurred up to 6 April 2005.

Constant Attendance Allowance

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

Caring for someone?

If you are caring for someone who has a disability, find out about financial and practical help for carers - including carer's assessments and Carer's Allowance - in the 'Caring for someone' section of nidirect.

Disability Action - Information and Advice

Disability Action’s Information and Policy Unit provides specialist information and advice on disability issues.

More useful links