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

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment is a new benefit replacing Disability Living Allowance for people aged between 16 and 64. Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance cannot be claimed at the same time.

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for children under 16 to help with extra costs you may have because you have a disability. It is not based on your disability but the needs arising from it.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit you may get if you're aged 65 or over and need help with personal care because you have a physical or mental disability.

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance offers support and financial help so you can do suitable work if you are able to. It gives you access to an Employment Service Adviser and a range of services including employment, training and condition management support to help you manage your illness or disability at work.

Health and independent living

Equipment for independent living

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

Personal equipment, prescriptions and hospital travel

You may be entitled to help towards health costs such as dental care and 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 have a disability, you don't have to pay VAT on certain goods and services you buy or bring into the UK. Certain building work that you have done can also be free of VAT.

The Independent Living Fund

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

Employment

Work schemes

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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 Housing Executive.

Rates Relief

Where a property has been suitably adapted or has additional features to meet the special needs of a resident person with disabilities, there is an entitlement to a 25 per cent cut 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 Housing Executive 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 cut 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 a 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 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 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 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.

Caring for someone

If you are caring for someone with a disability, you can find out about financial and practical help for carers on the following nidirect page:

Disability Action - information and advice

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

 

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