Introduction to financial support

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.

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.

  • See 'Direct payments - arranging your own care and services' section below

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.

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.

Work schemes and programmes

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Consent

A person must be able to give their consent to receiving direct payments and be able to manage them even if they need help to do this on a day-to-day basis.

Who is eligible


If you already receive social services

Your local trust is obliged to offer you the option of direct payments in place of the services you currently receive. There are some limited circumstances where you are not given this choice and your local trust will be able to tell you about these.

If you're not receiving social services

To get direct payments you'll need to contact your local trust to ask them to assess your needs. Direct payments are normally available if you:

  • have a disability and are aged 16 or over
  • are a carer aged 16 or over, including people with parental responsibility for a child with disabilities
  • are an older person

If you've been refused social services

If your local trust has decided that you do not need social care services, it will not offer you direct payments. If you think your needs or circumstances have now changed, ask your local trust for a new assessment.

How much do you get

The amount you receive will depend on the assessment your local trust makes of your needs.

How it's paid

Direct payments are made directly into your bank, building society, Post Office or National Savings' account. If you need someone who cares for you to collect your money, or you are registered blind, payment can be made by sending a cheque which can be cashed at the Post Office.

How to apply for direct payments locally

If you already get services, ask your local trust about direct payments.

If you are applying for services for the first time, your social worker should discuss the direct payments option with you when they assess your care needs.

The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local trust website where you can find out more.

What you can use direct payments for

The money is for you to use to pay for the services and/or equipment which will meet the needs the local trust has assessed you as having.

As a general principle, trusts should aim to leave you to choose how best to meet your assessed needs. This is as long as they are satisfied that the agreed support arrangements made are being met.

What you can't use direct payments for

You cannot use direct payments to:

  • pay for permanent residential accommodation - but you may be able to use direct payments to secure occasional short periods in residential accommodation, if your local trust agrees that is what is needed
  • secure a service from your spouse or civil partner, close relatives or anyone who lives in the same household as you, unless that person is someone you have specifically recruited to be a live-in employee (other than in exceptional circumstances, which your trust may agree with you)

Record keeping

If you receive direct payments, you'll need to account for the money you spend. Your local council will tell you what records you need to keep and what information you'll be expected to provide: such as timesheets signed by personal assistants, or receipts for services from agencies.

The trust will have to satisfy itself that the needs for which it is giving you direct payments are being met. They should tell you how they will go about this. This may involve a visit to your home.

Carers and direct payments

If you are a carer aged 16 or over, including people with parental responsibility for a child with disabilities, you may be eligible for direct payments.

However, you cannot use direct payments to buy services for the person you care for. They can only be spent on getting the support you, as a carer, have been assessed as needing.

Effect on other benefits

Direct payments are not a replacement of income and therefore do not affect any other benefits you may be receiving.

What to do if your circumstances change


If your social services needs change

If your needs change, contact your local trust as soon as possible so that they can reassess the level of payments you require. It doesn't matter whether the changes are long-term or short-term.

For example, if you don't need to spend the full amount because your condition improves temporarily, or you go into hospital, your payments may need to be adjusted.

If you don't want to continue with direct payments

If you decide you don't want to continue, the local trust will arrange services instead. If the trust decides you cannot manage with direct payments, it might decide to stop making direct payments and provide services instead.

Direct payments - information booklet and contacts

The Department of Health has booklets about direct payments. The Health and Social Care Trust (HSC) can help you with specific queries.

Information booklets

The Department of Health has published an information booklet about direct payments. The guide is also available as an easy read version and as a Cantonese translation.

You can download them at the following links or you can order them by phone.

Specific queries

If you have an immediate enquiry about your own situation, your local HSC Trust is the best place to start. Each trust implements direct payments in its own way. They will also be able to put you in touch with local support services.

Payment of disability benefits in other European countries

Disability benefits may be paid if you leave the UK to live in another EEA state or Switzerland. Find out if you can get disability and benefits while living abroad.

Disability benefits which may be paid

The following benefits may be paid to you if you leave the UK to live in another European Economic Area (EEA) state or Switzerland:

The mobility component of Disability Living Allowance cannot usually be paid to people living abroad.

Who can get disability benefits while abroad

You may get these benefits while abroad if you or a family member:

  • work in the UK or pay national insurance in the UK because of work, but live in another EEA state or Switzerland and are a frontier or posted worker
  • have paid enough National Insurance contributions to be able to claim a UK contribution-based sickness benefit
  • are in receipt of a ‘relevant benefit’

‘Relevant benefits’ include:

  • State Pension
  • Industrial Injuries Benefit
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Bereavement Benefits

The Department for Communities can check your National Insurance records for you.

Conditions for entitlement

When you are living in another EEA state or Switzerland, you must still meet the usual entitlement conditions for the benefits you wish to claim.  The only difference is that you no longer have to:

  • be normally resident in the UK
  • be in the UK

Usually you must have spent at least 26 of the last 52 weeks in the UK, unless:

  • you are a posted frontier worker
  • you are a family member of a worker in the UK, including posted or frontier workers
  • you are claiming Disability Living Allowance (care component) or Attendance Allowance under the special rules for terminally ill people
  • you can demonstrate you have a genuine and sufficient link with the UK social security system, for example you have lived and worked in the UK for a significant period

You may not be able to take your benefit with you if you cannot demonstrate a genuine and sufficient link with the UK social security system.

Please contact Disability and Carer’s Service for more information.

Affects on your entitlement – things to be aware of

Your entitlement to these benefits may be affected if you or your family:

  • can get a sickness benefit from another EEA state or Switzerland
  • work or have worked in another EEA state or Switzerland

If you receive a pension or invalidity benefit from another EEA state or Switzerland you may be entitled to a disability benefit from that country. This will be instead of getting your disability benefit from the UK.

You may not receive Carer’s Allowance if you receive other benefits which are paid at a rate higher or the same as Carer’s Allowance. This might include your State Pension and any benefits you may receive from other member states.

How long the benefits will be paid for

You will be paid as long as you receive a ‘relevant benefit’ or for the duration of your disability benefit award – whichever is shorter.

If you have paid enough national insurance contributions you can claim a contributions-based sickness benefit. Your benefit will be paid for as long as you remain insured from these contributions, or the duration of your award if this is shorter.

When claiming as a family member

If you are claiming as a family member of someone who:

  • is working in the UK
  • has paid enough National Insurance contributions for them to be able to claim a contributions-based sickness benefit
  • is in receipt of short-term Incapacity Benefit or the assessment phase rate of contributions-based Employment and Support Allowance

Then your benefit will be paid for:

  • as long as that person continues to work in the UK, or the duration of your award if shorter
  • as long as that person remains insured form their contributions, or the duration of your award if shorter
  • as long as that person remains in receipt of that benefit, or the duration of your award if shorter

What to do next

Contact Disability and Carers Service if:

  • you are receiving a disability or carer’s benefit and plan to move to another EEA state or Switzerland
  • you live in another EEA state or Switzerland and want to make a claim

You will need to tell Disability and Carers Service your national insurance number and your family member’s national insurance number – if you are entitled as a family member.

Leaving the European Union (EU)

For information on leaving the EU, including the impact on benefits if you are an EU citizen in the UK or a UK national in the EU, visit the following page:

Premiums for people with disabilities

If you are have a disability and receive Income Support, you may qualify for a premium on top of the basic personal allowance.

To qualify for a disability premium with Income Support, you or your partner must be under pension credit age and either registered blind or getting:

If you don’t qualify, you may still get the premium if you’ve been unable to work for at least a year.

Severe Disability Premium

You may get this if you get the disability premium or the higher pensioner premium.

There are two rates of severe disability premium, depending on whether your partner also qualifies.

Rate if you qualify

You’ll get this if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • you live alone
  • you get the middle or highest care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • no-one gets Carer’s Allowance for looking after you

You may also get it if you meet all these conditions:

  • you have a partner and no one else lives with you or your partner
  • Carer’s Allowance is paid for only one of you
  • you both get the daily living component of Armed Forces Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance or the middle or highest rates of the care component of Disability Living Allowance

You may still get it if you meet all of these conditions:

  • you have a partner who is registered blind
  • no one lives with you and your partner
  • you get the middle or highest rate of Disability Living Allowance care component or the daily living component of Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • no-one gets Carer’s Allowance for looking after you

Rate if you and your partner qualify

You get this if you have a partner, no-one gets Carer’s Allowance for looking after either of you and you both get one of the following benefits:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • the middle or highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance

Enhanced Disability Premium

You get this if you’re under Pension Credit age and either you or your partner receive:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment, or
  • the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance. 

The Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) provides money to help disabled people live an independent life in the community rather than in residential care.

Using your payments

You can use payments from the ILF to:

  • employ a carer or personal assistant to give you personal and domestic care
  • pay a care agency to provide personal care and help with domestic duties

If you’re already getting help from the ILF, your payments will continue to be reviewed to check if your circumstances are still the same.

What you'll get

The amount you get is based on how much care you need and how much it will cost. How much of your own money you’re expected to pay towards your care is taken into account. This is called your ‘available income’.

  • if you applied before April 1993, the maximum payment is £815 a week
  • if you applied after April 1993, the maximum payment is £475 a week

How ILF payments are paid

ILF payments are paid directly into your account - for example, a bank or building society account.

Payments are made every four weeks, usually on a Monday. Each payment you get covers the four weeks that have just gone.

When your award is reviewed, the ILF checks the records you’ll have been asked to keep showing how you spent the money. For this reason, many people find it helpful to have a separate account for their ILF money.

Eligibility

If you’re already getting help from the ILF, your payments will continue to be reviewed to check whether your circumstances are still the same.

To continue to get help from the ILF, in most cases you must:

  • be living in the UK for at least 26 weeks a year
  • get social services support worth at least £340 a week or £17,680 a year - this can include direct payments or services from your local health trust - for example, going to a day centre
  • get or be entitled to the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • have less than £23,250 in savings or capital - this includes any money your partner has, if you have a partner
  • be living independently in the community rather than in residential care

Your payments are reviewed at least once every two years.

ILF helpline

More about the ILF

You can find out more about the ILF on their website

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit - information

You might get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you’re ill or disabled:from an accident or disease caused by work or while you were on an approved employment training scheme or course

The amount you may get depends on your individual circumstances.

Your carer could get Carer’s Allowance if you have substantial caring needs.

What you'll get

The level of your disability will affect the amount of benefit you may get. This will be assessed by a ‘medical advisor’ on a scale of 0 to 100 per cent .

Normally you must be assessed as 14 per cent  disabled or more to get the benefit.

All amounts are a guide only:

Assessed level of disablement  Aged over 18 (weekly amount)
100 per cent £168.00
90 per cent  £151.20
80 per cent  £134.40
70 per cent  £117.60
60 per cent  £100.80
50 per cent  £84.00
40 per cent  £67.20
30 per cent  £50.40
20 per cent  £33.60

Eligibility


Accidents

You may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if:

  • you were employed when the accident or event happened
  • you were on an approved employment training scheme or course when the accident or event happened
  • the work accident or event that caused your illness or disability happened in the UK

There are some exceptions you can ask Industrial Injuries Branch about.

Diseases

You can claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you were employed in a job or were on an approved employment training scheme or course that caused your disease. The scheme covers more than 70 diseases, including:

  • asthma
  • chronic bronchitis or emphysema
  • deafness
  • pneumoconiosis (including silicosis and asbestosis)
  • osteoarthritis of the knee in coal miners
  • prescribed disease A11 (previously known as vibration white finger)
  • diffuse mesothelioma and a number of other asbestos-related diseases such as primary carcinoma of the lung

The scheme also covers asbestos related diseases including:

  • pneumoconiosis (asbestosis)
  • diffuse mesothelioma
  • primary carcinoma of the lung with asbestosis
  • primary carcinoma of the lung without asbestosis but where there has been extensive occupational exposure to asbestos in specified occupations
  • unilateral or bilateral diffuse pleural thickening.

List of prescribed diseases and occupations covered by IIDB

You can’t claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you were self-employed.

How to use this service

Use the links below to download and complete a claim form or contact your local Jobs and Benefits office for a claim form.

Download a form

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit forms:

You make a claim by printing out a claim form and filling it in. When you have filled in the form you can either:

Important: The date the claim form is received in a Jobs and Benefits office is the date we can consider payment from - not the date you downloaded the claim form.

Ask for a form

You can get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit from the Department for Communities.  Contact one of their offices.

Further information


What to do if your circumstances change

You, or the person who claims on your behalf, must tell the office that deals with your payments about any changes to your circumstances or personal details. Let them know if:

  • the condition for which you’re getting benefit improves
  • you marry, remarry, or form a civil partnership and change your name
  • you change your address
  • you leave the country
  • you go into prison

You must also report these if you receive Unemployability Supplement, which topped up Industrial Disablement Supplement until 1987.

Other benefits you may be able to get


Constant Attendance Allowance

You can claim Constant Attendance Allowance for accidents where your disability is assessed at 100 per cent and you need daily care and attention.

The Constant Attendance Allowance rate you’re paid is based on an assessment of your needs.

Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance

You can claim £67.20 paid in addition to the Constant Attendance Allowance rates, if you’re assessed at one of the top two rates of Constant Attendance Allowance and need permanent, constant care and attention.

Reduced Earnings Allowance

You may get Reduced Earnings Allowance if:

  • you can’t do your usual job or other work with similar pay because of an accident or disease caused by work
  • you have a disability or injury which began before 1 October 1990

Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979

You may be paid a lump sum if you have one of the following diseases:

  • pneumoconiosis
  • byssinosis
  • diffuse mesothelioma
  • bilateral diffuse pleural thickening
  • primary carcinoma of the lung when accompanied by asbestosis or bilateral diffuse pleural thickening

To get a payment you must meet all the following conditions:

  • your dust-related disease must have been caused by your employment
  • you’re getting Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for one of the listed diseases
  • you must claim within 12 months of the decision awarding Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • you can’t or haven’t taken civil action because your former employer has stopped trading
  • you haven’t brought a court action or received compensation from an employer in respect of the disease

You may be able to make a claim if you’re the dependant of someone who suffered from a dust-related disease but who has died. A dependant claim must be made within 12 months of the death of the sufferer.

Diffuse mesothelioma payment

On 1 October 2008, a government scheme was introduced for people suffering from the asbestos-related disease, diffuse mesothelioma. Under certain circumstances, people who have the disease may be entitled to a one-off lump sum payment.

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 (CAA).

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

Your carer could get Carer’s Allowance if you have substantial caring needs.

What you'll get

There are four different weekly rates of Constant Attendance Allowance. How much you get depends on the extent of your disability and the amount of care you need.

Rate Weekly amount
Exceptional rate  £143.20
Intermediate rate  £107.40
Normal maximum rate  £71.60
Part-time rate  £35.80

 If you get the ‘exceptional rate’ or ‘intermediate rate’, you may also get Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance.

You can contact Industrial Injuries Branch or your local Jobs and Benefits office to find out whether you can get Constant Attendance Allowance.

Industrial Injuries Branch - telephone: 028 9082 3318 (opening hours - Monday to Friday, from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)

War pension cases can contact Veterans UK website(external link)

How you're paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg a bank account.

If your circumstances change

You should tell the Industrial Injuries Branch or the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency if your circumstances change. For example, if:

Report any change of circumstances to Industrial Injuries Branch

  • Telephone: 028 9082 3318

Changes could affect how much you get. For example, if you or the person you claim for needs more help, goes into hospital or moves abroad.

War pension cases can contact Veterans UK.

Veterans UK (was Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA))

Eligibility

You must be claiming one of the following:

  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • War Disablement Pension

If you get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

To claim you must:

  • need daily care and attention, eg home nursing or help with preparing or eating food
  • be 100per cent disabled (based on a medical examination)

Your entitlement to Constant Attendance Allowance will automatically be considered at the time of your medical examination for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if a 100 per cent assessment of your disability is being considered.

Contact Industrial Injuries Branch, telephone: 028 9082 3318 for more advice.

If you get a War Disablement Pension

To claim you must:

  • need personal help for the same reasons that you get a war pension
  • be getting a war pension of 80 per cent or more

How to claim

For industrial injury cases

Your entitlement to Constant Attendance Allowance will automatically be considered at the time of your medical examination for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if a 100 per cent assessment of your disability is being considered.

Contact Industrial Injuries Branch for more information.

  • Telephone 028 9082 3318

For war pension cases

To claim for war pension cases, ask Veterans UK for claim form WPA 0003 (CAA).

Severe Disablement Allowance

Since April 2001 it has not been possible to make a new claim for Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA). You may have been able to claim if before April 2001 you were unable to work because of illness or disability.

Severe Disablement Allowance has been replaced with Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - we will re-assess your Severe Disablement Allowance claim to see if you’re capable of work or eligible for ESA.

Your claim won’t be re-assessed if you’ve reached State Pension age before 6 April 2014.

Re-assessing your claim

If you’re not about to reach State Pension age, we will send you a questionnaire. This will ask you how your illness or disability affects your ability to complete everyday tasks.

  • Complete this questionnaire and return it by the deadline. Include original medical reports or letters that are relevant - you’ll get these back
  • We will tell you if you need a face-to-face Work Capability Assessment - you must go
  • If the re-assessment shows you’re capable of working, your Severe Disablement Allowance will stop. We will discuss your next steps, including claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • If the re-assessment shows you can’t work, you’ll be transferred automatically onto Employment and Support Allowance

Working and Severe Disablement Allowance

Usually your Severe Disablement Allowance is not affected if you:

  • do volunteer work
  • work and earn up to £20 a week
  • work for less than 16 hours a week on average and earn up to £101 a week for 52 weeks
  • do ‘supported permitted work’ and earn up to £101 a week

Supported permitted work is supervised by someone from a local authority or voluntary organisation whose job it is to arrange work for disabled people.

If your circumstances change

Tell us if your circumstances change - this can affect how much you get. The number will be on any letters we’ve sent you.

Diffuse mesothelioma payment

On 1 October 2008, a new government scheme was introduced for people suffering from the asbestos-related disease, diffuse mesothelioma. Under certain circumstances, people who have the disease may be entitled to a one-off lump sum payment.

Eligibility

If you are unable to make a claim under the 1979 Pneumoconiosis Order (NI), have not received payment in respect of the disease from an employer, a civil claim or elsewhere and are not entitled to compensation from a Ministry of Defence scheme, you can claim a one-off lump sum payment.

The scheme covers people whose exposure to asbestos occurred in the United Kingdom and was not as a result of their work as an employee, for example:

  • you came into contact with asbestos from a relative - for example by washing their clothes
  • you were exposed to asbestos in the environment - for example, they lived near a factory using asbestos
  • your exposure to asbestos was while self-employed
  • your exposure cannot be specified but it occurred in the United Kingdom

Rates

The lump sum payment depends on the age you were when the disease was diagnosed. If the date of the diagnosis is not known, it will be based on your age at the date of making a claim.

The rates are as follows:

Age

Payment  Age   Payment
37 and under £81,536 57 £50,660
38 £79,951 58 £46,546
39 £78,369 59 £42,427
40 £76,787 60 £38,316
41 £75,202 61 £34,197
42 £73,619 62 £30,081
43 £72,829 63 £27,546
44 £72,033 64 £25,012
45 £71,245 65 £22,483
46 £70,453 66 £19,949
47 £69,660 67 £17,416
48 £67,447 68 £16,900
49 £65,231 69 £16,384
50 £63,011 70 £15,873
51 £60,796 71 £15,359
52 £58,575 72 £14,844
53 £56,994 73 £14,407 
54 £55,412 74 £13,962
55 £53,832 75 £13,534
56 £52,242 76 £13,104
    77 and over £12,666


There are separate rates for dependants where the sufferer has died.

Making a claim

Claims must be received within 12 months of the date of diagnosis. The aim is to pay 95 per cent of claims within six weeks of receiving the claim form.

You will be asked to submit medical evidence with your claim showing that you suffer from diffuse mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos. No further medical examination will be required.

If the sufferer has died, their dependants may be able to claim. The claim form must be received within 12 months of the date of death.

Who to contact

For further information or to request a claim form, contact the Industrial Injuries Branch:

Industrial Injuries Branch
Room 309
Castle Court
Belfast
BT1 1SD

Vaccine Damage Payment

If you’re severely disabled as a result of a vaccination against certain diseases, you could get a one-off tax-free payment of £120,000. This is called a Vaccine Damage Payment.

Effect on other benefits

A Vaccine Damage Payment can affect other benefits and entitlements like:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance

The effect the payment will have depends on a number of things. This includes the payment being put into a trust and the payments being made from it.

You should let the office that deals with your benefit or tax credit claim know if you’ve got a Vaccine Damage Payment. You can get contact details from letters they have sent you.

What you'll get

A Vaccine Damage Payment is a tax free one-off payment of £120,000.

How you’re paid

You’ll get payment direct to you or, if you’re under 18 or can’t manage your own affairs, payment will be made to trustees.

If you live with your family, your parents may be appointed as trustees.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, for example, your bank account.

Eligibility

You could get a payment if you’re severely disabled and your disability was caused by vaccination against any of the following diseases:

  • diphtheria
  • haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB)
  • human papillomavirus
  • influenza, except for influenza caused by a pandemic influenza virus
  • measles
  • meningococcal group C (meningitis C)
  • mumps
  • pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (swine flu) - up to 31 August 2010
  • pertussis (whooping cough)
  • pneumococcal infection
  • poliomyelitis
  • rotavirus
  • rubella (German measles)
  • smallpox - up to 1 August 1971
  • tetanus
  • tuberculosis (TB)

You may have had a combined vaccination against a number of the diseases listed. For example, you might have been vaccinated against DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) or MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).

You may also be able to get a payment if you’re severely disabled because either:

  • your mother was vaccinated against one of the diseases in the list while she was pregnant
  • you’ve been in close physical contact with someone who’s had an oral vaccine against poliomyelitis

What counts as ‘severely disabled’

Disablement is worked out as a percentage, and ‘severe disablement’ means at least 60 per cent disabled.

This could be a mental or physical disablement and will be based on medical evidence from the doctors or hospitals involved in your treatment.

When and where the vaccination must have taken place

You must normally have been vaccinated before your 18th birthday unless the vaccination was during an outbreak of disease in the UK or the Isle of Man, or it was against:

  • poliomyelitis
  • rubella
  • Meningococcal Group C
  • human papillomavirus
  • pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (swine flu)

The vaccination must have been given in the UK or the Isle of Man, unless you were vaccinated as part of Armed Forces medical treatment.

More useful links

Share this page

Feedback

Your comments are anonymous and can’t be responded to - if you would like a reply, use the feedback form.

Your comments
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum. Don't include personal or financial information.