Information and resources about benefits and finances, and other available support
We have seen a few questions regarding support for families with children with disabilities recently, so we have put together a handy guide on what support is available.
We’d like to continue adding to this guide to give members a comprehensive list of all the links and resources that parent carers have found useful – locally in Cheshire East as well as nationally. If there’s any information, resources, recommendations or tips you’d like to share please send them to us.
*Disability Living Allowance (DLA – under16).
This is a benefit paid by the Government to parents to help with any additional costs of looking after a disabled child. You can request/download a claim form by using the following website – https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/how-to-claim
*Personal Independence Payment (PIP – over 16s).
This is a benefit paid by the Government for an individual to help them with some of the extra costs of having long term ill-health or disability. To request a claim form you need to call 0800 917 2222 for Textphone use 0800 917 7777 or use Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 917 2222 You will need to have the following to hand when you call –
- your contact details, for example telephone number
- your date of birth
- your National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
- your bank or building society account number and sort code
- your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
- dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital
If you receive Child Tax Credits you may be entitled to a disability element on your claim once you start receiving DLA/PIP . You can update your claim online (you will need a Government Gateway ID) via their app for smartphones or by giving them a call.
HMRC contact details –
- Phone 0345 300 3900
- Textphone: 0345 300 3909
- Website with using Government Gateway – https://www.access.service.gov.uk/login/signin/creds
- App – search for HMRC in your app store
Click here for more information about Tax Credits and how to claim
This is a means tested benefit paid by the Government to anyone providing over 35 hours of unpaid care to an adult or child in receipt of certain benefits, in addition you must earn less than £128 per week after tax. Click here to find out more about eligibility for carers allowance.
Carers Allowance can affect other benefits you or the person you care for may be receiving or entitled to. Click here to find out what benefits it affects.
Have the following information to hand when calling to claim Carers Allowance
- National Insurance number (if you have a partner you’ll need theirs too)
- bank or building society details (unless you get your State Pension)
- employment details and latest payslip if you’re working
- P45 if you’ve recently finished work
- course details if you’re studying
- details of any expenses, for example pension contributions or the cost of caring for your children or the disabled person while you’re at work
You also need details of the person you care for. You need their:
- date of birth and address
- National Insurance number if they’re 16 or over
- Disability Living Allowance reference if they’re under 16
You can backdate your claim by up to 3 months.
Again if you start receiving DLA/PIP/Carers Allowance this can alter your entitlement to housing benefit by adding a disability/carer premium onto your claim. Even if you don’t qualify already, you might, if you start getting DLA/PIP/Carers Allowance.
You can also claim an extra bedroom entitlement if your disabled child cannot share a room with anyone else due to their needs. You will need evidence from a health professional in order to claim this.
To find out more about housing benefit in Cheshire East please click here.
****We know it can be really confusing – you can Use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to find out what you might be eligible for, or speak to Citizens’ Advice, Cheshire East Carers Hub, or take a look at Contact’s Benefit Guide.****
*Early Help Individual Payments (EHIPs)
If you are in receipt of DLA for your child/young person, you may be entitled to apply for Early Help Individual Payments (EHIPs). This is a payment from the local authority as part of their short breaks offer.
An EHIP is an annual payment of up to £1,000 for parent carers of disabled children under the age of 18 to purchase support for themselves that would enable them to take a break from their caring responsibility. The payment is for the parent carer; however the support that is purchased should be meaningful for their child.
Click here for further information about EHIPs, who is eligible and how to apply.
The Max Card is the UK’s leading discount card for foster families and families of children with additional needs. Families can use their Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission.
Here at Cheshire East Parent Carer Forum, we have bought Max Cards to give to our members as a thank you for participating in surveys and events.
You can see the deals available with the max card on their website mymaxcard.co.uk
If yours has run out you can request a new one and confirm your address & contact details by clicking to update your preferences
*CEA Card (Cinema)
The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA).
The Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.
The Card is also one way for cinemas to make sure they look after their disabled guests. If you require an adjustment to visit a cinema because of your disability, cinema staff should make them for you whether you have a CEA Card or not.
Click here to find our more about the CEA card, eligibility and how to apply.
Other support available
There are many organisations about to support children with disabilities and their families/carers.
Please see below for some of those available in Cheshire/Cheshire East with links to their websites, if you know of any that we haven’t shared please do let us know so we can share in the future.
Contact us via email or phone us on 07794431768
Get your free copy of Contacts’ Helpful Guide sent to your letterbox
Their all-in-one book has all the information and help you need to enjoy family life. Get your free copy of their Helpful guide for families with disabled children straight to your letterbox.
*Cheshire East Carers Hub –
We provide information, advice and a wide range of specialist support services designed to help adult and young Carers continue in their caring role for as long as they choose and reduce the impact the caring role can have on their own health and wellbeing.
We work directly with individual Carers to discuss their concerns and needs, and design a tailored personalised support package.
They also offer support for young carers, click here to see what’s on offer.Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust –offering information, advice and support for Carers.
*Friends for Leisure –
provide disabled children with the opportunities to have fun, make friends and do the everyday things that other children and young people take for granted.
provide help and support to our members with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and their parents/carers.
*Cheshire Buddies Scheme –
supports children and young people with disabilities, their families and their siblings through activity clubs, holiday clubs and residential breaks.
*Just Drop In –
offering information and support for young people, a free counselling service and help build skills for healthy and independent living.
*Autism Inclusive –
offer support for those with autism (diagnosed or suspected) and other neuro-diversities, and their families.
*Cheshire Autism Practical Support (ChAPs) –
support families with Autism Spectrum Condition or Aspergers Syndrome, whether diagnosed or not.
*Rubys Fund –
provide social, sensory, educational and recreational services for children, young people, their families and carers.
*Cheshire Young Carers –
support young carers across Cheshire in three key areas, school holiday respite programmes, individual & group support and working with schools/colleges to provide specialised support.