Disability Allowance
Author:
John Hinds
Post Date:
August 30, 2020

The extra help that makes a difference

As a famous supermarket chain says, ‘every little helps’ – this is very true. One way you can get a bit of extra help is to take a look at the wide range of disability related financial support available, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions.

Some parts of what you read below may sound like those annoying ‘have you had an accident’ TV adverts but we hope we have made this as informative as possible.

Key Benefits Available

There are a number of benefits available and identifying the ones for you can be a minefield. Here are the key benefits available.

Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) scheme for adults with disabilities or long-term ill health.

For children under 16 there is the DLA which is a tax-free benefit to help with the extra costs caused by disability or long-term ill health.

Employment and Support Allowance

Should your disability or illness restrict you from working you may be able to claim the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Carers

As you might have guessed, this is a carer’s allowance that provides extra money to those who help look after someone with caring needs. In addition to this there is also Carer’s Credit which helps bridge the gaps in the carer’s National Insurance record.

If you are at State Pension age tax-free Attendance Allowance is available to help cover carer costs.

Vehicle and Transport Benefits

As a mobility-based platform we can’t forget vehicle and transport benefits.

Blue Badge Parking Scheme

You may have seen these on cars in your local town. The Blue Badge scheme offers a range of parking benefits for disabled people who travel either as drivers or as passengers.

Currently these three-year parking badges cost £10 in England, £20 in Scotland and are free in Wales. Obviously, you need to check eligibility.

Vehicle Tax Exemption

If you are the registered owner of a car and fit the criteria below you are eligible for exemption from paying your vehicle tax.

  • You get the higher rate mobility component of the DLA
  • You get the enhanced rate mobility component of the PIP
  • You get a war pensioners’ mobility supplement
  • You get an armed forces independence payment

Motability Scheme

If you have your sights set on a car, scooter or a powered wheelchair you could be eligible to claim under this scheme. The criteria are listed below.

  • You get the higher rate mobility component of the DLA
  • You get the enhanced rate mobility component of the PIP
  • You get a war pensioners’ mobility supplement
  • You get an armed forces independence payment

We also have a guide to purchasing a mobility car that may help you. Click here to read.

VAT Relief Scheme

If you already own a vehicle and have to have it adapted to suit your condition you may be eligible for VAT exemption on the costs involved. If you don’t own a vehicle but plan to lease a Motability vehicle you could also be exempt from VAT.

Public Transport

If driving yourself doesn’t appeal or is impractical, your local council may have a disabled person taxi or dial-a-ride scheme in operation.

In addition to this there are Disabled Persons Railcards and bus passes available.

Home and Housing Benefits

Disabled Facilities Grants

These are grants awarded by your local council and are available to those who have to make essential alterations to their homes in order to make them safe to live in.

Council Tax Band Reduction Scheme

If your home has had to be modified to make it liveable based on your disability, you may be entitled to a reduction in your council tax payments. For example, if you’ve had to add a downstairs bedroom to avoid stairs and in doing so enlarged your house, meaning you have to pay more tax, you could claim the reduction so you pay the same amount as before.

Universal Credit and Housing Benefit

Universal Credit is a monthly payment that helps with the cost of living should you be on a low income or out of work. This is replacing Housing Benefit. More information and eligibility can be found here.

Television Licence

At the end of the day there’s nothing better than putting your feet up, having a cup of tea and watching your favourite programme. It would be unfair to have to pay for a full price TV licence if you are registered blind or severely sight impaired, which is why you can apply for a 50% discount.

Work and Industrial Injuries Benefits

If you have been injured and disabled as a result of an accident at work, a disease caught through work or deafness caused by work you could be eligible to claim Industrial Injuries Benefits. If your situation is particularly bad you could even claim Constant Attendance Allowance if you need daily care and attention because of the disability you have sustained in the work place.

Similarly to the above, if you have been injured or suffered a serious illness while serving in the armed forces, there is a chance you are eligible for armed forces compensation and Constant Attendance Allowance should you need daily care.

For further information on any of the above and for ways to apply, please visit here.

If you have experience in obtaining any of these benefits and have helpful advice for others, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch here.

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