Sometimes it is difficult to know what is available and where to get more information about it. Knowing if and when you need a service will allow the professionals work to out how best to help you (if they can). We have put together a quick guide to some of the important benefits and support available for families to help you discover what is available and where you could get further information. Some parents find it uncomfortable to ask for financial support, but these benefits are especially provided for families whose lives can be challenging because of their caring role. Some families use it for a holiday both the SEN/disabled child and the siblings can also enjoy.
DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE (DLA)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit provided to help support children under 16 who have care and mobility needs greater than those of a child of the same age who does not have a disability.
Who can receive Disability Living Allowance?
DLA is a benefit to help with the extra costs of raising a disabled child and is therefore not means-tested.
You can receive DLA for your child if:
- Your child’s disability or health condition means that one or both of the following apply:
- They need more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability.
- They have difficulty getting about.
- They must have had these difficulties for at least 3 months and expect them to last for at least 6 months. If they’re terminally ill (that is, not expected to live more than 6 months), they don’t need to have had these difficulties for 3 months.
How much will you receive?
DLA has two parts called ‘components’:
A care component – relating to care in addition to what would be perceived as ‘expected’ for a child of their age
The rate the child gets depends on the level of looking after they need, for example:
- lowest rate – help for some of the day or night
- middle rate – frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night or someone to help while they’re on dialysis
- highest rate – help or supervision throughout both day and night, or they’re terminally ill.
A mobility component – relating to support they need in moving around
The rate the child gets depends on the level of help they need getting about, for example:
- lowest rate – they can walk but need help and or supervision when outdoors
- highest rate – they can’t walk, can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, could become very ill if they try to walk or they’re blind, severely sight impaired.
You may be paid either one or both of these components but they can only receive one rate from each component.
Effects on other benefits and entitlements
Receiving DLA may increase the amount of other benefits or credits you’re entitled to, such as Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
It can also be a gateway into other support including carers allowance, the blue badge scheme and Motability Scheme.
For more information on DLA click here (link to https://www.gov.uk/dla-disability-living-allowance-benefit )