Financial Help

Does my child’s condition mean we qualify for any financial assistance?

If your child is under 16 years and has a SEN diagnosis and if you meet the other criteria below, then you are quite possibly eligible to apply for financial support in the form of DLA (Disability Living Allowance) – its NOT means tested so anyone can apply irrespective of income, if they meet the criteria.

And if you succeed in getting DLA and don’t have much of an income (less than £120 a week) then you may also be eligible for Carers Allowance.

If your child is over 16 years then you can’t apply for DLA – but they have the Personal Independent Payment (PIP) instead – I have to confess I don’t know anything much about this yet as my son is only 9, but you can read up on it yourself…

See further info in the relevant sections below.

Disability Living Allowance

As I said, its NOT means tested (ie anyone can apply regardless of family income) – but to qualify for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in mainland UK for children, the child must:

  • be under 16
  • need extra looking after or have walking difficulties
  • be in Great Britain, another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland when you claim – there are some exceptions, such as family members of the Armed Forces
  • have lived in Great Britain for 2 of the last 3 years, if over 3 years old
  • be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • not be subject to immigration control

Please follow this link for more info: https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/eligibility 

Also here in Berkshire, if you need help filling in the form / applying then Autism Berkshire may be able to offer you assistance – they run workshops to help.  See http://www.autismberkshire.org.uk/2017/01/04/dla-workshops-offer-expert-advice-benefit-applications/ 

There is also advice available from Contact, Cerebra and Citizens Advice among others.

Carers Allowance

If you’ve got DLA above (or PIP which is the equivalent for children once they go over 16 yrs) and have an income of less than £120 per week then you may well be eligible for Carers Allowance.

All of the following must also apply:

  • you’re 16 or over
  • you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
  • you’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
  • you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces
  • you’re not in full-time education
  • you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
  • you’re not subject to immigration control

For further information, including how to apply, please go to https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance 

Personal Independence Payment

As I say, I’m no expert on this as my son is only 9 (sorry!), but you can find out more at https://www.gov.uk/pip