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Money matters - benefits and sources of financial help...

If you are parent or carer of a child or a young person with a disability and/or additional needs, you will know it can involve extra or unexpected costs. There are benefits, financial support and other schemes to help you with these additional costs.

Some financial support will depend on your individual circumstance. Benefits like Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are not means tested so not linked to how much money you have from elsewhere for example any savings or earnings. DLA, PIP and some other benefits depend on how you are affected by the condition you have.

Some benefits like Income Support are “means tested”, and the amount you receive will depend on any other income or savings you (and any partner) have coming in to your household.

Different benefits apply to different situations. For example some benefits are only given to people who are looking for work, others are only for people who are in work, and some are for people that cannot work due to illness and/or disability.

It is important to make sure you understand what you may be entitled to, and when you can claim benefits and financial support so that you do not miss out.

Sometimes having one particular benefit can help you automatically qualify for other benefits, funding or allowances.

You may want to refresh or review information about what benefits you and your family or young person are eligible for regularly as part of your preparation for any annual reviews, or if there are changes to you or your child or young persons’ circumstances.


Changes to be aware of when young people turn 16…

Once your child turns 16 they will be the contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about their benefits.  From that point they are considered to be an adult for benefit purposes, and will be responsible for providing information, reporting changes of circumstances and responding to contact from the DWP in regard to their own benefits.

You can still support them with this and there are agencies that can help guide you through the process.

If you are a young person yourself or are a parent carer of a young person and feel significant support is still needed with this aspect of their life you can apply to become their Appointee and deal with the DWP and others on their behalf. You will receive a visit from the DWP and be asked to provide evidence that you need to act on their behalf. 

It is important that young people receive the support and benefits they need and are entitled to. Receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments can mean children and young people automatically qualify for other benefits or support. They may be able to claim a benefit such as ESA (an out of work sickness benefit) in their own right.

If you are a parent of a young person your own benefits may be affected as they claim benefits in their own right, or leave/enter certain forms of education.

Parent and carers should not be put off finding out more about continuing to help young people with applying for benefits.  The use of language like “mentally incapable” or “severely disabled” are one way that the DWP often describes levels of need, but individuals should be assessed on a case by case basis.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits

 

Below you can find information about some of the benefits disabled people and their carers may be able to receive. The links take you to more information or contact details for the teams, services or organisations that you may need to contact.

Some information is about funding that you can apply for. Some is about funding that settings or providers can apply for on behalf of children or young people so that they can receive the extra support they need. 

This information is intended to be a useful starting point but may not be fully comprehensive. 

It is always best to discuss your individual case and circumstance with a benefits advisor.

You could print this information or show it to an advisor who may be able to guide you through applying for the different benefits that you could be entitled to.

At the end of this article we have included information about local and national organisations that may be able to provide information, advice and practical support like form filling or help with appealing decisions you don’t agree with.

We have also included further information and links to national organisations that provide more detailed information – factsheets and guides – or who have helplines or advice sessions that focus on money, funding and benefits for disabled people.

See “Who can help?” at the end of this article for information and contact details of organisations that can give individual advice and practical support with things like form filling.

Last updated: 05/04/18

How can you find out what benefits you might be entitled to?

The government's Benefit Cap limits the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get for their day to day and housing cost needs.

You may not be affected by the cap if you, your partner or any children living with you aged under 18 get:

•Carer’s Allowance (or the underlying entitlement to Carer's Allowance or a Carer Element within Universal Credit )

•Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

•Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the Ssupport Ccomponent)

•Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

…and other payments, allowances and benefits. 

Department for work and pensions - Benefits Calculator:

If you are aged 16 – 64 you can get an estimate of the total amount of benefits you could get by using the “benefits calculator”.

To use the calculator you need to have information ready about the amounts of any benefits you already get and the number of people in your household including:

  • you
  • your partner
  • any children that you’re responsible for and who live with you.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/benefit-cap-calculator

Below are links to other websites where you can calculate what benefits you may be entitled to.

Find out more: https://www.entitledto.co.uk/

Find out more: https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/AboutYou

Find out more: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/#/login

 Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/benefit-cap

It is best to discuss your individual case and circumstance with a benefits advisor.

See “Who can help?” at the end of this article for information and contact details of organisations that can give individual advice and practical support with things like form filling.

What benefits are there for adults and parents/carers?

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit payment to help with living costs and is paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

If you currently receive any of these benefits, you can’t claim Universal Credit at the same time.

 

Universal Credit for people living in Hackney

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK and has already been introduced in some areas of Hackney. It will be introduced across the whole borough later in the year (2018) and this will be call Full Service.

People currently claiming Universal Credit, known the Live Service, will continue to receive this benefit as long as they meet the conditions of entitlement.

New claims for Universal Credit will not be taken until Universal Credit - Full Service is introduced.

Find out more: www.gov.uk/universal-credit

 

Income Support

You can claim Income Support if you’re:

  • between 16 and 60
  • a carer
  • a lone parent responsible for a child under 5

and you are:

  • on a low income
  • not working at all or working on average less than 16 hours a week
  • meet certain residence and presence conditions
  • not in fulltime education (there are some exceptions to this)

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/income-support

 

What are premiums in benefits such as Income Support, Income Related Jobseekers Allowance and Income Related ESA?

Premiums are extra amount that can added to these benefits if you qualify. (In Universal Credit these premiums are called “elements”, and there are also some other differences that may affect what elements you can receive)

Universal Credit find out more: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

If you (or a partner) have a disability you may qualify for one or more disability premiums.

  • disability premium
  • severe disability premium
  • enhanced disability premium

 

Disability Premium

This is an amount of money that can be added to your means tested Income Support or Income Related JSA or ESA if you get certain benefits, such as DLA, PIP or the Disability Element of Working Tax Credits.

 

Severe Disability Premium

The Severe Disability Premium is an extra amount that is included in some means-tested benefits to help with the cost of disability. It can be included in Income Support, income-related Employment & Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Guarantee Pension Credit and Housing Benefit; but not in Universal Credit. A person can only receive this if they are “treated” as living alone and no one receives payment of Carer’s Allowance for the care they give to them.

 

Enhanced disability premium

To receive the Enhanced Disability Premium in your means tested benefit you need to receive:

  • the enhanced rate of the daily living component of PIP
  • AFIP
  • the highest rate of the care component of DLA
  • be in the Support Group of ESA and entitled to Income Related ESA.

 

Disability Premiums- find out more: https://www.gov.uk/disability-premiums-income-support/what-youll-get

 

Carer’s Allowance

If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits (Attendance Allowance (any rate), Disability Living Allowance (middle or higher rate care), or Personal Independence Payment (standard or enhanced daily living rate) you could get Carer’s Allowance. (There are other criteria you must meet)

  • Carer’s Allowance is a non means tested benefit, and is normally paid weekly. It is a work replacement benefit to meet some of your day to day living costs.
  • You don’t have to live with or be related to the person you care for.
  • Carer’s Allowance may affect the other benefits that you and the person you care for get.
  • Carer’s Allowance will be paid into your bank account.
  • Each week you get Carer’s Allowance you’ll automatically get a Class 1 National Insurance credits.

 

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance

 

Carer’s Credit

If you are over 16 and caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week you could get Carer’s Credit.

Carer’s Credit is not a payment, but is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record. This helps to protect the contributions you need for your  State Pension.

Money you earn, savings or investments do not affect eligibility for Carer’s Credit.

The person you’re looking after must be receiving one of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance - care component at the middle or  higher rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment - daily living component, at the standard or enhanced rate
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

If the person you’re caring for doesn’t get one of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carer’s Credit. When you apply ask a health or social care professional to sign the “Care Certificate’ part of the application form.

Carer’s Allowance Unit - Phone: 0345 608 4321

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/carers-credit

What funding and benefits help with additional support for children in education?

Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Child Benefit

If you are a carer in work and/or have dependent children you might be entitled to claim Tax Credits (or the equivalent in Universal Credit) and Child Benefit.

For Working Tax Credits you normally need to be in work for 16 hours or more per week and be:

• A single parent with a dependent child (or a couple where one of you is incapacitated  or a carer).


• In a couple with dependent children where one of you works at least 16 hours per           week and you work at least 24 hours per week between you.

For Child Tax Credits you may quality in or out of work if you have a low or benefit income

For more information and full criterial see HMRC tax credit and Universal Credit online information: 

Tax Credits - Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit

Universal Credit - Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Government Funding for Childcare

Government funding that may be available for childcare includes:  

  • 15 hours free childcare for all 3 & 4 year olds
  • Free childcare for two to four year olds
  • Childcare Vouchers
  • Working Tax Credit (Childcare Element)
  • Childcare Element in Universal Credit
  • Childcare Grant for students
  • Care to Learn

Find out more: Hackney Family Information Service - Childcare

 

 

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Since April 2017 the government has introduced new funding for early years providers to support children with disabilities or SEN.

DAF funding supports access to early years childcare by, for example, supporting providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or helping with building capacity.

Early Years settings attended by eligible 3 and 4 year olds will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 per eligible child per year.

For more information on how early years providers can access this funding, please contact:

Hackney Family Information Service

E-mail:  FIS@learningtrust.co.uk

Phone: 020 8820 7590

Find out more: Disability Access Fund (DAF) 

Early Years Inclusion Funding - Supported Childcare Funding

Early Years Inclusion Funding is a statutory requirement made available to Early Years settings to support children with SEND.

Where a setting cannot offer necessary additional support for financial reasons they can make an application on behalf of the child to be submitted to a panel for consideration.

Find out more: Early Years Inclusion Funding (previously called Supported Childcare Funding)

 

School Admissions and Pupil Benefits

The School Admissions and Pupil Benefits team provides a service to help parents of eligible families apply for:

  • free school meals
  • clothing vouchers and
  • enable eligible families to apply for help with travel to school and
  • Pupil Premium eligibility checks

Phone: 020 8820 7246 or 020 8820 7250

Find out more: https://www.learningtrust.co.uk/section/pupil-benefits

 

SEN support in mainstream schools

Maintained schools, free schools and academies all receive funding for children with SEND (special educational needs and or disabilities) in the same way because their responsibilities to pupils with SEND are the same.

All schools are expected to provide an inclusive education and wider school experience for all students.

Each school is required to say how they do this in their school's SEN information report.

Where children with SEND require additional support school have funds in their budgets to provide this.

Find out more: Hackney's SEN Funding for schools

Find out more: SEN support in mainstream schools

 

Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

Should a child or young person require more support in school than could be funded at SEN Support level then they can apply for an Education Health and Care assessment which could lead to additional funding and support being provided by an Education Health and Care Plan.

Find out more: Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) information questions and answers...

Is there extra help and funding for going out if you have a disability?

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children is to help families with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

  • is under 16 and
  • has difficulties walking or
  • needs more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability

They child who receives the benefit will need to meet all the “eligibility requirements”.

The amount you receive will depend on the level of help the child needs.

There may be an assessment to work out what help they need.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children is made up of 2 parts and a child might qualify for one or both.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/dla-disability-living-allowance-benefit

 

Short Breaks

Short Breaks are a legal duty that all local authorities must fulfil "as part of the range of services they provide for families, breaks from caring for carers of disabled children to support them to continue to care for their children at home and to allow them to do so more effectively"

A Short Break allows a disabled young person to have an enjoyable break away from their main carer and gives their carer a break from their caring responsibilities.

Find out more: Short Breaks in Hackney

 

Disabled Children’s Service

The Disabled Children’s Service team undertakes a Child and Family Needs Assessment to see what additional support families who have disabled children need.

Assessments can lead to a support package in the form of Direct Payments, or through an approved care agency and in some cases interim support can be provided during the assessment.

After the assessment families can receive:

• Help with personal care and social activities

• Help from the Short Breaks Service

Hackney's Disabled Children's Service does not accept new referrals themselves.

All referrals come through Hackney First Access Screening Team (FAST)

Phone: 0208 356 5500

e-mail: Fast@hackney.gov.uk

Referral form and more information are available from the Disabled Children’s Service entry.

Find out more: Disabled Children’s Service

 

Disabled Persons Freedom Pass

The travel pass for disabled people that allows free travel across London and free bus journeys nationally.

Statutory disabilities which make someone eligible for a disabled persons Freedom Pass are:

  • People who are blind or partially sighted
  • People who are profoundly or severely deaf
  • People without speech
  • People who have a disability, or have suffered an injury, which has left them with a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to walk
  • People who do not have arms or have a long-term loss of the use of both arms
  • People who have a learning disability that is defined as 'a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning'
  • People who, if they applied for the grant of a licence to drive a motor vehicle under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, would have their application refused pursuant to section 92 of the Act (physical fitness) otherwise than on the ground of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol.

Discretionary Freedom Passes

A number of boroughs issue discretionary Freedom Passes to disabled people who do not meet the statutory eligibility criteria. The number of boroughs offering these may be subject to change and because these passes are discretionary, they could be withdrawn at a future date.

For more information about the discretionary Freedom Pass contact the council.

Phone: 0300 330 1433

e-mail: info@freedompass.org

The Mobility Unit,

Hackney Service Centre,

1 Hillman Street,

London

E8 1DY

Find out more: https://hackney.gov.uk/freedom-pass

Find out more: https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/freedom-pass/disabled-persons-freedom-pass

 

Blue Badge

If you're disabled or have a health condition that affects your mobility, you can apply for a Blue Badge which allows to to park a car in places nearer to where you are going.

Parents and carers can apply for a badge if they care for a child with a health condition.

If you get certain benefits you may automatically be able to get a Blue Badge. These applications are straightforward.

It's may still be worth applying if you're not automatically eligible.  Applications may be more complicated, because you will have to describe the problems you have with mobility in a lot more detail.

Find out more: https://hackney.gov.uk/blue-badge

 

Disabled Persons Railcard

The Disabled Persons Railcard is for people with a disability that makes travelling by train difficult. You will qualify for the Disabled Persons Railcard if you receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at either:

  • the higher or lower rate for the mobility component, or
  • the higher or middle rate for the care component
  • have a visual impairment
  • have a hearing impairment
  • have epilepsy

Find out more: http://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/

 

Carers Card

Carers, aged 18 or over, who provide care for a Hackney resident, of any age, can apply for a Hackney carer's card and sign up for the carers' register.

Find out more: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/carers-card-register

 

Emergency Carers Card

Carers often worry about who will tend to the people they care for if they are involved in an unplanned emergency.

The emergency card is a plastic card, the size of a credit card, which will identify you as a carer if you have an accident or are unable to identify yourself. The emergency card scheme ensures that your emergency plan will be accessible to all should any unplanned emergency occur to you.

Find out more: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/carers-emergency-card

 

Cinema Exhibitors Association Card

The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA), formerly the Cinema Exhibitors' Association (CEA). The scheme is one of the ways for participating cinemas to make reasonable adjustments for disabled guests when they go to the cinema and helps by providing a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them.

Find out more: https://www.ceacard.co.uk/

Where can you find more information about benefits to help with housing costs?

Housing Benefit

You can claim housing benefit if you are paying rent on your home.

You can apply for Housing Benefit if you are employed or unemployed.

If you live with a partner, only one of you need to make the application for Housing Benefit.

If you are single and under 35, you can only get an amount of Housing Benefit that would pay for a single room in shared accommodation. This is called the “Shared Room Accommodation Rate”.  This is the maximum that will be paid towards your rent regardless of whether you live in a self-contained flat or a bigger property.

However if you are disabled you won't be restricted to the shared accommodation rate if you receive regular overnight care from a carer (You will need to evidence that you need an extra room for this) or get the following benefits:

  • daily living component of personal independence payment (PIP)
  • middle or high rate care component of disability living allowance (DLA)
  • armed forces independence payment

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/housing-benefit/overview

Find out more: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/benefit-claim

 

Housing benefit for young people aged 18 to 21 years old.

Some 18 to 21 year olds claiming Universal Credit ARE NOT be entitled to help with housing costs to pay their rent. This is the case in Universal Credit full service areas.

However some young people aged 18 - 21 years, who are claiming Universal Credit in a full service area will be able to get help with their housing costs. Examples include certain vulnerable people and people unable to live with their parents

People already getting Housing Benefit are not affected unless they stop claiming then later on reapply for housing support through Universal Credit.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/housing-costs-for-18-to-21-year-olds

If you need help with housing and benefits you can get advice from services who specialise in providing this information.

Hackney Council - Benefits Contact Line: 020 8356 3399

Find out more: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/hb-ctr-explained

Find out more: http://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/housing_benefit

 

Council Tax Reduction

Check with the council to see if you are eligible for help to pay your  Council Tax.

You can claim council tax reduction if you are the person paying the council tax on your rented home or if you are a homeowner and liable to pay Council Tax.

The rates of Council Tax Reduction you may get will depend on your income and savings and are decided by your council.

Find out more: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/council-tax-discount-exemption

 

Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions.

You may also qualify for a discount on your council tax because of the circumstances of the people in your home, or the property may be exempt from the charge altogether.

Disabled band reduction - Your council tax can be reduced by the equivalent of one band if a disabled person lives at the property.

Certain criteria would have to be met which includes either using a wheelchair indoors or having an extra room to meet the needs of the disabled person.

Your council tax may be reduced by 25% if you live with the person who cares for you. This is called a Carer’s Discount, and will depend on how many people live in the property, and if they are a carer for you or not.

 

Disabled Facilities Grant (DFGs)

Disabled Facilities Grants are local council grants that can help towards the cost of essential changes to your home that mean you can continue to remain in your own home and maintain your independence.

Disabled facilities grants (DFGs) are available from Hackney Council to help with the cost of work required to make private homes for suitable for a person with a disability.

Find out more: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/financial-help-disabled/home-and-housing

What benefits are there for young people 16 years and older who are in further education or in training?

16 to 19 Bursary Fund

You could get a bursary to help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16 to 19 and:

  • studying at a publicly funded school (one that doesn’t charge you for attending it) or college in England (not university)
  • on a training course , including unpaid work experience like a supported internship or traineeship

If you’re 19 and over you could also get a bursary if you either:

  • are continuing on a course you started aged 16 to 18 (known as being a ’19+ continuer’)
  • have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/1619-bursary-fund

 

Advanced Learner Loan

These loans are for adult learners who have not yet achieved a level 3 qualification e.g. A’levels or Level 3 B’tech.  Advanced Learner Loans are for people who are aged 19 or older when they start their course.

The course must be:

  • a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 qualification, for example A Levels or graduate certificate
  • at an approved college or training provider for example a Supported Internship

There are no credit checks and you are not assessed on your earning.   

The Advanced Learner Loan is a loan so it must be paid back when:

  • you’ve finished your course AND  are earning more than £21,000 a year

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan

 

Further education courses and funding

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/further-education-courses/financial-help

 

Other sources of funding

6th Forms and Colleges may have other sources of funding or bursaries that young people are entitled to.

Ask your setting or training provider about Student Support Services that have more specific information so you can check you are getting all the financial support available.

Student Unions are national organisations that represent all students. They are a good source of information and practical help.

Find out more: National Students Union – Information for disabled students

What funding is there for young people studying Higher Education or at University?

Higher Education - Student Finance

You may be able to borrow money to help pay for university or college course tuition fees and to help with living costs while you study. This money is called a student loan and can be borrowed from Student Finance.

You are expected to start repaying your student loan once you earn over a certain amount. The amount you will have to pay back every month will depend on how much you are earning, not what you owe.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

The amount you get depends on your individual needs

You can get this allowances on top of your other student finance.

You will not need to repay your Disable Students Allowance.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas

 

Housing Benefits for disabled students

But if you're studying part-time and stay in university-owned housing or halls of residence, you can only claim housing benefit if you fall into certain categories. Examples include having a disability.

Find out more: http://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/housing_benefit/can_students_claim_housing_benefit

 

Who can tell you more about what funding is available when you are at university or college?

When you go to college and university there will be a Student Support Department who will be able to give you specific information about funds and bursaries that the setting may have access to for some students. They may also provide some practical support with applying for benefits and funding.

Student Unions are also a good source of support and information.

What benefits are there for young people looking for work?

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit payment to help with living costs and is paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

If you currently receive any of these benefits, you can’t claim Universal Credit at the same time. Most people claiming Universal Credit will have to sign a work commitment detailing the steps you agree to take to find employment.

 

Universal Credit for people living in Hackney

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK and has already been introduced in some areas of Hackney. It will be introduced across the whole borough later in the year (2018) and this will be call Full Service.

People currently claiming Universal Credit, known as Live Service, will continue to receive this benefit as long as they meet the conditions of entitlement.

New claims for Universal Credit will not be taken until Universal Credit - Full Service is introduced.

Find out more: www.gov.uk/universal-credit

 

Job Seekers Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is to help you when you look for work. You may get Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if:

  • you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 or 17) and
  • you’re under State Pension Age and
  • you’re not in full-time education and
  • you live in England, Scotland or Wales and
  • you are available for work and
  • you are actively seeking work and
  • you work (on average) less than 16 hours per week

To keep getting JSA you must agree to be looking for work and you will have to show how you are doing this.

If you need help to apply your job centre can give you a claim form but you can also apply online.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance

 Find out more: Hackney Jobcentre Plus

 

 

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You can apply for ESA if you are unable to work due to illness and/or disability.  

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) gives you:

  • Financial support if you’re unable to work
  • Personalised help to support you to work if you are able to

Download a claim forms and apply for ESA: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-and-support-allowance-claim-form

You can also start your claim on the phone.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

If you are having problems accessing the form your local Job Centre can help. 

Phone: 0800 0556688 

Find out more: Hackney Jobcentre Plus

 

What happens next?

  • Health and Work conversation / interview

Once your claim has been processed you will need to attend a Health and Work conversation interview to discuss the kind of support you need. You’ll be told if you need to attend after you make a claim. If you do, it will take place around 4 weeks after the date of your claim.

You might not need a Health and Work conversation interview if you are in hospital, having certain types of treatment or you have a terminal illness.

  • Work Capability Assessment

You will then be called to a Work Capability Assessment while your ESA claim is still being assessed. This is to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work. You will need to attend in person for the assessment in most cases. You can take a family member, friend or carer with you.

After this assessment, if you’re entitled to ESA, you will be categorized in one of 2 groups:

  • ESA Work-Related Activity Group - where you’ll have regular work focused interviews with an adviser

OR

  • ESA Support Group - where you will not need to have work focused interviews, as it is accepted that you cannot prepare for work at this time.

Working and claiming ESA

You might be able to claim ESA and do some work but this will depend on how much you’ll get paid and how many hours you work. This is called Permitted Work.

If you do ‘permitted work’ it won’t affect your ESA. The work you do can be considered permitted if:

  • you earn up to £120 a week

AND

  • you work less than 16 hours a week

There’s no limit on how many weeks you can keep doing “permitted work” if both the above requirements still apply.

Find out more: Easy Read Guide to Employment and Support Allowance

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/overview

Find out more: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/

 

Challenging a benefit decision

If you do not agree with a decision made about any benefit you can challenge this and ask the decision makers to change their decision. See “Who can help?” later in this article.

There is no basic Disability Premium within income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), but you may still qualify for the severe and enhanced disability premiums.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/disability-premiums-income-support

 

16 to 19 Bursary Fund

You could get a bursary to help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16 to 19 and:

  • studying at a publicly funded school (one that doesn’t charge you for attending it) or college in England (not university)
  • on a training course , including unpaid work experience like a supported internship or traineeship

If you’re 19 and over you could also get a bursary if you either:

  • are continuing on a course you started aged 16 to 18 (known as being a ’19+ continuer’)
  • have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/1619-bursary-fund

 

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

DLA is a tax-free benefit for disabled people who need help with getting around outdoors, and/or personal care indoors. DLA is being replaced by Personal Independence Payments (see below).

If you are already claiming it, you will continue to get DLA until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to tell you when your DLA will end. You will then be invited to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead. If you do not make the PIP claim your DLA will eventually stop.

 

Disability Living Allowance

Telephone: 0345 712 3456

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/dla-disability-living-allowance-benefit

 

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance for adults aged 16 - 64.  This benefit is to help with day to day expenses for those with an illness, disability or mental health condition that impacts on their ability to self-care and get around outdoors.

When you are aged 16 the Department for Work and Pensions will expect you to take responsibility for discussing the claim, filling in the forms, attending the assessments and having the payment paid into your own account.

However if you are a young person (or the parent or carer of a young person) who  still needs help understanding the claim form,  rules and information about  the benefit, you can still get help from a parent, carer or an advocate.

 If you do not understand all of the information a parent or carer can apply to become your appointee and be the named person who continues to deal with the forms and contact with the DWP for you.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits

PIP does not depend on how much you earn or on any savings you might have. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

You will have an assessment by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get and be regularly reviewed to make sure you get the right support.

PIP can be claimed alongside other benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), JSA and Universal Credit.

PIP enquiry line: 0345 850 3322

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/pip

Find out more: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/personal-independence-payment-an-introduction

Find out more: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/

 

Help at work if you’re disabled or have a health condition

Your employer must try to make certain changes (known as ‘reasonable adjustments’) to make sure you’re not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job. These could include changing your working hours or providing equipment to help you do your job.

 

Access to Work

Access to Work funding is for employers to make the changes needed that will help you to do your job. 

Find out morehttps://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

 

Starting your own business

You could get mentoring and a grant to help you start your own business through New

Enterprise Allowance.

You may be eligible if you’re over 18 and either:

  • you or your partner get Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • you get Income Support and you’re a lone parent, sick or disabled

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/moving-from-benefits-to-work/starting-your-own-business

What are direct payments and personal budgets?

 If you have community care services from the Council, you can choose to have payments to arrange your own care in a way that suits you best. These payments are called direct payments.

Direct payments help people to have more independence, choice and control over when, where and how they get some services. This might be by choosing and employing a carer or personal assistant. 

Carers and personal assistants

If you choose to have a direct payment or personal budget, because the money is paid to you to arrange the services you will become an employer and have responsibilities like an employer.

The council can tell you about organisations that can help with employer responsibilities like recruiting and paying carers.

Find out more: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/direct-payments

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/apply-direct-payments

What help can you get with health costs and prescriptions?

Prescription Prepayment Certificates

Prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) are available in England and can save you money.

If you know you have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions it might be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate. They act like a prescription 'season ticket'

Free NHS prescriptions

People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions

NHS Low Income Scheme

If you are on a low income you may be able to get financial help through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Find out more: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/Prescriptioncosts.aspx

 

Personal Health Budgets

Personal health budgets have been introduced to enable people to play an active role in managing their health and to work with health professionals as an equal partner to achieve their healthcare goals and aspirations. 

They give children, young people and their families the opportunity to use their budgets in new innovative ways rather than from a traditional NHS service.

A personal health budget is designed to give children and young people with disabilities and their families’ choice, flexibility and control over their own health and wellbeing.

There are three ways you can receive your budget.

1. Payment is made directly to you

2. A third party holds the budget for you

3. The NHS holds your budget

Or a combination of these options, for example: A family may wish for the agency they had chosen to hold the budget as a third party for some of their care needs and the remainder of the budget to stay within the NHS as a notional budget for their nursing care needs.

Phone: 020 3688 1000

NHS Personal Health Budget Support Team e-mail: nelcsu.chc@nhs.net

Find out more: NHS Choices Personal Budgets page

What other help is there with managing money?

Adult Learning 

The Adult Learning Services (ALS) team is responsible for running adult, community and family learning courses in Hackney working in partnership with Children’s Centres, schools and community learning providers. Course and services include: 

  • free and confidential information, advice and guidance service for adults
  • advisers can offer support with confidence building, CV writing, interview skills, finding training & volunteering opportunities
  • learners with special needs will be placed with a local relevant provider where possible

Find out more: Adult Learning Services

Support is on offer from Children’s Centres...

Support available - Find out more: Children's Centres in Hackney

Activities availableFind out more: Children’s Centre Activity Timetables

 

Credit Unions

Credit unions are a positive, local solution to financial needs. They are Not-for-profit financial co-operatives, owned and managed by their members.

Credit unions promote social and financial wellbeing by offering fair and affordable access to credit.

Members are encouraged to save regularly (the minimum is £5 per month). The more you save the more you can borrow as a low cost loan.

Hackney’s Credit Union offers a full range of banking services.

225 Mare Street,

Hackney,

London E8 3QE

Phone: 020 7729 9218

Find out more: http://www.londoncu.com/about-us/

 

Banks

Some banks are developing ways of helping children and young people learn to manage their money and be more financially independent.

You can ask your bank what kind of account would best suit you and your young person if they need a bit more help. 

Go Henry

GoHenry is a card payment system set up to help children and young people aged 6-18 to develop good money habits and become more confident using money independently.

GoHenry's system helps parent / carers use their own or tailored limits and settings for each child or young person. 

Children and teenagers are protected and can decide together with parents how much, how often and where they can spend the money.

Go Henry makes it impossible to get into debt so young people can still learn but also avoid expensive mistakes

Instant transfer for the school trips or the ability to quickly change a limit for a special purchase are part of this service.

Other similar initiatives may be available. 

Find out more: https://www.gohenry.co.uk/why-gohenry/

Who can help - find out more about benefits and funding in Hackney?

Hackney Council Revenues and Benefits Service

Hackney Service Centre

1 Hillman Street

E8 1DY

Phone: 020 8356 3399

E-mail: benefits@hackney.gov.uk

Mon to Fri 8am - 5pm (call centre)

Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm (reception - visitors)

 

Name    Benefits Contact Line

Phone: 020 8356 3399

Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm

Find out more: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/benefits-support

 

Hackney Information Advice Consortium (HIAC) is made up of 6 agency partners:

Cultural and faith considerations are taken account of and advisors deliver advice in community languages including:

  • Bengali
  • Urdu
  • Turkish and
  • Kurdish

Regular advice sessions are offered in GP surgeries across Hackney and cover a broad range of topics including:

  • help with form filling, these include Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Carers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance forms.
  • benefit entitlement checks
  • welfare benefits
  • housing advice
  • debt advice
  • legal advice

Phone: 0208 510 1970

Find out more: Hackney Information Advice Consortium (HIAC)

 

Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus is an organisation that helps people to get either:

  • jobs,
  • benefits (such as Jobseekers Allowance, or Income Support)
  • or both

They offer a whole range of related services including for people with special needs or disabilities who need a bit more assistance with finding paid work.

There are Job Centre Disability Employment Advisors (DEAs) at each of Hackney's Job Centre Plus venues.

Hackney Jobcentre

Phone: 020 8218 8148

ADEMOLA.ADEDIRAN@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK

DEBORRA.ALBERT@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK

 

Hoxton Jobcentre

Phone: 020 7749 7031

SHANTANU.GUHA@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have recently set up Community Partner Teams to work with Jobcentre frontline staff and Jobcentre Plus work coaches to:

  • strengthen their understanding of disability
  • strengthen the personalised and holistic support they provide
  • develop tailored package of support
  • to better understand the issues faced when finding and staying in employment

The Young Person’s Community Partner can work with young people under 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those around them to support successful employment activity.

Kate Doherty - Young Person's Community Partner - East London District

e-mail: kate.doherty@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Find out more: Hackney Jobcentre Plus

 

Prospects Careers Advice

Prospects Careers Advice Plus offers impartial information, advice and careers guidance for young people including those with SEND living in Hackney. The service works in some schools and has drop in sessions available.

E-mail: bryan.taylor@prospects.co.uk

Phone: 07769 648 664 (SEND advisor Bryan Taylor)

Phone: 020 8356 2664 (office)

Find out more: Prospects Careers

 

 

Hackney Works - employment support

Hackney Works is a free employment support service run by Hackney Council that supports people who live in Hackney to find employment.

As part of their service they can help by providing:

  • 1:1 personalised employment support
  • better off in work calculations and give information on in work benefits available

Phone: 020 8365 5700

Find out more: Hackney Works - employment support

 

Hackney Council’s Supported Employment Service

Hackney Council’s Supported Employment Service can help people with disabilities who live in Hackney find work matched to their individual needs and interests.

Helping people find the work they want empowers them, helps them meet other people, make friends and earn their own money.

Supported employment is an evidence based and personalised approach to working with people who have significant disabilities including:

  • learning disabilities
  • autism and/or
  • mental health difficulties

Phone: 020 8356 5700 and ask for the Supported Employment Team

Find out more: Hackney Supported Employment Service

 

Hackney Community Law Centre

  • Hackney Community Law Centre offers free specialist legal advice on:
  • housing
  • immigration & asylum
  • debt & money advice
  • welfare benefits
  • employment
  • discrimination
  • community care

Hackney Community Law Centre - Pop-Up Advice Shop Dalston

The Dalston Pop-Up Advice Shop form filling clinic provides free assistance to help Hackney residence complete: 

  • Personal Independence Payment Forms
  • Disability Living Allowance Forms
  • Employment Support Allowance Forms

 

Free advice at the pop up is made possible thanks to volunteer lawyers from Debevoise and Plimpton LLP and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, students from BPP Law School and staff from the London Borough of Hackney Libraries Service.

Call and leave a message with your name and contact details and state which form the query is about and one of the advisors will contact you.

Phone: 020 7633 4531

Find out more: https://hclc.org.uk/welfare-benefits.php

 

Information & Advice - Hackney Ark Resource Centre

The Resource Centre is a one stop shop for information, advice and support for professionals, parents and carers of children with disabilities and SEN. The Resource Centre coordinator provides advice and support including:

  • Support to fill in Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) forms - by appointment
  • information leaflets
  • funding packs
  • two public computers equipped with internet access and learning aids

Find out more: Information & Advice - Hackney Ark Resource Centre

 

City & Hackney Carers Centre

City & Hackney Carers Centre can provide Information & Advice on Benefits and Carers Rights. The service works in partnership with Hackney Council and other local and voluntary groups.

The Carers Centre officer can support parents and carers to research and apply for benefits.  

Referrals are generally made by professionals e.g. SENCO but parents or carers can also self-refer.

Phone: 020 8533 0951

Find out more: City & Hackney Carers Centre

 

Contact (previously known as Contact a Family)

Find out what benefits you might be entitled to and other potential sources of financial help from Contacts benefits helpline.

Demand for this helpline is high, so you may have to wait to speak to a parent adviser.

The busiest times of the day tend to be between 10am and 11.30am and at lunchtime between 1pm and 2pm. Calling in the afternoon may mean you get through to someone without having to wait.

Phone: 0808 808 3555

Find out more: https://contact.org.uk/our-helpline/

 

Family Fund

Family Fund is the UK's largest charity providing grants to families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people.

Family Fund can provide grants for a range of items including family breaks, tablets and computers, clothing, bedding, white goods and sensory equipment.

Phone: 01904 550055

Find out more: https://www.familyfund.org.uk/

 

Family Action - Grants

Family Action grants help people and families in need by giving a small grant when it’s needed most. This helps remove immediate financial barriers and lets families work through the bigger issues they’re facing such as fleeing abuse or keeping their children in school. Both welfare and education grants are available.

Phone: 020 7254 6251

Find out more: https://www.family-action.org.uk/what-we-do/grants/

 

Hackney Advice Service - Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC)

The Hackney Advice Service from the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) is designed to provide parents of vision impaired children or vision impaired young adults over 16, with clear and sensible advice, in an easy hassle-free manner.

Among other services the HAS advisor can provide free, confidential advice and practical support for on:

  • Housing issues
  • Welfare benefits
  • Employment rights
  • Registering as visually impaired with your local authority
  • Transport and travel, including Freedom Pass, Blue Badge and Motability applications
  • Form filling
  • Written and online applications
  • Mandatory reconsideration and appeals

Find out more: https://www.rsbc.org.uk/what-we-do/hackney-advice-service.html

 

 

Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service)

SENDIAGS provides impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) and young people and children with SEND a range of topics including:

  • What the law says about SEND
  • personalisation and personal budgets - how are services tailored to individual needs
  • the Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment

The service can provide advice and support to parents of children with SEND who are having difficulty in schools for example SEN Support and Education, Health and Care Plan assessments and disputes for example exclusions of pupils with additional needs.

 Phone: 020 7275 6036

Find out more: Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service)

Further useful information…

Below are links to national organisations that provide:

  • more detailed information
  • factsheets and guides
  • helplines
  • advice sessions that focus on money, funding and benefits for disabled people.

Some have been recommenrded by parents / carers or professionals. This is not an exhaustive list. 

In the spirit of the SEND Code of Practice and the collaborative development of Hackney’s Local Offer website we are happy to hear about SEND relevant information from trusted sources that may be of benefit to other families, young people and those working with them - Contact Us


Carers UK: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/financial-support/help-with-benefits

Gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/browse/disabilities

Disabled People Go: http://www.disabledgo.com/

Mencap: https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/benefits/money-and-benefits-our-easy-read-guides

Scope – Disability Benefits: https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/benefits/advice

Turn to us – grant searching tool: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Find-Benefits-Grants

Fight Back 4 Justice: http://www.fightback4justice.co.uk/

Benefits and Work: https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/

Money saving expert: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/tag/Disability

Money Advice Service: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/where-to-get-help-and-advice-about-benefits

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