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Benefits, Payments and Grants

Benefits are changing

April saw the government introduce a large number of changes to the benefits and tax credits system, many of which will impact on families with disabled children. Contact a Family has a new free factsheet, Benefits are Changing, explaining what these changes are and how they might affect you. Full story on the CaF website

Check your entitlement!

Worried about benefits and finances? Here are some good sources of help and information:

  • Read our top tips blog on disability benefits for children and young people
  • Disability Huntingdonshire (DISH), a registered charity, provides free welfare benefits advice and home visits to the people of Huntingdonshire and has been funded by South Cambridgeshire District Council to also provide welfare advice in that area. DISH can help with application forms and, where applications are refused, can apply for Mandatory Reconsideration, and can take cases to Appeal at Tribunal. Phone: 01480 748 168 or 0330 3553 256, or e-mail: info@dish.org.uk Office address: Disability Huntingdonshire, Pendrill Court, Ermine St North, Papworth Everard, Cambridgeshire CB23 3UY. Visit the DISH website
  • Disability Cambridgeshire gives free, confidential and impartial advice to people of all ages in South and East Cambridgeshire, Fenland and Cambridge City on most issues relating to disability via its five-day a week advice line. It runs sessions by appointment at Addenbrookes Hospital, Ely CAB and if necessary, at a place of your choice, such as your home.  It can help with direct payments or funding for care; benefit entitlements including what you can and can't claim; Attendance Allowance; challenging decisions and appeals to DLA and PIP decisions; and employment. Call 01480 839 192, email  info@disabilitycambridgeshire.org.uk or visit www.disability-cambridgeshire.org.uk
  • Contact A Family's benefits advisers can make sure you know about all the different financial help available and give advice on claiming for it. Its free helpline 0808 808 3555 (9.30am-5pm, Monday-Friday) can also put you in touch with local advice agencies for one-to-one help, for example form filling and with national condition support groups, who often provide families advice on claiming benefits specific to their child's condition. CAF also has a general benefits sheet that might be helpful.
  • Village Benefits Service for Cambridgeshire.  Ely based organisation offering free support and assistance with claiming disability benefits and other connected benefits. Tel 01353 612926
  • Citizens Advice Bureau, 66 Devonshire Road, Cambridge CB1 2BL. Telephone: 03448 487 979; Website:www.cambridgecab.org.uk

Become a DWP Appointee for your young person

You can apply to the DWP to become an "appointee" and manage benefit affairs for your young person if they are not able to manage things themselves. Full details and how to apply on the Government website.

Family SOS? Emergency funds from CLAS

Families under exceptional pressure can apply to Cambridgeshire Local Assistance Scheme (CLAS) for one-off practical help and support. Up to £350 can be awarded in the form of emergency utility credit; food and clothing vouchers; essential household items such as beds and bedding and energy efficient white goods such as washing machines.  

The scheme is for people without savings and on means-tested benefit or low income. Priority applicants include families with children under the age of 19 and those with a disabled child who receives Disability Living Allowance.

More info on the county council website

Universal Credit

This new means-tested benefit is being rolled out across the UK. It's for people of working age and is gradually replacing new claims for income support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit. Contact a Family has published two new factsheets which you can download via the CAF webpage

DLA & PIP factsheets and guides

Contact a Family has produced two new summary factsheets outlining the basics about claiming Disability Living Allowance for children and the new Personal Independence Payment.  It also has a new guide for parents on PIP other benefits at 16, which looks at what tests are used to decide if someone gets PIP, how the points system works, plus other benefits and rights entitlements when a child reaches 16 years of age and is staying on, or leaving, non-advanced education or approved training. Parents can request their free copy of the guide through the freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 or via helpline@cafamily.org.uk It's also free to download from the CAF website.

You can also download a step-by-step guide to filling out DLA Forms from Cerebra , the national charity improving the lives of children with neurological conditions through research, education and direct, ongoing support

Carer's Allowance

Contact A Family has an updated summary factsheet, which  includes all the facts about who is entitled to this benefit and how to claim it. Download a copy

Take a look at Contact A Family's CA  webpage 

 

Challenging a benefit decision?

Disability Rights UK has a free factsheet for anyone challenging a decision on a benefit administered by the DWP - such as employment and suppport allowance, DLA and PIP. 

Grants

The Disability Grants website   

The Disability Grants website has loads of information on a wide range of grants for people with disabilities. It was set up by a parent and is worth a look.

The Family Fund 

The Family Fund is a UK Charity which helps low income families who are raising a disabled child or young person with additional complex needs or children and young people with a serious illness. They support families by providing grants that relate to the need of their disabled child or young person. Fir example the money can be used for days out, garden play equipment, computers, toys and kitchen appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. To apply on line click here. You can also email info@familyfund.org.uk or phone 08449 744 099

Education Welfare Benefits 

Cambridgeshire County Council has a parent's guide to education welfare benefits, ranging from free school meals and childcare for two-year-olds to bursary payments for 16-19year olds to stay on in education.  More information on the county council website  or download a copy of the guide.