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What you can claim

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Disability Rights UK Factsheet F13

This is an interactive factsheet designed to give you an idea of the help and support you can get. It includes links to information on benefits, tax credits, housing grants, independent living, education and other help, including help provided by your council/local authority. Select the situation which applies to you (you may fit into more than one situation).

Each situation has a list of the help available. These link to further information or a factsheet on the subject.

If you just want to find out about a specific benefit go to benefits in alphabetical order

Adapting, maintaining, repairing or heating your home

Appealing a decision

Asylum seeker help

For more information on the help you can get go to www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/asylum

Benefits in hospital



Disability or long term health condition

Disabled students

Human rights

Lone parents



Starting work

Unemployed and looking for work

Widow or widower


Young person

Benefits in alphabetical order

  • carer's credit - If you are caring for someone, for at least 20 hours a week, you can be given credits which can help you to qualify for state pension. You can find out more in our disability rights handbook or from the Gov UK site. Note: Before 6.4.10 you could get similar credits under the home responsibilities protection (HRP) scheme.  If you reach state pension age on or after 6.4.10, any years of HRP will be converted into a qualifying year of credits.

  • child benefit - This is paid if you are responsible for a dependent child, children or young person. You can find out more in our disability rights handbook or from the Gov UK site
  • cinema tickets - A Cinema Exhibitors' Association Card (CEAC) enables you to get a free ticket for anyone accompanying you to the cinema, if you are on certain disability benefits. You can find out more at www.ceacard.co.uk/

  • cold weather payments - These are paid, during bouts of severe weather where the average of the actual or forecasted mean daily temperature at a specified weather station is at or below freezing for 7 days in a row. You can find out more in our disability rights handbook or from the  Gov UK site

  • discretionary assistance fund in wales - This is a grant which provides cash, goods or payment cards. It provides two types of support: Individual Assistance Payments to enable independent living or continued independent living, preventing the need for institutional care and Emergency Assistance Payments to provide assistance in an emergency or when there is an immediate threat to health or wellbeing. For more information about the scheme and how to apply for help go to the Welsh Government site

  • education benefits - You may be able to get free school meals, clothing or travel grants for your children if you are on a low income and on certain benefits. For more information see the disability rights handbook or contact your local authority. There is also information on the Gov UK site

  • education funding - For information on funding further, higher and postgraduate education see our education factsheets page

  • education maintenance allowance - These are payments to support you if you are in school, college and/or training. You cannot get these payments if you are going to University. You can only apply for EMA's if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland See Gov UK site
  • funeral payments -These are paid if you or your partner takes responsibility for the costs of a funeral. One of you must be on certain benefits and you must have a close relationship with the person who has died (partner, a child you were responsible for, a relation or a friend). You can find out more in our disability rights handbook or from the Gov UK site
  • guardian's allowance - You can get guardian’s allowance if you are responsible for a child who is not your birth or adopted child and the child is effectively an orphan. You can find out more in our disability rights handbook or from the Gov UK site
  • income support - See Factsheet F45 - income support

  • independent living support and help from your local authority - For more information on these see our range of independent living factsheets

  • industrial injuries benefits - These are payable if you have suffered an industrial injury or have a prescribed industrial disease. In addition to a basic disablement benefit there are also additional benefits to cover reduced earnings or the need for constant attendance. See our disability rights handbook or the Gov UK site
  • local welfare assistance schemes in england - Your local authority can issue grants and loans to meet a crisis or to help you with independent living. Each local authority runs a different scheme. Some authorities have now closed their schemes. To check out the help in your area go to http://www.cpag.org.uk/lwas or the Chidren's Society website at http://tinyurl.com/qxekuww

  • maternity benefits - Maternity, paternity and adoption benefits are benefits paid if you are pregnant, have just had a baby or are the partner of someone expecting a baby or are an adoptive parent. You can check how much you can get online using the paternity and maternity pay calculator on the Gov UK site. For more information see our disability rights handbook
  • permitted work - This is the work you may do (including voluntary work) if you are claiming employment and support allowance or other sickness benefits. See Factsheet F35 - permitted work. If you are claiming universal credit see Factsheet F55 - universal credit
  • retirement pension - This is a contributory benefit which is paid to you when you reach retirement age. You can calculate your retirement date on the Gov UK site. You can find out more about the state pension in our disability rights handbook or from the Gov UK site
  • vehicle/road tax exemption - You can get vehicle/road tax exemption if you are on certain benefits. You can also get a 50 per cent discount on your road tax if you receive the standard mobility component of PIP. For more information see the Gov UK site or www.disabledmotoring.org/motoring/road-tax-exemption. See also Factsheet F17 - the motability scheme

  • scottish welfare fund - This fund provides two types of discretionary grants: crisis grants to help you if you are in crisis because of a disaster or an emergency (this will usually be for people on benefits) and community care grants to help you, if you are on benefits, and you need support either to prevent you going into care or to help you leave any form of care and set up your own home. You can find out more at www.scotland.gov.uk/. For information about how to apply in your area go here
  • 16-19 bursary fund - You may be able to get help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16 to 19 and studying at school or college (not university) in England or are on a training course, including unpaid work experience. See Gov UK site
  • statutory sick pay - You can get statutory sick pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks if you have a job but have been sick and unable to work for 4 consecutive days. This benefit is paid by your employer. For more information see our disability rights handbook or go to the Gov UK site
  • sure start maternity grants - You may be able to claim this if you or someone in your family is expecting a first child or a multiple birth (eg twins) and have children already. See the disability rights handbook for more information or go to the Gov UK site
  • trust awards - If you can’t get the money you need to do an education course from official or statutory sources, trusts may be able to help you raise the funds. Each trust has its own eligibility criteria. For more information for disabled students see Factsheet F25 - funding from charitable trusts. For other charitable hardship grants go to the Turn2Us website, which has an online grant finder.

  • tv licence concessions - You can get a free TV licence if you’re 75 or over and a discount if you’re blind/severely sight impaired or a care home resident. For more information see the tv licensing website
  • universal credit - Universal credit will eventualy replace child tax credit, housing benefit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income support and working tax credit. It is currently being phased in. For more information see See Factsheet F55 - universal credit. For information on the UC medical test see Factsheet F71 - work capability assessment
  • vat exemptions - If you are disabled you don't have to pay VAT when you buy equipment that has been designed solely for disabled people or which has been adapted for your use. You will also not be charged VAT on certain services provided. This includes building work to adapt your home and the hire of disability equipment like wheelchairs. For more information about this see HM Revenue and Customs leaflet 701/7 - VAT reliefs for disabled people.

  • war pensions - There are two different war pension schemes in operation. The old scheme applies where someone has an injury, illness or death caused, whilst in the armed forces, before 6 April 2005. If you want to find out about the old war pensions scheme, see Disability Rights UK's Disability Rights Handbook 35th Edition, which was published May 2010. The new Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) replaces the old war pensions scheme for injuries, illnesses or death caused, whilst in the armed forces, on or after 6 April 2005. You can find out more about the new scheme in our current disability rights handbook. You can also find out more information about both schemes or get a claim form by calling the Veterans Helpline on 0808 1914 2 18 or by going to the Gov UK site
  • watersure scheme - The WaterSure scheme is intended to help you if you have a water meter installed and you have difficulties paying for your water charges because you need to use a lot of water and you or someone living with you is on a qualifying benefit. The scheme only operates in England and Wales. For more information see the Ofwat website
  • winter fuel payments - These are paid to help with heating in your home if you have reached state pension credit age during a 'qualifying week' which is set yearly. For more information see our disability rights handbook or the Gov UK site

You can find out more detailed information in our Disability Rights Handbook. This and all our other publications are available from our shop at http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/shop. You can also place orders by contacting Disability Rights UK

You can get help and information at your local advice centre, such as a Citizens Advice Bureau. You can get more information about where to get personal advice from our Factsheet F15 - find out where to get advice. All our factsheets are free to download on our website at disabilityrightsuk.org

17 October 2017

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