Benefits and allowances

Benefits and allowances

Here you can find information about benefits and allowances you may be entitled to, to help support your child or young person and for you as a parent carer.

There are a number of benefits and allowances available to help in all aspects of life and we’ve tried to include those we know about below.

Disability Living Allowance, or DLA, is payable for children and young people up to the age of 16. Once a young person becomes 16, DLA changes to Personal Independence Payment – or PiP. Neither of these benefits are means tested and therefore not affected by how much you earn or have in savings. You can find out more about both under National (Government) Benefits below.

We’ve also included information about who can help you with what you are entitled to, and to fill in forms.

We have made every attempt to ensure all information held here is accurate, but we cannot accept any responsibility for third party services.

National (Government) benefits

On the Government website GOV.UK there is information about what benefits are available and the current eligibility criteria. They have also put links to independent benefits calculators, where you can find out what benefits you could get, how to claim and how benefits could be affected if you start work. These calculators are free to use and anonymous.

Benefits calculator

Benefits for Families

Government information about the benefits available for all families and this includes Free School meals and information about help to pay for childcare.

Disability Benefits

Government information about the benefits available for people with disabilities (including children) and this includes DLA, PIP and Carers Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

DLA is a tax-free benefit for children who need extra help and support because of illness or disability. The child must need a lot more help or watching over than other children of the same age who do not have special needs. The two parts to disability living allowance are:

  1. The care component – if your child needs extra help with their personal care. It is paid at three rates (lower, middle and high) dependent on individual circumstances.
  2. The mobility component – if your child needs help with getting around. It is paid at two rates (lower and higher) dependent on individual circumstances.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Other benefits that you (parent carer) may be entitled to, such as Carers Allowance, require the person you care for to be in receipt of DLA before you can apply for them.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for Adults (replaces DLA for Adults)

If you're aged between 16 and 64 you may be able to get help with some of the extra costs caused by long term ill-health or disability.

The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself. You will be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get, this will be regularly reviewed.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for Adults 

As with DLA other benefits that you (parent carer) may be entitled to, such as Carers Allowance, require the person you care for to be in receipt of PIP before you can apply for them.

Carers Allowance

You could be eligible for carers allowance if you care for a child or young person at least 35 hours a week and they get Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

You don't have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

Website: Carers allowance

Childcare costs

For children of all ages, check the Government’s Childcare Choices website to find out how you can save money on your childcare. 

Tax-Free Childcare is available for children aged up to 11, or 17 if the child has a disability. The money can help towards the cost of holiday clubs, before and after-school clubs, childminders and nurseries, and other approved childcare schemes.

See free childcare for some 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds for more information.

Child Tax Credit (CTC) – disabled child element and severely disabled child element

You may get extra Child Tax Credits for each child or young person you are responsible for if they get Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment.

Child tax credit

Pension Credit

Pension Credit tops up weekly incomes to a guaranteed minimum level of £182.60 a week for single pensioners or £278.70 for couples. It is a tax-free payment for those who have reached State Pension age. An award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with housing costs, Council Tax, heating bills and, for those aged 75 or over, a free TV licence.

To find out if you’re eligible and how much you could receive visit the GOV.UK website and check using the Pension Credit calculator and apply online.

Personal Health Budgets

Personal health budgets are an amount of money to support a person's health and wellbeing needs. The person must be in receipt of Continuing Healthcare or Continuing care for children.

Personal Health Budgets

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work. The Government have produced two short videos about Universal Credit: Is Universal Credit for me? - YouTube and What help could I get? - YouTube. There is also a video about Universal Credit: Managing your Money - YouTube.

Information about Universal Credit and disability can be found here: Understanding Universal Credit - Health conditions or disabilities

You can find out more about UC, including eligibility and how to claim here: What Universal Credit is - GOV.UK

Citizens Advice can support you in making a claim for UC: Contact us about applying for Universal Credit - Citizens Advice


Local (District) benefits and general grants

Direct payments

Direct payments are cash payments (rather than directly provided services), which are paid to a young person (age 18 and over), a parent or carer or to a nominated third party. These payments must be used to meet outcomes identified in a care plan or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. More information on direct payments

Personal Budgets

A SEN Personal Budget is an amount of money Worcestershire County Council has identified to meet some of the needs in your child’s EHC plan. More information on SEN personal budgets

Council Tax reduction

If you live with someone who is disabled or you are disabled, you could be entitled to a reduction in your council tax if the following criteria is met:

  • the home must be the disabled person’s main residence
  • there is a room, other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet which the disabled person uses and needs.


  • there is an extra bathroom or kitchen needed for the disabled person


  • there is sufficient floor space indoors to allow for a wheelchair to be used, e.g. doors have been widened.

Contact your District Council to find out more

The Family Fund

Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. They provide grants for a wide range of items, such as washing machines, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing and computers.

The Family Fund


Turn2us is a national charity helping people when times are tough. They provide financial support to help people get back on track. The website has a Benefits Calculator to find out what benefits you may be entitled to; a Grant Search to find out if you're eligible for any charitable funds and information about where you can find support and information to access money you may be missing out on.


Who can help with benefits and grants?

All Government departments have help and advice lines, you will find the details on the relevant pages on their websites. Your local JobCentre will have trained advisors who can help you with any employment related benefits.

In addition there are several charities who offer help and support regarding what benefits you are entitled to and help with filling in forms.

Citizens Advice offer information about benefits for Sick or disabled people and carers - Citizens Advice along with advice about filling in forms and the evidence you will need.

Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially Turn2us their website also includes a Benefits Calculator: Turn2us Benefits Calculator.

Entitled To is another website with a free to use, independent benefits calculator  Entitled To Benefits Calculator

There are two registered charities called DIAL (Disability Information Advice Line), who cover South and North Worcestershire, offering free, confidential information and advice to disabled people and their carers, including a form filling service.

If you live in Malvern, Worcester or Wychavon you can find out more on their website: DIAL South Worcestershire.

If you live in Bromsgrove, Redditch or Wyre Forest you can find out more on their website: DIAL North Worcestershire.

The Disability Support Project is a charity based in Redditch but covers the whole county. They offer support for people with disabilities including a form filling and benefits applications service. You can find out more about their services here: Disability Support Project | Charity | England & Wales (

Financial help with education

Disabled Students Allowances (DSA)

As a higher education student (age 18 to 35) living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty

Disabled Student Allowances

Bursaries, scholarships and awards

Students in higher education can apply for money directly from their university or college on top of any other student finance - you don’t have to pay this money back.

Each university or college has their own rules about bursaries, scholarships and awards, eg:

  • who qualifies
  • how much you can get
  • how to apply

Bursaries are like grants and don’t have to be paid back. You get your bursary directly from your university or college.

Extra money to pay for university

University and college hardship funds

The Access to Learning Fund has been replaced. Contact your university or college to find out if you’re eligible for extra money.

You could get extra money from your university or college if you’re experiencing financial hardship. You may be, for example:

  • a student with children, especially single parents
  • a mature student with existing financial commitments
  • from a low-income family
  • disabled
  • a student that was previously in care (a ‘care leaver’)
  • homeless or living in a foyer

University and college hardship funds

Financial help with employment

Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

If you’re ill or disabled, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers you:

  • financial support if you're unable to work
  • personalised help so that you can work if you're able to

You can apply for ESA  if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed.

You might be transferred to ESA  if you’ve been claiming other benefits like Income Support or Incapacity Benefit

Website: Employment Support Agency

Financial help with leisure

CEA Card

The CEA Card enables a disabled cinema guest (aged 8 years or over) to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.

The Card is also one way for cinemas to make sure they look after their disabled guests. If you require an adjustment to visit a cinema because of your disability, cinema staff should make them for you whether you have a CEA Card or not.

Website: CEA Card

Financial help with travel

Motability scheme

This is a scheme which can help you with leasing or buying a car if you or your child (over the age of three) is getting the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the enhanced rate Mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Mobility scheme

Blue badge scheme

A Blue Badge is a disabled parking permit that allows people who are registered to park closer to where they need to go. In order to qualify for a badge you must be permanently and substantially disabled or have a child who is and provide evidence of this. More information on the Blue Badge scheme

Concessionary bus fares

The scheme offers eligible disabled people free travel on off peak local bus services anywhere in England. Off peak hours are between 9.30am and 11.00pm Monday to Friday and all day weekends and bank holidays. More information on concessionary bus fares

Disabled persons railcard

The Disabled Persons Railcard is for people with a disability that makes travelling by train difficult. With the railcard you will get 1/3 off standard and first class anytime, off-peak and advance fares for you and a friend.

Disabled persons railcard

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