Benefits are complicated and it is important to get advice to make sure you are receiving everything you are entitled to.
If you are on a low income there are benefits which may help. These vary depending on where you live and your age. Our Welfare Advice Team can help you find your way through the benefits maze and there is some general information below.
There is general information about government benefits here:
Housing benefit and Council tax benefits are administered by your local council:
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance (AA)
PIP and AA are benefits for people who are ill or disabled to help pay for additional living costs. They are not means tested. PIP is for people who are under 65 and AA for those who are over 65.
PIP has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for all new claimants aged between 16 and 64. Anyone already on DLA will be transferred on to PIP even if they have an indefinite award.
If you already receive DLA for a pre-existing condition, you cannot increase your DLA award and you have to apply for PIP. Our Welfare Advice Team can provide advice about this as many people do not want to lose their DLA even if they might get a higher award under PIP. You can get PIP and AA more quickly if you’re not expected to live more than 6 months. You need to ask your doctor or a health professional to fill in a form called a DS1500 and send this in when you apply for AA or PIP.
If you care for someone for more than 35 hours a week, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. To be eligible:
The person you care for
- must receive a Disability Living Allowance (at least middle rate care), Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance.
- be under pension age (ie. not getting a State Retirement Pension)
- not be a student
- have an earned income of less than £110 a week (unless you are in a universal credit full rollout area)
If you are caring for someone and you are receiving your State Retirement Pension, you won’t qualify for Carer’s Allowance, but you may qualify for Carer’s Premium. This is means tested and is a premium added on to Pension Credit.
You may be entitled to a blue badge which will make parking easier and reduce your costs. You can qualify automatically through the mobility component of PIP or if you are terminally ill. Processes vary depending on your council.