Benefits

Blue Badge

A disabled parking permit, also known as a handicapped permit, disabled placard, disabled badge, disabled parking permits and “Blue Badge” in the European Union, is displayed upon parking a vehicle carrying a person whose mobility would be otherwise significantly impaired by one or more of age, illness, disability or infirmity.

To apply or for more information on eligibility click here for the Havering website.

Carers Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people who are giving regular and substantial care to disabled people in their own homes. Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit and forms part of your taxable income.

Check if you can get Carer’s Allowance

You can get Carer’s Allowance if you meet all the following conditions:

  • you are aged 16 or over and not in full time education
  • you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person who gets one of the following benefits: Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, the middle or higher rate for personal care of Disability Living Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (either rate) or Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • you don’t earn more than £116 a week after deductions such as tax and national insurance
  • you are in Great Britain when you claim – there are some exceptions, for example, for members and family members of the Armed Forces
  • you have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years – unless you’re a refugee or immediate family member of a refugee
  • you are habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • you are not subject to immigration control that would stop you getting benefit.

There are some exceptions to these conditions if you’re living in another EEA country.

In some cases, you may meet the conditions for both Carer’s Allowance and another benefit, such as contributory Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support.

If your Carer’s Allowance is either the same as or less than the other benefit, you will get the other benefit rather than Carer’s Allowance.

However, if the other benefit is less than your Carer’s Allowance, you will get the other benefit and the balance of your Carer’s Allowance on top.

The rules about this are complicated and you may need to get advice.

If in doubt, you should always make a claim for Carer’s Allowance as this might also allow you to get extra amounts in other benefits such as the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit, Housing Benefit.

Always check with the person you are caring for before you make a claim for Carer’s Allowance as they may lose some of the benefit they get, such as a severe disability addition, if you make a claim.

You do not have to have paid any national insurance contributions to get carer’s allowance.

The Disability Reduction Scheme

You may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax if your home is the main residence of at least one disabled person (adult or child) and has one of the following features:

  • A room other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet which is used mainly by the disabled person (for example, this could be a room set aside or even specially built to house specialist equipment/apparatus)
  • An additional bathroom or kitchen (Please note that if there is only a single bathroom or kitchen in your home then you will not qualify for the reduction – it must be additional)
  • Sufficient space to allow the use of a wheelchair indoors (i.e. the disabled person has to use a wheelchair indoors to move around your home)

You will also need to show that this feature is essential, or of major importance, to the well being of the person who is disabled. You must be able to show that the room or space is needed because of the person’s disability and that they would not need it if they were not disabled. In this sense the room or space must be ‘extra’. However, you do not need to have specially adapted a room or to have built a new room.

For further details and to make an application visit the Havering Council website here.

How much is the reduction?

The reduction is equivalent to paying council tax in the band below the current band for your property; so if you are in band D you will pay the same as a band C property. If you are in band A, your council tax will be reduced by one sixth of the normal band A charge.

Disability Living Allowance

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

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

You can claim DLA on behalf of your child if they need more care than children of the same age, meaning they need assistance with things like getting dressed or going to the toilet. You can also claim for mobility if they cannot walk or follow an unfamiliar route without guidance. You can claim the mobility component of DLA once your child is 3. If it is the higher rate they need (severe walking difficulties), or once they are 5 for the lower rate (they need guidance or supervision when outdoors).

How do I claim DLA for my child?

You can either:

  • Call the Disability Living Allowance helpline and ask for a claim form (DLA1)
    Telephone 08457 12 34 56
    Textphone 08457 22 44 33
  • Download a DLA1 claim pack from Direct Gov
Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

You can claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA) from the age of 16 even if you are still in fulll time education but this may affect other benefits you are currently claiming. Once you start to receive ESA you will need to inform the Child Benefit Office as you cannnot claim both benefits.

There are two types of ESA – Contribution-based ESA and Income-Related ESA. You may get both depending on your circumstances. Tax is only paid, if it’s due, on Contribution-based ESA.

When you make a claim for ESA, you”ll normally be paid the assessment rate until it is assessed how your disability, illness or health condition affects your day to day life. ESA is paid every 2 weeks into a bank or building society account.

You will need to provide a Fitness for Work statement (a sick note) which can be supplied by your GP, it is best to ask for a 6 month end date to cover you until your assessment has been carried out.

 

For more information regarding ESA please visit the GOV.UK website or Disability Rights UK have a really handy factsheet which can be found here

You can contact Jobcentre Plus with any questions or queries on 0345 608 8545

Motability

The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to get mobile by exchanging their mobility allowance to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair.

Motability arrange the insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing and maintenance, and everything’s already included in the price so you just need to add fuel.

For more information on the scheme and eligibility click here

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is ending for people aged 16-64 who have a long term health condition or disability even if they have an indefinite or lifetime award. It is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment.

What is Personal Independence Payment?

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is designed to help people meet some of the extra costs that come from having a long term health condition or disability, and help people live more independently.
  • It is made up of two parts, one for Daily Living and one for Mobility. Each part has two rates – standard and enhanced.
  • PIP isnt affected by what people earn or their savings, it’s not taxable and people can get it even if they’re at school, college, university or in work.
  • Applying for PIP will include an assessment by a health professional. Most people will have a face-to-face consultation as part of their claim.
  • Awards of PIP are usually for a fixed period of time and are reviewed at appropriate intervals, depending on how likely your condition or disability might change.

What if they need an appointee?

  • The law says that a young people aged 16 can claim and get benefits iin their own name even if they need some help.
  • The fact that the parent carer has looked after the young person in the past doesn’t automatically mean that they can’t manage their own affairs, even if they need some help.
  • If the young person can’t manage their own affairs because of their health condition or disability and need someone to do this for them , it can be arranged for someone else to do this on their behalf – normally a parent or guardian. This person is called an appointee.
  • An appointee is fully responsible for acting on the claimant’s behalf in all their dealing with the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).

This includes:

  • claiming benefits, including completing and signing any forms
  • collecting and receiving benefit payments, and
  • reporting changes of circumstances such as an increase or decrease of help needed, change of address or bank account.
  • You can’t be an appointee because you think a person you’re looking after is still too young to cope, or because you prefer to handle their benefit payments for them. If a person is 16 and can manage their own affairs, they don’t need an appointee.
  • An appointee must be over 18. Both the appointee and young person will be visited to make sure they need an appointee and that the appointee understands their responsibilities.
  • Acting as an appointee is a position of trust. The DWP will review arrangements if it decides that an appointee is not acting in the best interests of the claimant at all times.

What will happen to their Disability Living Allowance?

  • We’ll send the young person a letter once they are 16 to let them know how and when to claim PIP.
  • They’ll continue to get DLA until a decision regarding PIP is made as long as they:
  •      claim by the date given in their letter
  •      send any information asked for. It is advisable to include as much relevant evidence as possible about how the disability affects the claimant. This can be letters, care plans or reports from medical professionals, social workers family and friends. This will increase the chances of getting a correct decision at an early stage.
  •      go to any assessment appointment they are asked to attend
  • If they don’t claim PIP by the date on the letter sent out then DLA will stop

What happens to other benefits?

  • If the young person isn’t awarded PIP, or doesn’t claim it, then other benefits and services they get, or the family as a whole gets, may stop or be reduced. These may include:
  •      Carer’s Allowance
  •      A Motability vehicle
  •      A blue badge
  •      Concessionary travel passes
  •      Tax credits
  •      Employment and Support Allowance
  •      Housing costs
  •      Income support
  •      Jobseeker’s Allowance
  •      Universal credit
  • If the young person is an existing Motability customer, and is not awarded the Mobility component of PIP at the enhanced rate, Motability will contact you to discuss your leasing agreement and the return of your vehicle.
  • If you receive Carers Allowance (for the young person) you will continue to get the benefit if the young person receives either rate of the Daily Living component of PIP  and you continue to look after them for at leats 35 hours per week.

How to get more information

  • You can go online to find out more information about benefits and services at www.gov.uk or go to www.gov.uk/pip for more information about PIP.
  • You can contact the PIP enquiry line at the DWP on 0345 850 3322.

Disability Rights UK have a really useful factsheet called Personal Independence Payment – A guide to making a claim which can be found here 

Taxicard

The Taxicard scheme allows people with disabilities to use black cabs at reduced fares. You must be unable to use public transport because of a permanent disability. ​

The Taxicard scheme provides transport for those who are chronically disabled so they can make social trips out.

It must not be used to provide transport for hospital or clinic appointments.

Who is eligible​?

To be eligible, you must have one of the following.

  • receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living allowance
  • receive 8 points or more for the moving around activity component of PIP (Personal Independence Payment)
  • be registered severely sight impaired / blind
  • receive a War Pension Mobility Supplement

If you do not have any of the above, but have significant difficulties, you can still apply for the Taxicard, but your application form will be assessed by us to check the eligibility.

For further information on eligibility visit the ​London Taxicard scheme website.

To join the scheme you must:

  • be able to use ordinary black taxis
  • have access to a telephone or have internet access (to book taxis)
  • be resident in one of the participating London boroughs
Council Tax Single Person Discount

Council tax bills are based on the assumption that two adults occupy the property as their main home. If it’s occupied by only one resident, the bill is reduced by a single person’s discount of 25%.

Some people are not counted as a second resident, even if they live in the property.

Carers
To be ‘disregarded’ as a carer, you must meet all the following criteria:
> you must provide care for at least 35 hours a week
> you must live in the same property as the person you care for
> you must not be the spouse or partner of the person you care for, or their parent if you care for a child under 18
> the person you care for must receive: either the middle or higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance), the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment at any rate, Attendance Allowance at any rate, Independence Payment or the highest rate of Constant Attendance Allowance.
You do not have to claim Carer’s Allowance to qualify for this disregard, and your income and savings will not affect your eligibility. If there is more than one carer in the property, they can all be disregarded for council tax purposes as long as they all meet the conditions.

‘Severely mentally impaired’ people
To be disregarded on the grounds of being ‘severely mentally impaired’ the person must meet both of the following criteria:
> have a certificate from a registered medical practitioner confirming this
> be in receipt of one of a number of specified benefits which include: the middle or the higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment at any rate, Attendance Allowance at any rate, Constant
Attendance Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
If everyone in the property is considered to be ‘severely mentally impaired’, the property is exempt from council tax.

Other disregarded groups
Other people disregarded for the purposes of council tax include:
> children up to 18 (for 18 year olds, someone must be entitled to Child Benefit for them)
> full-time students (if the property is occupied only by full-time students then it is exempt from council tax)
> long-term hospital patients or care home residents
> live-in care workers
> people living in a hostel which provides care or treatment because of their old age, physical or mental disability, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental illness If, after taking into account disregarded people, there is only one resident in  the property who would ‘count’ for council tax a 25% discount is applied to the bill.

If, after taking into account disregarded people, there are no residents who would ‘count’ for council tax a 50% discount is applied to the bill.

How to apply for a council tax reduction

To apply for a discount you would need to contact the council tax department of your local council. You can ask for a discount to be backdated to the date the qualifying conditions were met.The council can ask for supporting evidence and has two months to make a decision.

If you disagree with the council’s verdict, you can appeal to a valuation tribunal. For the address of the tribunal, contact your council or visit the Valuation Tribunal Service website.

Positive Parents - Opening Doors by Opening Minds

Supporting families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in the London Borough of Havering