Carers and disability benefits
Various benefits are available depending on the age and circumstances of the AS individual, these include:
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Carers Allowance
Up to date advice can be obtained from www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/disability or your local citizens advice bureau.
You may also be entitled to disability premiums through Universal Credit. Check with your utility providers to see if you can claim discounts such as a Warm Home grant or a reduction on your water bill. A council tax reduction may also be available if you have adaptations in the home.
Applying for grants
There are lots of different types of grants that you, or your social worker can apply for on your behalf. Some of the main ones are Newlife www.newlifecharity.co.uk/, Family Fund www.familyfund.org.uk/, Variety www.variety.org.uk/, Roald Dahl Marvellous Charity www.roalddahl.com/charity/family-grants, or the Caudwell Foundation www.caudwellchildren.com/. A really useful website is: www.disability-grants.org. There are lots of different types of grants listed here, by region or grant type (eg adult or child, holiday, respite or home adaptations, etc).
Whether you are writing your own grant application, or asking someone to do it for you, there are a few things to bear in mind first. Although there are lots of grants available, there are many more people seeking funding than there is money to go around. Approximately 10% of all grant applications received are funded. It is therefore really important that you make a good application and it will require a bit of time to do it. Here are some things to think about before applying:
- Check that it is the right grant for your needs and you meet the grant criteria. Is the person with AS the right age for the grant being offered, do you live in the correct area, does the funder provide money for the thing you want.
- Make it clear why and when you need the money.
- If you’re not sure about whether the grant is right for you – just ring and ask. Don’t guess and get it wrong.
- Be brief, don’t waffle.
- Ask someone to check through an application before you send it to check for spelling mistakes. Remember, a spell-checking tool on a computer isn’t as good as a human eye – it can’t tell the difference between “red” and “read”, for example.
- Read the whole application before you begin and make sure you clearly answer all the questions.
- Allow plenty of time. It takes longer than you think to write the application and you need to allow 3-6 months for the application to be processed. It is almost impossible to get funding for something you have already finished, or already started.