There a various schemes and grants available in the UK to support families with disabled children.
- Blue Badge Scheme
This is essential for helping ensure you can park in a safe spot and have room all around the vehicle for wheelchair and access to and from the car.
- Carer’s Allowance
Apply for carers allowance if your child is in receipt of DLA. You will need to complete form DS700.
You need to be aged 16 years or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is either ill or has a disability.
You can apply online or print out the form and send through the post. Carer’s allowance is £62.70 a week. You can work whilst claiming Carers allowance but, currently, you can only earn £116 a week before you lose the allowance. This is a taxable benefit and needs to be declared on the Tax Credits form.
- Caudwell Children
This charity provides family support services, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK. They also run an Enable Sport Programme to talented disabled athletes as well as a Destination Dream Holiday for children fighting life threatening conditions.
- Card system
Contact your local authority to see if they operate a card system, allowing special needs and disabled children access to events specifically for them and their families.
For example, Hampshire operates a Gateway Card. This is a free card. Payment is made for the activities you choose to access.
- Council Band Review
Speak to the Local Authority and see if you qualify for a reduction in your Council Band payments.
- Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)
Contact your Disability Occupational therapist at your local Council to arrange meeting to discuss making adaptions to your home and applying for a DFG to cover the cost of the works.
If you are in rented accommodation, you will need to seek permission from your landlord for any adaptions to be made to the property.
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Raising and caring for a disabled child involves a lot of care throughout the day and the night. Many children also experience mobility issues. Apply for DLA to help with the expenses incurred with caring for a disabled child.
More information about DLA can be found at http://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children
The Cerebra guide is very useful at guiding you through the process.You can download a copy of their guide at http://www.cerebra.org.uk
When a child reaches 16 years old, DLA is replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) https://www.gov.uk/pip
- Electricity Provider
Register as a careline customer with your electricity provider if you have medical equipment that relies upon electricity; hoists, through floor lift, even a refrigerator for storing specialist feeds and medication. You will be made a priority customer for electrical supply to be put back on following a power cut.
- Family Fund
For families with disabled or seriously ill children and young people, Family fund can provide grants towards short breaks, washing machines, computers, sensory toys, etc.
Applications are made online.
- Local Incontinence Service
You can speak to your GP, Health visitor or children’s community nurse about applying for a nappy / pad allowance . Children are eligible from the age of 3 years old.
If you receive High rate DLA for mobility needs you can opt for the mobility payment to be paid to you or sign it over to lease a car through the Motability for three years. If selecting a Wheelchair Access Vehicle (WAV), the lease is for 5 years.
- Newlife – The Charity for Disabled Children
Provides essential equipment such as specialist beds, wheelchairs, communication aids, specialist seating, car seats and sensory and therapy equipment to both disabled and terminally ill children across the UK. A contribution needs to be made towards the equipment. For a car seat, a 20% contribution of the cost of the seat needs to be made.
Applications are made online and you will need a professional (e.g. occupational therapist, or physiotherapist) to complete part of the form to back up your application.
Newlife relies upon support and donations to ensure they can reach out to families of disabled and terminally ill children.
“If you would like to support Newlife in changing children’s lives, there are many different ways to get involved.From a simple donation to a challenge even, to nominating us you’re your company’s charity partner to one of our UNIQUE Sparkle Parties, there is something for everyone.We are proud to guarantee that 100% of what you raise or donate is send on vital equipment or services for disabled children, nothing on our running costs. Not only that but you can also support children wherever you are in the UK.” Chris Fielding, Deputy Community Fundraising Manager
- Registry for disabilities
Contact your local authority to see if they operate a registry for disabilities.
For example, Hampshire operates a free Yellow Card scheme which registers your child within the County as a disabled person under the National Assistance Act 1948. This is widely recognised in Hampshire and Carer gains free entry to places of interest in the County.
- Tax Credits for Disabled Child
Speak to tax credits about the disability premium if you are in receipt of tax credits (Middle rate or High rate Care) https://contact.org.uk/news-and-blogs/extra-tax-credit-payments-if-youre-claiming-dla/
- Variety- The Children’s Charity
Variety can offer funding for essential life changing equipment for children with a serious illness, disability or disadvantage, up to and including the age of 18 years old.
These include grants that provide funding for medical equipment, sensory equipment, standing and walking aids, specialised car seating, hoists and lifts, outdoor play equipment, etc. Grants also provide funding for bespoke wheelchairs suited to a child’s needs; manual, powered or sports.
Further information about looking after someone and support for carers can be found at Carers UK