In a situation where they are subject to constant changes, one this is clear about disability benefits: the facts are hard to pin down. Because our team at Accident Advice Helpline is often the first port of call for people who have suffered life-changing injuries, we are often asked how such benefits can be accessed. We recommend asking your doctor to put you in touch with a social worker who can make sure you get everything you’re entitled to, but this can take some months to arrange.
In the meantime, you should apply for major benefits straight away as it may not be possible for you to get back payments if you start your claim at a later date.
Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the new benefit available to working age adults, replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA). There are two rates of DLA and the one you get will depend on how severely your disability is understood to impact your life. If you are not satisfied with the initial decision made, claim again, as a high proportion of claimants find their benefits increased on appeal. This type of disability benefit is paid even if you are in work as it is not intended to cover general living expenses—rather, it is there to help you meet the extra costs that being disabled brings, like having to travel in taxis, get assistance with household tasks or keep your home warmer because you can’t move around.
Help with living costs
If you feel that you are unable to work, you can apply for Employment and Support Allowance. You may receive money because the government accepts that you can’t work or you may be given support to help you access a more suitable form of employment. This can include support to help you retrain. Often the courses offered by the Department of Work and Pensions and its subcontractors are of limited usefulness, but if you can find a suitable college course you may be able to get funding to attend it.
If you are able to work but due to your circumstances you can’t make very much money, you can apply for Income Support to help you get by. You may also be eligible for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
Other benefits for disabled people
There are several other key benefits that disabled people may be eligible for:-
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you were disabled at work.
- Attendance Allowance if you are past retirement age and need extra care.
- War Disablement Pension if you were injured in the army.
- Constant Attendance Allowance if you need somebody to be with you all the time.
- Disabled Facilities Grants to help you adapt your home to your needs.
If somebody looks after you for 35 hours or more per week, that person may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance.
At Accident Advice Helpline, we’ll do our best to win you compensation so you don’t need to worry about money, but in the meantime you should get all the help you can. You’re entitled to a decent standard of living like anybody else.
Date Published: January 4, 2014
Author: David Brown
Category: Costs and losses