Which benefits can I claim for my deaf child?
This is a basic overview of the benefits families with deaf children might be able to claim. If you think you may be entitled to any of them, we have lots of information to help you make a claim, and you can contact our Freephone Helpline for further support.
- Disability Living Allowance for under 16s
- Personal Independence Payment for over 16s
- Carer’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Disability Living Allowance for under 16s
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit for children under 16. There are two parts to DLA – the care component and the mobility component. It is possible to claim both parts for your deaf child.
You can claim DLA for a child no matter how much you earn, or the level of savings you have. It is not taxed, or counted as an income when other benefits are worked out.
If you claim DLA, and receive middle- or higher-rate care component for your child, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. Being entitled to DLA may increase the amount of Child Tax Credits you receive, or entitle you to Child Tax Credits if you do not currently receive them.
We have more information about DLA, how fill in the claim forms, and how to appeal against DLA decisions.
Personal Independence Payment for over 16s
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people over 16 years old. At present PIP only applies to England, Scotland and Wales. PIP is likely to be introduced in Northern Ireland during 2015-2016.
PIP is made up of two parts – a daily living component and a mobility component. Each component has two rates: standard and enhanced.
A young person can qualify for both components if they meet the requirements of the assessment, which considers a person’s inability to undertake daily living and mobility activities due to the effects of their health condition.
PIP isn’t affected by income or savings, it’s not taxable and people can get it whether they’re in or out of work.
What if I already get DLA?
If you live in Wales or parts of Scotland, Northern England, the Midlands and East Anglia, you will be invited to claim PIP when you reach 16 or if you are over 16 and your DLA award ends.
There is no automatic transfer from DLA to PIP and you will need to make a claim for PIP and go through the new assessment process. You do not need to do anything until you are invited to by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
From October 2015 the DWP will start to contact everyone else who receives DLA to invite them to claim PIP instead.
We have more information about PIP and how fill in the claim forms.
Carer’s Allowance is for people who cannot work because they are looking after a sick or disabled person. You can claim Carer’s Allowance even if you have savings.
To get Carer’s Allowance you have to be receiving either the middle- or higher-rate care component of DLA or the standard or enhanced rate of the PIP daily living component for your deaf child. You also need to be caring for your child for at least 35 hours a week.
You can earn some money (currently £110 a week after tax and insurance) without it affecting your Carers Allowance.
This benefit is taxed, but the advantage in claiming Carer’s Allowance is that the Government also pays your National Insurance contributions.
The current rate of benefit is £62.10 a week. If you already receive Income Support, an amount equal to the Carer’s Allowance will be taken from your Income Support, but a Carer’s Premium of £34.60 will be added to this benefit.
Important: If you are awarded Carer’s Allowance and the person you care for receives Income Support, their income may be reduced as they will lose their Severe Disability Premium (if they receive one). For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance-unit.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people who are 16 or over and have a limited ability to work because of ill health or disability. ESA may affect entitlement to Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit so make sure you get advice before applying.
There are two types of ESA – contribution-based and income-related. Most people under 25 will only be able to claim income-related ESA, which may be reduced by any income and savings that they have. They will not have paid enough National Insurance Contributions to qualify for contribution-based ESA.
Who can claim ESA?
In addition to being at least 16, your child must meet the following criteria to claim ESA:
- If they are in full-time, non-advanced education (e.g. A levels) or approved training they must be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence (PIP). The rules about full-time, non-advanced education are complicated so seek advice if you are unsure.
- They must not be in full-time work (16 hours or more per week) but there are exceptions, such as voluntary or permitted work.
- They must have limited capability for work – this means that because of their condition it is unreasonable to require them to work.
Although you can help your child to apply for ESA and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may agree to you being their appointee, ESA needs to be claimed by your child.
There are two ways to start an ESA claim:
- Contact the DWP by phone.
- If your child is unable to claim by phone they can get a printed claim pack from most Jobcentres where their claim may be made face to face, or they can download and print the ESA1 form.
An ESA claim can be backdated three months or from your child’s 16th birthday (whichever period is shorter) as long as there is supporting medical evidence.
How much your child will be paid, and continuing entitlement to ESA, is decided by a ‘work capability assessment’ and usually involves attending a medical assessment.
For more information visit Disability Rights UK.