What are disability benefits?
For many families, being told their child has been identified with a hearing loss or is deaf can come as a great shock. In that moment, thinking about money or trying to understand how to access disability benefits may not be a top priority.
However, if you or your deaf child do need financial support there are various options available to you. But it’s important to get the right information and advice to ensure you don’t miss out.
Benefits are cash payments paid by the government to people and families. They can be paid due to low income or because of specific needs, such as a disability or illness. The main disability benefits in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independent Payment (PIP). In Scotland, the main disability benefits are Child Disability Payment (CDP) and Adult Disability Payment (ADP).
They are not means tested. This means that it doesn’t matter if you are in work or have savings, you and your deaf child could still qualify to receive either DLA or PIP. The amount you are awarded is also based on the level of disability and not your current financial situation.
Yes. Many deaf children and young people and their families in England, Northern Ireland and Wales receive DLA or PIP, and CDP or ADP in Scotland, as these benefits are a contribution towards the extra costs of raising a disabled child or living with a disability.
It is important to remember that the level of hearing loss itself doesn’t determine entitlement to disability benefits. Whether or not your child uses hearing technology, can lip read or uses sign language also makes no difference, as they may still be entitled to the benefit.
Disability benefits can be paid for deaf infants and children, teenagers and deaf young people.
If you are awarded a disability benefit, there aren't rules on what the money should be spent on, as it's a contribution to the extra costs of raising a disabled child or living with a disability. Each family and deaf young person will likely use this money slightly different.
For example, you could use the money for:
- communication support
- sensory toys
- transport costs
- extra tuition
- computers or other technology
- social activities.
The benefits system is complicated and the forms you have to fill in can be long and confusing. However, help is available. We have lots of information about the benefits available for deaf children and young people and their families and guides to help you fill in the forms. Including our:
- guide to filling in the claim form for DLA for deaf children
- step-by-step guide to filling in the PIP2 form, which can be found online or as a downloadable PDF.
We also have information about the other financial support available, such as Carer's Allowance (CA) and grants.
If you have any questions about disability benefits you can get in touch with our Helpline for independent information, advice and guidance.