Benefits and finance
This page has information about finances, benefits, managing money and sources of information and advice on relation to children, young people and their families.
There is also information below about sources of funding for your child or young person’s support needs.
The Gov.uk page on benefits is a useful source of information.
To make a claim for a specific benefit you can call free on 0800 055 6688
There are a number of benefits and tax credits that you may be entitled to. Some benefits can be paid to a parent because their child is disabled, some to adults while others may be paid to you for other reasons.
The Department of Benefits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)has the up to date information about benefits including:
Browse: Benefits and financial support for families - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Benefits calculators - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) are really useful tools that can help you explore what you may be entitled to. Please note that benefits calculators are a guide only.
Universal Credit supports you if you are on a low income or out of work. It includes a monthly payment to help with your living costs.
Depending on your income and certain other factors, you may also be able to claim Universal Credit.
This website produced by The Department for Work and Pensions is really useful if you are:
You can find more information and advice on the Contact website.
Universal Credit for sick and disabled people
Money Helper has this useful information on their website explaining about Universal Credit for sick and disabled people.
Claiming Universal Credit for a disabled young person in education
Claiming Universal Credit for a disabled 16-20 year old can be a complicated process, and this is particularly true if they are still in education.
To help, Contact’s specialist family finances team have produced these resources which include a set of templates that parents can use to challenge the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) delays in processing claims and in organising medical assessments.
You’ll also find pre-recorded benefit webinars and a link to a free download of their guide: Universal Credit – Claiming for a Young Disabled Person.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled people who need help with mobility or care costs.
You can claim for DLA if you:
DLA is being replaced by Personal Independence Payments. Find out more about this at Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
If you are an adult receiving DLA you’ll continue to get DLA until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to tell you when your DLA will end and invites you to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
There are easy read leaflets about Disability Living Allowance for Children.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help with extra living costs if you have both:
a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition
You can get PIP even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.
View more information about Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on the GOV.UK Personal Independence Payment (PIP) webpage.
There are easy read booklets about Personal Independence Payment
Support and Advice about Finances and Benefits
Your Jobcentre Plus work coach can tell you about support you can get to help you combine work with looking after children or caring responsibilities.
Making Money Count are partnership projects working in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and can offer support and advice about money, bills and debt, benefits and other financial matters.
Cambridgeshire’s Local Assistance Scheme (CLAS)
Cambridgeshire’s Local Assistance Scheme (CLAS) provides a frontline safety net to those individuals and families facing unexpected financial difficulties and hardship. The scheme provides information, advice and discretionary assistance that enables eligible families and individuals to improve their immediate financial position; cope and better support themselves and use relevant resources to succeed in the long term. This could include access to low cost re-used and refurbished household items, clothing and food vouchers.
Household Support Fund
The Cambridgeshire Household Support Fund is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Fund has been created to help people experiencing immediate financial hardship to pay for food, household energy or other essential items.
Benefits advice and information
There are information sheets about benefits for people of all ages, including about changes that happen as children become adults, and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - which are updated on a regular basis.
Our Welfare Benefits Advice Team will be able to answer any questions you have about benefits and can assist with filling in benefit application forms. They offer this advice and support to adults, those supporting adults and to parents and carers of children. They can be contacted on 01353 612926.
Turn2Us are a national charity who provide information and support to help you get back on track.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau can offer advice and practical support too.
The Cambridge Money Advice Centre can help and have self-help materials available online.
Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space
If you are receiving mental health crisis treatment, Breathing Space can help take the pressure off of debts and repayments. An Approved Mental Health Practitioner can provide evidence of debts to a debt advice provider.
The debt advice provider will try to establish (as far as possible) which debts you have, and whether they are eligible for the scheme, before including them in a Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (MHCBS).
To find out more ask your mental health practitioner.
More information about Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (Gov.UK)
Disability Energy Support
Scope offer free energy and water advice to any disabled person or household where 1 or more disabled people live. There is a range of info about grants, support, benefits, dealing with energy debt, energy saving info and joining the Priority Services Register. They also offer individual advice consultations.
If your child has medium or long term mobility issues then you may need extra help with the costs getting to and from appointments, If you are using mobility related services you may get help towards additional costs and be eligible for welfare benefits including grants such as
Cost of Living Support
Child Trust Funds Disabled Students Allowance
If you are a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students' Allowance if you have a disability, including a:
long-term health condition
mental health condition
specific learning difficulty, eg dyslexia
You must meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010.
The support you get depends on your individual needs and not on income.
Tax information for deaf people
The Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) and HMRC have a website, Royal Deaf Tax, which provides information in British Sign Language on tax and tax credits, as well as enabling you to book a webcam appointment with the RAD’s tax advisor.
Helping young people with a learning disability to understand money
Financial skills for young people
Financial skills are vital for young people as they make the transition to adulthood. The ability to manage money is essential in allowing them to take control of their lives. Young people who have learning disabilities are at particular risk of having poor financial management skills.
Most of them have been in a position where their family or carers take care of all of their finances, so they have not been exposed to – or had the opportunity to see – how financial management works.
This booklet by the Money Advice Service will help you understand and manage your money better.
Natwest Money Sense
Natwest moneysense has introduced tools to help young people and children with special educational needs learn about money. You can find more details about this programme by visiting the Young money website.
Making finance decisions for young people
The Making finance decisions for young people: parent and carer toolkit is a useful guide for parents and carers to make financial decisions for young people who lack mental capacity.
If your child has savings in a Child Trust Fund Contact have collated some helpful guidance about accessing savings in a Child Trust Fund if your young person cannot manage their own finances.
Become an appointee for someone claiming benefits
You can apply for the right to deal with the benefits of someone who cannot manage their own affairs because they lack the capacity to do so or are severely disabled.
To find out more visit the Department for Work and Pensions Website.