Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance provides help towards the extra costs of bringing up a disabled child. It is a non means tested benefit and is paid on top of almost any other income or benefit that you already receive. Disability Living Allowance is divided into 2 components:
- A mobility component payable from the age of 3 years for help with walking difficulties. There are two rates of payment for this component: higher rate and lower rate. BenefitsWise will identify which rate is the correct one for you.
- A care component for children needing extra personal care, supervision or watching over because of a disability. There are 3 rates for this component and we will identify for you which is the correct one for you and your child.
Your child can be awarded either the care component or the mobility component separately or both components together at the same time. Your child has to have been ill for at least three months prior to any application.
Before Personal Independence Payment was introduced in 2013 disabled adults under 65 could claim Disability Living Allowance. If you still get Disability Living Allowance as an adult and were 64 or under on 8 April 2013 you will receive a letter some time soon from DWP telling you that you need to be reassessed for Personal Independence Payment. If you were aged 65 or over on this date you are not affected and your Disability Living Allowance will continues as normal. Disability Living Allowance for adults has the same mobility and care components as it does for children.
Attendance Allowance is a tax free benefit for people aged 65 or over, who are physically or mentally disabled and need help with personal care or supervision to remain safe.
You do not actually have to be getting any help to qualify for the award as it is the help that you are deemed to need that is assessed. You can get Attendance Allowance even if you live alone – you do not need to have a carer. Attendance Allowance is non-means tested benefit (your financial situation is not relevant) and acts as a passport for other types of help/benefits.
Attendance Allowance is not affected by the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment which is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16-64. To qualify for Attendance Allowance you must have been ill or needed help for at least 6 months prior to your application.
Carer’s Allowance is a means tested benefit for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a severely disabled person who is in receipt of Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance middle rate component or the Personal Independence Payment care component.
You can apply for Carer’s Allowance even if you have not worked in the past and you are not prevented from applying for Carer’s Allowance if you are disabled yourself and also need care.
If you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance a carer premium can also be included. This is a taxable benefit and counts as income for Class 1 NI contributions and therefore helps qualify for additional state pension.
If you are awarded Carer’s Allowance the person you care for cannot qualify for the Severe Disability Premium. Because of this it is not always advantageous to claim Carer’s Allowance even if eligible and it needs careful thought. The rules get extremely complicated when we look at this and we will explain to you at your home visit what the best outcome for you should be. You can claim Carer’s Allowance and have other earnings so long as those earnings are below a threshold which is currently £110 per week.
Employment and Support Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance is a benefit paid to people whose ability to work is limited by ill health or disability. Your eligibility for the benefit is tested under a work capability assessment.
Employment and Support Allowance has two elements:
- ‘Employment and Support Allowance NI contribution related’ is linked to your national insurance contribution record. Some awards are limited to 12 months.
- ‘Employment and Support Allowance income related’ is the means tested element of Employment and Support Allowance. This can be paid on its own or as a top up to the ‘Employment and Support Allowance NI contribution related’ element.
Employment and Support Allowance income related awards can help with mortgage interest payments and some housing costs. Employment and Support Allowance income related is a means tested benefit so your income and savings need to be assessed when deciding whether you are eligible to apply. We will do that for you.
A 13 week assessment period applies to all new Employment and Support Allowance applicants during which time you are paid a basic allowance the amount of which depends on your age. During this 13 week period you will undergo a work capability assessment to see if you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance. The benefit is only awarded if you are assessed as having a limited capability for work. If you satisfy this criteria then you will be allocated to one of the following two groupings:
- Work related group – this applies where it has been found that you are not assessed as having limited capability to work and you are assisted by the Jobcentre to return to work. If you are placed in this group then your Employment and Support Allowance contribution related payment will cease after 365 days but the Employment and Support Allowance income related payment will continue; or
- Support group – this applies where the assessment confirms that you have limited capability to work. The practical effect is that receipt of your Employment and Support Allowance contribution related payment will not stop after 365 days.
Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment is a new benefit for people aged 16-64 who have a physical or mental disability and need help participating in everyday life or find it difficult to get around. It replaces Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16 or over.
People who already get Disability Living Allowance will be notified by DWP that they need to reapply for Personal Independence Payment and stop claiming Disability Living Allowance. Experience shows us that this can lead to a very stressful time for people and their families. However, if you had reached the age of 65 by 8 April 2013 you can keep and renew your Disability Living Allowance and you won’t need to claim Personal Independence Payment instead.
PIP is a tax free and non-means tested benefit so it doesn’t matter what your income or other financial position is nor do you have to have a record of national insurance contributions. Personal Independence Payment is almost always paid in full in addition to other welfare benefits or tax credits.
Similar to Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment has two components:
- A daily living component which is for help participating in everyday life.
- A mobility component which is for help getting around.
You can be paid either the daily living component or the mobility component separately or both together. Just as with Disability Living Allowance, you need to have had issues for at least three months prior to any application.
There are a number of Premiums that can attach to the following welfare benefits:
- Income related Employment Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seekers Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
It’s really important that you apply for the correct Premium to be applied. The rules around the Premiums are extremely complicated to understand and it’s very easy for people to get confused as to what they are entitled to. At BenefitsWise we understand how each Premium interacts with each benefit and can identify what Premiums you are entitled to. Premiums make a really big difference to what you receive and it’s really important to get right.
Most people know this benefit by the name State Pension Credit. It is a means tested benefit for people who have reached a qualifying age (currently 60 but rising to 66 by October 2020). There are two parts to Pension Credit:
- Guaranteed Credit – if your income is below a certain level then this benefit makes up the difference.
- Savings Credit – this is paid to you if you or your partner are aged 65 or over. This benefit is intended to help those who have small private pensions and made provisions for their retirement.
Housing Benefit is what we call a ‘passported’ benefit for those people who receive income-based Employment Support Allowance, Income based Job Seekers Allowance, Pension Credit or Income Support. If you get any of these benefits then you should also receive Housing Benefit. In some circumstances we can help you apply to your local council for help with your rent if you live in rented accommodation. The Council will assess your entitlement based on your income and your savings.
Council Tax Benefit
Council Tax Benefit is a ‘passported’ benefit just like Housing Benefit and the same rules for entitlement apply.