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
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
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people who are unable to work because of ill health or disability. A claim to ESA can be backdated three months or from the claimant’s 16th birthday (whichever period is shorter) as long as there is supporting medical evidence.
Many parents will work through the ESA claim process with their deaf child. But it is the young person who must make the claim, so the following guidance is addressed to the young person who will be the claimant.
Who can claim ESA?
You must meet the following criteria to claim ESA:
- be aged over 16
- have medical evidence to show you are unable to work
- if you are receiving education you must be in receipt of DLA or PIP
- not be in full time work
- have limited capability for work – this means that because of your condition it is unreasonable to require you to work.
Further entitlement to ESA and how much you will be paid is assessed by a test called the work capability assessment and usually means attending a medical assessment.
How to claim ESA
There are two ways to start an ESA claim:
- Contact the DWP by phone.
- If you are unable to claim by phone you can get a printed claim pack from most Job Centres, where a claim may be made face to face.