The Highland Council's Customer Income Maximisation Team
Are you claiming your Benefits and Entitlements?
You are better off finding out where you can get free, confidential and impartial help.
Our aim is to put more money in your pocket so that you can pay your bills, heat your home and have a better quality of life. We do this by ensuring that individuals who are eligible for Benefits and other entitlements have the advice and assistance available to them to access their full entitlement.
We can advise you about all the benefits and other entitlements that are available, undertake benefit checks to ensure you are not missing out on any benefits and provide assistance to help you complete the relevant forms. We can even appeal decisions and represent you at appeal hearings, if required.
Many benefits are means tested i.e. your income and capital is taken into account when deciding whether you are entitled. However many benefits do not take your income and capital into account; instead, some are based on your individual circumstances where you need help to look after yourself because of physical or mental disabilities. Examples of these benefits include Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance, which if awarded act as a gateway to other types of help which can include additional premiums in the assessment of Income Support, Income Based Job Seeker's Allowance, Housing and Council Tax Benefit, Pension and Tax Credits. These additional premiums potentially increase the amount of money you receive. They may also qualify you for concessions on public transport, exemption from road tax, the Blue Badge Scheme, and the Motability scheme. More information about these additional entitlements is provided in this guide.
We can also assist you with advice and support if your Benefit is turned down or you don't receive the amount you were expecting. We can help you to appeal against the decision, and if required accompany you and provide representation at Tribunal Hearings.
Getting in touch with us is the first step to maximising your potential income.
You can contact the Council's Customer Income Maximisation Team on:
Telephone: 0800 090 1004
or by e-mail at: email@example.com
Do NOT send personal data to the above email address
or by writing to us at: PO Box 5650, Inverness, IV3 5YX
or visit our website: www.highland.gov.uk
More information about specific benefits
If you can't be available for full-time work and don't have enough money to live on, you may be able to get Income Support.
You may be eligible to claim if you're aged 16 to 59 and any of the following apply:
- you're a lone parent with responsibility for a child under 12
- you're registered sick or disabled
- you're a student and either a lone parent or disabled
- you're caring for someone who's sick or elderly
and the following apply:-
- you don't have savings of £16,000 or more; and
- you're not working, or work on average less than 16 hours a week.
- You may also be entitled if you have a low income and:
- you're sick and your Statutory Sick Pay is less than the amount of Income Support you would be entitled to; or
- you or your partner or civil partner are not working because of parental leave; or
- you're on paternity leave.
Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA)
Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is the main benefit for people of working age who are out of work. If you're out of work or working less than on average 16 hours per week, you may be able to get Jobseeker's Allowance.
You must be:
- capable of working; and
- available for work; and
- actively seeking work; and
- below state pension age.
There are two elements to Job Seeker's Allowance:
Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance
You may get contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance if you have paid or been credited with class 1 National Insurance (NI) contributions in the relevant tax years. Self employed contributions will not generally qualify you for contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
This is based on your income and savings. You may get this if you have not paid enough National Insurance contributions (NICs) (or you've only paid contributions for self-employment) and you're on a low income.
Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) if you're 16 or 17
If you're unemployed and 16 or 17 years old, you can't usually get JSA unless:
- you're forced to live away from your parents; or
- you'll suffer severe hardship if you don't get JSA;
- you and your partner are responsible for a child; or
- you are a single parent.
If any of these apply, you may be able to get income-based JSA.
To claim Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance:
Tel: 0800 055 6688 (8am - 8pm Monday to Friday).
A textphone service is available if you have a speech or hearing impairment,
Tel: 0800 023 4888 or contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus.
Employment and Support Allowance
You may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance if you have an illness or disability that affects your ability to work.
You may be eligible if any of the following apply to you:
- your Statutory Sick Pay has ended, or you cannot get it;
- you are self employed or unemployed;
- you have been getting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and have not gone back to work for your employer because you have an illness or disability which affects your ability to work; or
- you are under State Pension age.
- You must also either:
- have had an illness or disabilty which affects your ability to work for at least four days in a row (including weekends and public holidays);
- be unable to work for two or more days out of seven consecutive days; or
- be getting special medical treatment.
- If you are aged between 16 and 20 (or under 25 if you were in education or training at least three months immediately before turning 20), you must:
- have been too ill to work because of an illness or disability for at least 28 weeks; and
- have been too ill to work before you turned 20 (or 25 if you were in education or training at least three months immediately before turning 20).
There are two types of Employment and Support Allowance:
Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
You may be entitled to claim contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance if you have paid enough National Insurance Contributions.
Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
You may be entitled to claim income-based Employment and Support Allowance if you do not have enough money coming in, or you have not paid enough National Insurance Contributions, and you satisfy the entitlement conditions. This means that you have savings of less than £16,000 and, if you have a partner or civil partner, they work for less than an average 24 hours a week.
How to Claim
You can claim Employment and Support Allowance by telephone or textphone.
An adviser at the DWP's contact centre will go though the application with you and fill in the form. You will not have to fill in any forms yourself.
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and calls to the numbers from a landline are free.
Contact centre numbers:
Telephone 0800 055 6688
Textphone 0800 023 4888
For those claiming from or after 27 October 2008, Employment and Support Allowance replaced Incapacity Benefit and Income Support, paid because of an illness or disability.
If you received Incapacity Benefit prior to the 27 October 2008, you will continue to receive it.
The New Deal Scheme
New Deal is a government scheme that helps you get back to work if you're on benefit. You'll get help and support with all aspects of job hunting - from working out your long term goals to job training and brushing up your interview technique. There are New Deal programmes for:
Young People (18 to 24)
New Deal for young people will help you find and keep a job or start work for yourself. It will help you improve the skills you have and learn new skills. While you are on New Deal for young people you will get help and support from your personal adviser. They will help you look at what you can do, and to build on the skills you have.
If you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, and you are aged 18 to 24, you must take part in the New Deal scheme for young people. This will ensure that you carry on getting some of your benefits. If you have good reason for not taking part in this scheme you must discuss this with your personal adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions.
People over 25 and people over 50
New Deal 25 plus will help you find and keep a job or start work for yourself. It will help you improve the skills you have and learn new skills. While you are on New Deal 25 plus you will get help and support from your personal adviser. They will help you look at what you can do, and to build on the skills you have.
If you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and you are aged 25 or over and under State Pension age, you must take part in New Deal 25 plus to carry on getting the following benefits:
- Income Support;
- Jobseeker's Allowance;
- Incapacity Benefit;
- Severe Disablement Allowance; or
- Pension Credit.
New Deal 50 plus is for you if you are over 50. You must also have been on at least one of the following benefits for the last 6 months or longer:
- Pension Credit;
- Income Support;
- Jobseeker's Allowance;
- Employment and Support Allowance;
- Incapacity Benefit; or
- Severe Disablement Allowance.
You may also be able to join this scheme if you have been getting National Insurance credits, Carer's Allowance or Bereavement Allowance, or if your partner has been getting other benefits for you for at least 6 months.
New Deal for disabled people gives you the help and support you need to get back to work. You can get all sorts of help, from working out what job you want to do and how to make sure you get the most money you can.
You can join New Deal for Lone Parents if you are bringing up children as a lone parent, if your youngest child is under 16 years old and you are not working, or working less than 16 hours per week.
New Deal for Lone Parents is a voluntary programme specifically designed to help lone parents into work. It offers a package of support to help you move towards a more secure future for you and your children.
If you choose to take advantage of what's available by joining New Deal for Lone Parents, a personal adviser, at the Department for Work and Pensions, will take you through the steps to find and apply for jobs. Your adviser will also offer practical advice and help about finding childcare and training. Your adviser will also be able to tell you about how benefits will be affected when you start work and help you apply for any benefits or tax credits that you may be entitled to while working.
It's entirely up to you whether or not you take part. The New Deal for Lone Parents provides as much help as you need to make a move into work.
Help to New Deal for Partners customers includes finding and applying for jobs, advice on in-work benefits/incentives available; advice on childcare available locally; and advice on training courses to update skills.
New Deal for Partners is available to partners of people claiming any of the following benefits:
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income Support
- Incapacity Benefit
- Carer's Allowance
- Severe Disablement Benefit
- Pension Credit
If you are serious about getting a career in music, you may be able to get help from New Deal for musicians. New Deal for musicians is part of the compulsory New Deal programme for people who are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. It can help musicians and composers get into careers in all types of music, whether self-employed or working under a contract.
New Deal for musicians has the full support of the music industry. It can give you the chance to speak to people who work in the music industry. They can give you:
- advice on your chances of succeeding in the music industry, and
- support in using music industry open-learning materials.
To take part in New Deal for musicians, you must be taking part in New Deal for 25 plus or New Deal for young people, and have reached the end of the 'gateway' stage.
Job Grant is a one-off tax-free payment when you or your partner or civil partner start work and stop getting benefits.
You can claim Job Grant if you take up full-time work (at least 16 hours a week) and you expect the work to last for at least five weeks. You must also have been claiming one of the following benefits for at least 26 weeks before starting your new job:
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Jobcentre Plus/New Deal Allowance payments where the allowance is based on Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, or Severe Disablement Allowance
- Employment Zone payments where the allowance is based on Jobseeker's Allowance
- You may also get Job Grant if your partner or civil partner starts working at least 24 hours a week, and as a result - your benefit stops.
For further information regarding the New Deal Scheme and Job Grant contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus or call 0800 055 6688 (8am - 6pm Monday to Friday).
If at the date of dismissal you have been employed with the same employer for a continuous period of 2 years or more and have been dismissed because:
a) your employer has or intends to stop business in the place that you are employed for the purposes for which you are employed; or
b) the need for work has stopped or reduced,
you may get a redundancy payment.
Your employer should give you one week's notice for every year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
A redundancy payment is based on the length of continuous employment, age and pay.
More information is available by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
Benefits and help when going back to work
If you return to work after being on benefit, some of your benefits will automatically stop straight away. Some will carry on for a short while after you start work. You may be able to get other benefits once you're working.
If you were getting help with your housing costs while you were out of work, you may carry on getting this for up to four weeks after you start your new job. You'll need to have claimed income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support continuously for at least 26 weeks just before you started work.
- Extended Housing Benefit
- Extended Council Tax Benefit
- Mortgage Interest Run On
You don't have to make a claim for Extended Payments of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, but you must tell Jobcentre Plus and The Highland Council about your change in circumstances.
From October 2008 when your Extended Payment of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit ends you do not have to make a new claim for in-work Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit. The Highland Council's Exchequer Operations Team will consider whether you are entitled to in-work Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit at the same time as they decide whether you have fulfilled the conditions for an Extended Payment.
If you're responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, working or claiming benefits, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but earn low wages, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit.
Individuals who earn too much to qualify for Working Tax Credits may still be eligible to claim Child Tax Credits. Please note that both benefits are means tested.
The amount of tax credits you get depends on:
- how many children you have living with you
- whether you work - and how many hours you work (if a lone parent you must work at least 16 hours a week, if single you must be over 25 and work at least 30 hours a week)
- if you pay for childcare
- if you or any child living with you has a disability
- if you're aged 50 plus and are coming off benefits
To claim tax credits you have to fill in a claim form.
You can order a tax credits claim pack from the Tax Credit Helpline on:
Telephone: 0845 300 3900 or
Textphone: 0845 300 3909
The helpline is open from 8am to 8pm every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
If you're aged 60 or over you may be entitled to Pension Credit. It is made up of two elements - the `Guarantee Credit' element and the `Savings Credit' element.
The Guarantee Credit element is intended to guarantee a minimum income if you're on a low income. If for example, you're single and your weekly income is below £124.05 you may qualify for Guarantee Credit. Couples on low incomes can also qualify for these payments. You may be able to get more Pension Credit if you have caring responsibilities, are severely disabled or have certain housing costs.
If you are aged 65 or over you could be entitled to the Savings Credit element. For example, if you're single and your total weekly income, from money you have coming in such as pensions, savings, earnings and investments, is between £91.20 and £174 a week you may qualify for these payments. Couples on low incomes can also qualify for these payments.
For more details you can call the Pension Credit Helpline (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday):
Telephone: 0800 99 1234 or
Textphone: 0800 169 0133
If you are liable to pay rent and are on a low income you may be entitled to Housing Benefit. Forms can be obtained from any Highland Council Service Point or as part of your claim for Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance and Pension Credit.
If you been renting or have rented accommodation from a private landlord since 7 April 2008 your claim is likely to be determined using Local Housing Allowance. The amount of Housing Benefit you receive is based on:
- Who lives with you
- Which area you live in
- How much money you have coming in
- What savings you have.
If you live in Council accommodation or other social housing, Local Housing Allowance will not affect you.
Extended Payment of Housing Benefit
If other benefits you receive stop because you return to work or work more hours or earn more money, an extra 4 weeks of Council Tax Benefit can normally be paid at the same amount you received before your benefit stopped.
Council Tax Benefit
If you are liable to pay Council Tax and your income and capital (savings and investments) are below a certain level you may be eligible for Council Tax Benefit. This is a means tested benefit and is determined not only by your income but by who lives with you.
Extended Payment of Council Tax Benefit
If other benefits you receive stop because you return to work or work more hours or earn more money, an extra 4 weeks of Council Tax benefit can normaly be paid at the same amount you received before your benefits stopped.
Second Adult Rebate (Council Tax)
You may get Second Adult Rebate if the person you share your home with is:
- not your partner or civil partner
- aged 18 or over
- not paying you rent
- not paying Council Tax themselves
- on a low income
- not living with you on a commercial basis
The person responsible for paying Council Tax, may be able to get Second Adult Rebate even if they are earning and have savings. We do not take this person's income and capital into account.
The Department for Work and Pensions administers a Social Fund which individuals can apply to for financial assistance.
There are 3 types of application to the Social Fund: a Crisis Loan, a Budgeting Loan or a Community Care Grant.
If you need financial help with an emergency or disaster you may be able to get a Crisis Loan, this is usually an emergency payment and can be processed quickly. If the need is urgent this should be stressed when a payment is requested to avoid any delay in payment. Crisis Loans are an interest-free loan that you are required to pay back.
You can apply for a Crisis Loan if all the following apply:
- you're aged 16 or over: and
- you don't have enough money to meet your (or your family's) immediate short term needs in an emergency or as the result of a disaster: and
- without the loan there will be a serious damage or risk to your (or your family's) health or safety.
To claim a Crisis Loan for Living Expenses call Social Fund on 0800 328 3036.
If you're on a low income and need help with certain important costs, you may be able to get an interest-free Budgeting Loan that you are required to pay back.
You may be able to get a Budgeting Loan if you have been claiming or getting payment of one of the following benefits for at least 26 weeks:
- Income Support
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Pension Credit
- and you need help to pay for any of the following:
- furniture or household equipment
- clothing or footwear
- advance rent or removal expenses for a new home
- travelling expenses
- things to help you look for or start work
- improving, maintaining or securing your home
- repaying hire purchase or other debts you took out to pay for any of the above
Community Care Grant
If you need financial help to live independently in the community or to ease exceptional pressure on you and your family you may be able to get a Community Care Grant. You don't have to pay Community Care Grants back.
You can apply for a Community Care Grant if you are either:
- already getting Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Pension Credit, or payment on account of one of these benefits
- likely to start getting one of these benefits within the next six weeks because you're moving out of care
and any one of the following applies:
- you're moving out of residential or institutional care to live independently
- you're moving to a new home which will be more suitable for you following an unsettled period in your life and are being resettled by an organisation like for example, the Highland Council or a voluntary organisation
- you need help to stay in your home to prevent you from having to go into residential care or hospital
- you need help because you or your family face exceptional pressure, such as family breakdown or because one of you has a long-term illness
- you look after someone who is ill or disabled, or has been released from custody
- you need help with expenses such as visiting someone who is ill, or to attend a relative's funeral
Energy Efficiency Grants
The Scottish Government provide a Warm Deal and Central Heating Programme which helps provide central heating, insulation and advice. It is available to all households in the private sector (homeowners and private rented) where the householder or partner is 60 and over.
The programme includes help with the installation of a central heating system, help and advice on insulation, advice on best use of energy in the home and the installation of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
To be eligible for help the householder or partner must be 60 or over, be the only or main resident, have lived in their home for at least 12 months before the date of application and expect to live there for at least 12 months after the work is finished.
Other conditions apply and the full details are available at:
www.energysavingtrust.org.uk or call 0800 512012.
Mortgage Interest Run On
If your benefits stop because you return to work; are working more hours; or earning more money, then an extra 4 weeks of mortgage interest payments can normally be paid at the same amount you received before your benefits stopped.
If you are having difficulties with legal problems or have been accused of a crime and you are unable to pay legal fees you may be able to receive legal aid from the Scottish Legal Aid Board. This is a free service and can help you with credit and debt problems, housing and property disputes, divorce and separatrion and immigration and medical negligence.
To find out more about Legal Aid and whether you qualify, or where to find a legal aid solicitor call the Legal Aid Helpline on 0845 122 8686.
The Child Support Agency can collect child maintenance on your behalf from a non resident parent. The amount of child maintenance will depend on the income and circumstances of the non resident parent and how many children qualify for help.
Further details on how to apply telephone 08457 133133
Child Maintenance Premium
A maintenace premium of £10 a week will be paid if you are receiving maintenace payments and you are on Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance Income based.
The Child Support Agency will automatically start an application on your behalf.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
This is a one-off payment to help pay for things you need for a new baby if you are on a low income. The grant is tax-free and does not have to be paid back
You may be able to get one of these grants if your baby or your dependant's baby is due soon, or was born in the past 3 months.
You can also claim if you have:
- recently adopted a young baby
- in certain circumstances, been granted a residence order for a baby, or
- been granted a parental order for a surrogate birth
In order to claim you must be getting one of these benefits:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element or Child Tax Credit, at a higher rate than the family element
For general enquiries regarding Social Fund and Sure Start Maternity Grants or for application forms call 0845 608 8629.
If you're an employee and unable to work because you're ill, you may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Some employers have their own sick pay scheme instead.
If you're working for an employer under a contract of service (even if you've only just started), you're entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if the following apply:
- you're sick for at least four days in a row (weekends and bank holidays are ncluded);
- and you're earning at least on average £90 a week.
You can't get Statutory Sick Pay if you're away from work because any of the following apply:
- you're in legal custody
- you're taking part in trade union action
- you've been getting Employment Support Allowance in the 12 weeks before your illness
- you've been getting Incapacity Benefit in the eight weeks before your illness
You can't claim Statutory Sick Pay for any period of illness that starts during the same time as you're entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance.
If you're pregnant or have a new baby but don't qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance (MA) through Jobcentre Plus.
You might get Maternity Allowance if:
- you're employed, but not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay;
- you're registered self-employed and paying Class 2 National Insurance Contributions
- (NICs), or hold a Small Earnings Exception certificate; or
you have very recently been employed or self-employed.
You may be eligible if:
- you've been employed and/or self-employed for at least 26 weeks in your `test period' (66 weeks up to and including the week before the week your baby is due). Part weeks count as full weeks; and
- you earned £30 a week averaged over any 13 weeks in your test period.
If you don't qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance, you may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance instead.
For further information regarding Maternity Allowance contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus or call 0800 055 6688 (8am - 8pm Monday to Friday).
Statutory Maternity Pay
If you have worked continuously for the same employer for more than 26 weeks, you may receive help while you take time off work at the point 15 weeks before the baby is due to be born and only if you're earning £90 a week or more before tax.
Statutory Maternity Pay is paid for up to 39 weeks and is paid at 90% of your gross earnings for the first 6 weeks without limitation and for the remaing 33 weeks at 90% of the gross weekly earnings up to £117.18 a week.
Statutory Maternity Pay is subject to tax and national insurance deductions and you must inform your employer of your intentions to start Statutory Maternity Pay 28 days before you start.
Further details can be found here.
Statutory Paternity Pay
You may receive help while you take time off work, if you are the father including the adopter or the mother's husband/partner; or have responsibility for the upbringing of the child and have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks and earning £90 a week or more before tax.
Statutort Paternity Pay is paid at a rate of £117.18 a week or 90% of your weekly earnings if this is less.
It is paid for 1 or 2 consecutive weeks and normally paid in the same way as your wages and is subject to tax and national insurance deductions.
You must inform your employer by the 15th week before the baby is due/adoption date that you intend to take leave.
Your employer may ask you for a self-certificate form SC3 which can be downloaded from HM Revenue and Customs website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/sc3.pdf
Statutory Adoption Pay
If you are adopting a child and have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks and earning at least £90 per week before tax, you may be entitled to statutory Adoption Pay.
Statutory Adoption Pay is paid for up to 39 weeks at £117.18 a week or 90% of gross earnings whichever is lower. It is normally paid in the same way as your wages and is subject to tax and national insurance deductions
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (accidents)
You may be able to get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for accidents (IIDB) if you're ill or disabled because of an accident or event that happened at work or in connection with work.
You may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for accidents if:
- you were employed when the accident or event happened
- the work accident or event that caused your illness or disability happened in England, Scotland or Wales
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (diseases and deafness)
If you're ill or disabled because of disease or deafness caused by certain types of work, you may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for diseases and deafness.
You can claim if you were employed in a job that caused you to suffer from any of the following:
- a disease caused by working with asbestos
- chronic bronchitis or emphysema
- pneumoconiosis (including silicosis and asbestosis)
- vibration white finger
- any other illness covered by the Industrial Injuries Scheme
For more details contact:
Jobcentre Plus, Ayr IIDB Centre, Baird Street, Glasgow, G90 8AB.
Telephone: 0845 608 8967
Textphone: 01977 464 144.
Hospital Travel Costs Scheme
If you are on a low income and need National Health Service (NHS) treatment at a hospital you may be able to claim travel costs to and from hospital.
You may qualify if you claim Income Support, Income based Job Seeker's Allowance or Guarantee Pension Credit or have income less than £15 050 a year and receive Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit with the disability or severe disibility element.
If you are on a low income but do not receive any benefits or allowances you may still qualify for help with travel costs by applying for help through the NHS low Income Support scheme.
For further details by call: 0845 850 1166
or complete HC1 claim form from the Department of Health website.
Reduced Earnings Allowance
If you can't earn as much as you normally could because of an accident or disease caused at your work, you may be able to get Reduced Earnings Allowance (REA).
You may qualify for Reduced Earnings Allowance if you're suffering from an illness or disability caused by a work-related accident or disease that happened before 1 October 1990.
For further information regarding Reduced Earnings Allowance contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus or call 0800 055 6688 (8am - 6pm Monday to Friday).
Disability Living Allowance (for those aged under 65)
You may be able to get Disability Living Allowance if you are aged under 65 and you have needed help with personal care or had walking difficulties because of a physical or mental disability for three months, and you are likely to need this help or have these difficulties for at least another six months.
You can get Disability Living Allowance for your care needs even if no one is actually giving you the care you need, even if you live alone.
To get the care component of Disability Living Allowance, your disability must be severe enough for you to either:
- need help with things such as washing, dressing, eating, getting to and using the toilet, or communicating your needs
- need supervision to avoid you putting yourself or others in substantial danger
- need someone with you when you are on dialysis
- be unable to prepare a cooked main meal for yourself (if you had the ingredients),
and you are aged 16 or over
There are three rates of care component depending on how your disability affects you:
- the lowest rate, if you need help or supervision for some of the day or you are unable to prepare a cooked main meal
- the middle rate, if you need help or supervision frequently throughout the day, or during the night, or someone with you while on dialysis
- the highest rate, if you need help or supervision frequently throughout the day and during the night
To get the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, your disability must be severe enough for you to have any of the following walking difficulties, even when wearing or using an aid or equipment you normally use:
- you are unable or virtually unable to walk, or you have no feet or legs
- you are assessed to be both 100% disabled because of loss of eyesight and not less than 80% disabled because of deafness and you need someone with you when you are out of doors
- you are severely mentally impaired with severe behavioural problems and qualify for the highest rate of care component
- the effort of walking could threaten your life or seriously affect your health
- you need guidance and/or supervision from another person when walking out of doors in unfamiliar places
There are two rates of the mobility component depending on how your disability affects you:
- the lower rate, if you need guidance or supervision out of doors
- the higher rate, if you have any of the other, more severe, walking difficulties
Some people will be entitled to only the care component or the mobility component, others will be entitled to both.
Attendance Allowance (for those aged 65 or over)
Attendance Allowance, sometimes referred to as AA, is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 or over who need help with personal care because they are physically or mentally disabled.
You may get Attendance Allowance if:
- you have a physical or mental disability, or both
- your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself
- you are aged 65 or over when you claim
Attendance Allowance is not usually affected by any savings or income you may have.
Special Rules - if you are terminally ill
If you have a progressive disease and you are not expected to live for more than another six months there are special rules for claiming to make sure you get your benefit more quickly and easily.
For Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance call the Benefit Enquiry Line. This is a confidential freephone service for disabled people and carers. You can call the Benefit Enquiry Line and ask them to send you a claim pack.
Telephone: 0800 88 22 00; or
Textphone: 0800 24 33 55.
You can also use the Royal National Institute for Deaf people (RNID) Typetalk service.
You may be able to get Carer's Allowance if you are aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a person who is getting Attendance Allowance, or Disability Living Allowance (at the middle or highest rate for personal care), or Constant Attendance Allowance (at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension).
You cannot get Carer's Allowance if you are in full-time education with 21 hours or more a week of supervised study or earn more than £95 a week after certain deductions have been made (such as Income Tax).
The Carer's Allowance Unit can send you a claim form.
Telephone: 0845 608 4321 or
Textphone: 01772 562 202.
You can ring these numbers between 9am and 5pm Monday to Thursday and between 9am and 4.30pm Friday.
If you're on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you're arranging, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund. You might have to repay some or all of it from the estate of the person who died.
You may be able to get a Funeral Payment but it depends on the benefits you're getting, your relationship with the person who died and any other money, other than your personal savings, that may be available to help with the cost of the funeral.
You may be eligible for a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund if you or your partner are getting any of the following benefits or tax credits:
- Income Support;
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance;
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
- Pension Credit;
- Housing Benefit;
- Council Tax Benefit (or the Council Tax payer where you live gets a Second Adult Rebate because you are on a low income);
- Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element; or
- Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element.
- To be able to get a Funeral Payment you must also be either:
- the partner of the deceased when they died;
- the parent of the deceased child, or have been responsible for the deceased child (and there is no absent parent) unless they are getting one of the above qualifying benefits or were estranged from the child at the date of death;
- the parent of a still-born child; or
- a close relative or close friend of the deceased (and it is reasonable for you to accept responsibility for the funeral costs).
If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to get Bereavement Payment, a one-off, lump-sum payment of £2,000 that's tax-free
You may be able to claim Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner had paid their National Insurance contributions (NICs) or their death was caused by their job and either:
- you were under State Pension age (60 for women and 65 for men) when they died;
- your husband, wife or civil partner was not entitled to Category A state Retirement Benefit when they died.
When you fill in the claim form you'll be asked to give your late husband, wife or civil partner's National Insurance number and details of their recent employment history.
This will allow the office that deals with your claim to look into their National Insurance record and to work out if you qualify for Bereavement Payment.
After you're widowed you may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance, the taxable weekly benefit paid to you for up to 52 weeks from the date of death of your husband, wife or civil partner.
You may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance if all of the following apply:
- you're a widow, widower or surviving civil partner aged 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died;
- you're not bringing up children;
- you're under State Pension age (currently 60 for women and 65 for men); and
- your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions (NICs), or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.
When you fill in the claim form you'll be asked to give your late husband's, wife's or civil partner's National Insurance number and details of their recent employment history. This will allow the office that deals with your claim to look into their National Insurance record and work out how much, if any, Bereavement Allowance you might get.
For further information regarding the above Bereavement Benefits contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus or call 0800 606 0265 (8am - 6pm Monday to Friday).
Widowed Parent's Allowance
If your husband, wife or partner has died and you have a dependent child or young person aged under 19 or under 20 in certain circumstances then you may be able to qualify for Widowed Parent's Allowance. The maximum allowance £90.70 a week.
Application forms are available from DWP website at:
or contact your local Jobcentre Plus office.
War Widow's or Widower's Pension
If your husband, wife or partner died while serving in the British Armed Forces you may be entitled to a tax free pension.
Further details available from the Veterans UK Helpline on 0800 169 2277
or from their website at: