Anassesment into how carers support their disabled child and what help the Government provides to help.

Essay by andy9283 June 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

How do carers support themselves and the state help.

In our community there are services for vulnerable people who are in need of support. These people come from a wide group and include some of the following:

· Families who are having difficulty in coping with bringing up their children;

· Children who don't have a family or are unable to live with their own family;

· Children with disabilities or mental health problems;

· Children who are at risk of being harmed or whose development may be impaired;

· People who need additional support when leaving hospital.

· Carers

A Carer is a person who looks after a friend or relative who is disabled, ill or old that cannot manage at home without them. For this assignment I have covered some of the issues that careers face when looking after disabled children. It includes information regarding the help that is available to them and all the restrictions that almost always occurs.

The life of a Carer is often restricted, they have very little time to them selves and the social life is almost nonexistent. Caring for a disabled child put immense pressure on the parents and it often results in couple's splitting up.

There are many different types of help available to parents but most of the time the parents are unaware of it. Even when parents know what help is available, getting it is one big struggle as a result of filling in all the forms and meeting up with the necessary people. Communication with doctors is very poor and everyone seems to "pass the buck". In theory doctors are experts but when they actually meet the families they often talk in jargon and don't appear to be able to deal with children.

Types of different benefits

Carers for disabled children may be eligible for cash benefits. The following list is a starting point for considerations.

· Disability Living Allowance

· Invalid Care Allowance

· Road Tax Exemption

· Orange Badge

· Fares to Hospital

· Family Credit

· Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

· Social Fund

· Housing Benefit

· Council Tax Reduction

· Council Tax Benefit

Disability Living Allowance

This is an allowance for people up to the age of 65 who need help with looking after themselves and/or find difficulty getting around.

There are two components to DLA called the care component DLA(care) and the mobility component DLA(mobility). Payments can be made for either or both components. Each component is sub-divided into different categories determined by the severity of the disability.

Invalid Care Allowance

Invalid Care Allowance (ICA) is a weekly benefit for and paid to, a carer (under the age of 65) who is looking after a disabled person.

ICA is currently taxable and carers should not be earning more than £50 a week on average (after deductions). The carer must also be spending at least 35 hours a week looking after the disabled person who is in receipt of the DLA care component (at middle or higher rate).

ICA claims can be back-dated for up to 3 months as long as the qualifying conditions are met.

Road Tax Exemption (Vehicle Excise Duty)

If your child qualifies for the higher rate of DLA mobility component you can apply for Road Tax Exemption. Form VED is available from the DLA Unit at:

Disabled Parking (was 'Orange Badge')

For any child above 2 years old you should be able to obtain an Disabled Parking badge for your car allowing special parking rights (free parking in many car parks and parking on single and double yellow lines for limited periods). Contact the Social Services Department at your County Council for application forms.

Fares to Hospital

For those on Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance travel costs to and from hospital for NHS treatment can be claimed. Payments are made at the hospital at the time of the visit.

Claim form AG1 is available from hospitals as well as the Benefits Agency office.

More information about help with hospital travel costs can be found in the leaflet HC11 "Are you entitled to help with health costs?"

Family Credit

Family Credit is an income related social security benefit for families on low wages who have children.

Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

These are means-tested social security benefits for people for work for less than 16 hours per week and do not have enough money to live on. You can claim Income Support if you do not have to 'sign on' because you care for a disabled person or are disabled yourself.

Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance is paid to those who are available for, and actively seeking work.

If you receive Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, you and anyone you claim for may also be able to get help with:

free NHS prescriptions

free NHS eyesight tests and vouchers to help towards cost of spectacles

free school meals

free NHS dental treatment

help with travelling costs to hospital (see above)

free milk and vitamins for expectant mothers and children under 5

cold weather payments if you have a disabled child

The Benefits Agency can offer more advice about Income Support.

For further information about income-based Jobseeker's Allowance contact your local Employment Service Job Centre.

Community care grants and loans Form SF300 is available at your local Benefits Agency office.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a cash benefit to help with rent or service charges for those receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or on low income (and have savings of less than £16,000).

Information about Housing Benefit and how to claim is available from your local council Housing Department.

Council Tax Disability Relief

You will probably be able to claim a reduction on your Council Tax. Contact the Council Tax Department at your local council.

AA/RAC reduced subscription rate

The AA and RAC offer reduced rates to those that hold an Orange Badge.

Special Building Work - VAT Exemption

If you need an extension or modification to your house because of your child's needs you may be able to get the VAT removed from the bill.

Free Nappies/Incontinence Pads

Once your child is 3 years old he/she is entitled to free nappies for life. This can be extended to cover protective pants, liners, disposable draw-sheets etc.

Home Responsibilities Protection

Home Responsibilities Protection is intended to protect the basic retirement pension of men and women whose working patterns do not enable them to establish qualifying years for pension purposes because of caring responsibilities at home. Check out page 9 in your Child Benefit book or phone local Benefits Agency for form CF411. Anyone getting Child Benefit is entitled.

Help from British Gas

Get help from British gas under the 'here to HELP' scheme.

The Family Fund

The Family Fund is for families who have children with severe disabilities. If the family has only modest income, the fund is able to offer help by paying for things like a washing machine, play equipment or, a much needed family holiday. The limit on earnings allowed is reviewed annually.


The organisation Motability can provide help with the purchase or hiring of a car or wheelchair. People who get DLA at the higher mobility component can normally quailfy for this help.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a cash benefit to help with rent or service charges for those receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or on low income (and have savings of less than £16,000).

Information about Housing Benefit and how to claim is available from your local council Housing Department.

"It's all the little things, the extra clothes, sheets, even food that you're buying every week and you don't realise what it costs or rather it would scare you if you sat and worked it out so you don't. Every now and again I'll think I'll get myself some new clothes because mine are almost in holes but I come home with things for Erin, because she needs it more than me. And just when you think that you might be getting straight it all falls apart, she'll have a bad patch and maybe she'll need a new bed or she's back in hospital and that costs ... The thing you have to realise is that everything like this is a disaster for us."