Scleroderma – Disability Support & UK Welfare Benefits
Find out what you might be entitled to here
These are the benefits that are available for Northern Ireland.
Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit you may get if you're aged 65 or over and need help with personal care because you have a physical or mental disability.
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You may get Attendance Allowance if you are aged 65 or over and have needed help with personal care because of a physical or mental disability for six months.
Your disability must be severe enough for you to need either:
You can get Attendance Allowance even if no one is actually giving you the care you need and even if you live alone.
The Blue Badge scheme provides on-street parking concessions for people with severe mobility problems. Benefits include free on-street parking in 'pay and display' bays.
The scheme operates throughout the UK, however information on here applies to Northern Ireland residents only.
If you have children under the age of three, who have a disability due to a medical condition and need to travel with bulky equipment or be close to a vehicle for emergency medical treatment, they may be eligible for a badge. More about the Blue Badge scheme
As a carer, you can use direct payments to buy services the Trust agrees you need to support you in your caring role. You can:
This includes practical help such as driving lessons or support that may help maintain your health and well-being, for example a holiday. If you are assessed as needing domestic help, you may ask for a direct payment and buy the support services you need.
If you already receive social services your Trust has to offer you direct payments in place of the services you currently receive. In some circumstances you cannot get direct payments. Your Trust can explain these circumstances. If you're not receiving social services, to get direct payments, you need to contact your Trust to ask them to assess your needs. Assessment for carers
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for people with disabilities who need help with mobility or care costs.
If you're already getting DLA and are aged between 16 and 64 years, you'll continue to get DLA until the Department for Communities (DfC) writes to tell you when your DLA will end and invites you to apply for PIP. You will only be eligible to make a fresh claim to DLA if you are under 16.
A Disabled Facilities Grant is provided by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to help to improve the home of a person with a disability, and may be based on the recommendation of an occupational therapist.
Owner occupiers, landlords or private tenants can get help to carry out adaptations, provided there is a person with a disability living in the house.
Where a property has been suitably adapted or has additional features to accommodate a disabled person's special needs, you might be entitled to 25 per cent discount in your rates with the Disabled Person's Allowance.
This allowance is not means tested. To apply, you don't need to provide information about your income and savings.
The property must be adapted to meet the needs of a person with a disability who lives in your home. Types of adaptations that qualify are:
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers support and financial help so you can do suitable work if you are able to. It gives you access to an Employment Service Adviser and services including employment, training and condition management support to help you manage your illness or disability at work.
You must also either:
You may be entitled to this if you have paid enough National Insurance contributions.
Income related ESAYou may be entitled to income-related ESA 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 24 hours a week on average.
New style ESA
You can apply for new style ESA if you're eligible to get Universal Credit.
New style ESA works in the same way as contribution-based ESA. Your partner's income and savings won't affect how much new style ESA you're paid. You can get new style ESA on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit. If you get both at the same time, your new style ESA payment will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment – you aren't guaranteed to get any extra money.
If you have a terminal illness
If your doctor doesn't think you'll live for more than six months, there are special rules to make sure you get the most money you can. If this applies to you, please contact the ESA Centre.
If you've been living or working abroad
This can affect your ESA claim. You may be able to claim if you've either:
paid enough UK National Insurance Contributions in the past (and the equivalent in certain other countries)
worked abroad for an employer based in the UK and paid National Insurance contributions for the first 52 weeks of that employment.
If you couldn't work because of illness or disability before 31 January 2011, you may be receiving Incapacity Benefit. People claiming after this date must apply for Employment and Support Allowance instead. Since 31 January 2011 you cannot make a new claim for Incapacity Benefit. You should claim Employment and Support Allowance instead.
The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. Some individual benefits aren't affected but it may affect the total amount of benefit you get.
Pension income rule
If you have a gross pension income of more than £85 a week, the amount of benefit will be reduced by half of the excess.
The excess is the difference between £85 and the actual pension income. For example, for a pension income of £100, the excess is £15. The amount of Incapacity Benefit payable is reduced by half of that, which is £7.50.
Exceptions to pension income rule
This rule does not apply if:
You may be able to get:
Child Tax Credit if you're responsible for at least one child
Working Tax Credit if you're working and on a low income
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is Benefit is available to support people who are ill or disabled from an accident or disease caused by work or while they were on an approved employment training scheme or course. You may be eligible due to an accident or a disease.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a new benefit replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged between 16 to 64 years. PIP and DLA cannot be claimed at the same time.
PIP helps towards some of the extra costs arising from having a long-term health condition or disability that is expected to last for 12 months or longer. Entitlement to PIP is based on the effect a long term health condition has on your daily life, not the condition itself.
DLA will stay for children up to the age of 16 years, both for existing or new claimants. Existing claimants who were aged 65 years or over on 20 June 2016 will continue to receive DLA provided they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.