Mobility funding for disabled people

Sources of Funding for Disabled People in the UK

Mon Mar 11 2024

What Support Could You Be Entitled To?

Navigating your way through financial support can be daunting, especially for disabled individuals in the UK who face unique challenges and expenses. Fortunately, support is out there, and a wide range of funding is in place to help. 

This guide breaks down the key financial support options available, including benefits, grants, and concessions, to help you understand what you might be eligible for and how to apply.

Understanding Your Benefits

1. Universal Credit

A versatile benefit that can adjust to your changing circumstances - Universal Credit is a payment intended to help those on a low income or out of work cover their living costs. It combines multiple benefits into one payment, making the welfare system simpler and more flexible to individual circumstances.

How to Apply: You can apply for Universal Credit online through the official GOV.UK website. You'll need to provide details about your health condition or disability, income, housing, and family circumstances. After submitting your application, you'll attend an interview with a work coach to discuss your support needs.

2. Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP supports those with long-term ill health or disabilities, focusing on the extra costs of living with a condition. It's not related to your employment status, so even if your job or income changes you will still be able to claim.

PIP helps with some of the extra costs arising from long-term ill health or a disability. It's assessed on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself, making it broadly accessible to those in need.

How to Apply: You can start your PIP claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) PIP claim line. You'll then be sent a form to fill out, detailing how your disability affects you. It's helpful to include any supporting evidence, such as reports from medical professionals. After submitting your form, you may be asked to attend a face-to-face assessment.

3. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children

Families with disabled children can receive DLA to help with the extra costs of caring for a child under 16 with difficulties walking or who needs much more looking after than a child of the same age without a disability. 

DLA for children offers financial help to parents and carers of disabled children under 16, providing support for extra care or mobility needs.

How to Apply: Apply for DLA for children by downloading a claim form from the GOV.UK website or calling the DLA helpline to request a paper form. Complete the form with detailed information about how your child's disability affects them. Supporting evidence from health professionals can strengthen your claim.

4. Attendance Allowance

For those of State Pension age requiring help with personal care due to physical or mental disabilities, Attendance Allowance offers financial support without requiring National Insurance contributions.

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for individuals of State Pension age who need help with personal care or supervision due to physical or mental disabilities. It's paid at two different rates, depending on the level of care needed.

How to Apply: You can apply for Attendance Allowance by downloading a claim form from the GOV.UK website or contacting the Attendance Allowance helpline to request a form. Fill in the form with details about how your condition affects your daily life and any care or supervision you need.

5. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

ESA offers financial support and personalised assistance to adults who are unable to work due to illness or disability. It aims to provide financial support and personalised help to help individuals get back into work when they're able.

How to Apply: To apply for ESA, you'll need to fill out a capability for work questionnaire and attend a face-to-face assessment. Start your application by calling the Jobcentre Plus or downloading the ESA1 form from the GOV.UK website. Provide detailed information about your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work.

For all these benefits, it's crucial to provide as much information and evidence as possible to support your claim. This can include medical reports, letters from specialists, and detailed personal statements. If you're unsure about the application process or need additional support, many charities and advisory services offer guidance and assistance to help you navigate the system.

Transport and Vehicle Support

Each of these support options is designed to make transportation more accessible and affordable for disabled individuals.

1. Vehicle Tax Exemption

If you have a disability, you may qualify for an exemption from paying vehicle tax, reducing your transportation costs significantly.

How to Apply: To apply for a vehicle tax exemption, you must claim the exemption when you tax your vehicle, either online or at a Post Office that deals with vehicle tax. You'll need to provide evidence of your eligibility, such as a certificate of entitlement to the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). For more details, visit the GOV.UK vehicle tax exemption page.

2. Blue Badge Scheme

The Blue Badge scheme is a vital service for those with mobility issues, offering parking concessions that allow closer access to amenities and facilities.

How to Apply: You can apply for a Blue Badge online through the GOV.UK website. The application process requires you to provide details about your disability and proof of identity. Some applicants may need to provide further evidence or undergo an assessment to qualify.

3. Disabled Persons Bus Pass or Railcard

For those looking to save on public transport, disabled person's bus passes, and railcards offer a cost-effective solution, providing significant discounts on buses and trains.

How to Apply:

Bus Pass: Apply for a disabled person's bus pass through your local council. Visit the GOV.UK website to find out how to contact your council and start the application process.

Railcard: The Disabled Persons Railcard can be applied for online at the official Railcard website. You'll need to provide proof of your eligibility, such as a copy of your award letter for a qualifying disability benefit.

4. The Motability Scheme

The Motability Scheme offers an all-inclusive package that enables disabled individuals to lease a new car, scooter, or powered wheelchair, often including insurance, maintenance, and breakdown cover.

How to Apply: To be eligible for the Motability Scheme, you must receive one of the following mobility allowances: the higher rate mobility component of DLA, the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP, or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP). You can apply directly through the Motability Scheme website or by contacting them to discuss your needs and start your application.

Home and Housing Assistance

Home and housing assistance support is there to help adapt your home to better suit your needs and offer financial support for low-income households.

1. Direct Payments

Direct Payments are designed to give you more flexibility over how your care and support services are arranged and provided. By receiving payments directly, you can choose the services that best meet your needs.

How to Apply: You can apply for Direct Payments by contacting your local council's social services department. They will assess your needs and determine your eligibility. More information and application guidance can be found on the GOV.UK Direct Payments page.

2. Disabled Facilities Grants

Disabled Facilities Grants help fund the cost of adapting your home to improve accessibility, such as installing ramps or widening doors.

How to Apply: Apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant through your local council. You'll need an assessment from an occupational therapist to determine what adaptations are necessary. Visit the GOV.UK Disabled Facilities Grants page for more details.

Support for Low-Income Individuals

If you're on a low income, you may qualify for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, which can help make your living costs more manageable.

How to Apply: Housing Benefit: Apply through your local council. Eligibility and application processes vary, so check the GOV.UK Housing Benefit page for specific guidance.

Council Tax Reduction: Also known as Council Tax Support, you can apply for this reduction through your local council. Details can be found on the GOV.UK Council Tax Reduction page.

Employment Assistance

Employment assistance plays a crucial role in ensuring that disabled individuals can access and thrive in the workplace by providing financial support and resources tailored to meet their unique needs.

1. Access to Work Grant

The Access to Work grant provides financial support to cover the cost of practical support in the workplace, including special equipment, travel arrangements, or a support worker.

How to Apply: You can apply for an Access to Work grant online through the GOV.UK Access to Work page. You'll need to provide details about your employment and disability and how they affect your ability to work.

2. VAT Relief

Disabled individuals are eligible for VAT relief on certain goods and services, including adapted vehicles and mobility aids, reducing the cost of essential items.

How to Apply: To receive VAT relief, you'll need to declare that you're eligible when purchasing goods or services. More information on eligibility and how to claim VAT relief can be found on the GOV.UK VAT relief for disabled people page.

Armed Forces Compensation

Veterans injured or disabled during their service can access compensation schemes to support themselves and their families.

How to Apply: The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) offers support for service-related injuries or illnesses. Applications can be made through the GOV.UK Armed Forces Compensation Scheme page, where you'll find detailed information on eligibility and the application process.

Finding Your Way: Support and Mobility Made Simple

Finding out what support is available for disabled people in the UK might feel complicated, but there's a lot of help out there. From money to help with living costs, to making your home more accessible, to getting around easier, and even support at work, there are many options designed to improve your life.

At WheelFreedom, we're dedicated to helping you stay independent and mobile. Visit our showroom in Chessington, Surrey and explore a wide range of mobility scooters, wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

Remember, you're not alone. There's plenty of support and communities ready to help. For more information, check out the resource links below.

Further Reading

Financial help if you're disabled | GOV.UK

How to get a wheelchair | Disability charity Scope UK

Charitable grants for ill or disabled people | MoneyHelper

Funding for children and young people | Family Fund

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