WHAT IS DISABILITY BENEFIT? The UK Government provides financial help if you are disabled or in poor health.
Claiming disability benefits is your lawful right providing you do not abuse the social security and welfare system.
Disability-related financial support can be help with your housing costs and council tax.
There is extra help for disabled adults through the vehicle tax exemption and Motability Schemes.
This guide also includes a list of concessions and free grants for disabled adults. There is further guidance on tax credits and disability grants for children.
List of UK Disability and Sickness Benefits
Benefits for Disabled Adults
Most of the financial help for disabled person comes from disability and sickness benefits. Thus, the most claimed welfare support for disabled adults includes:
- Disability Living Allowance: PIP is replacing Disability Living Allowance for most people. It has already replaced new claims from those aged 16 to 64 with a disability or long-term ill health.
- Personal Independence Payment: The PIP benefit is a tax-free payment for people aged 16 to 64. It can help with extra costs caused by a disability or a long term illness.
- Attendance Allowance: Attendance Allowance is another tax-free benefit for people aged at least 65. It is for those who have a disability and need someone to help care for them.
- Employment and Support Allowance: ESA is for those who cannot work due to a disability or an illness.
Depending on your circumstances, you might also be able to get:
- Constant Attendance Allowance: For those who need daily care and attention because of a severe disability.
- Industrial Injuries Benefit: This extra financial support if for those who get disabled as a result of a work accident or disease.
Disability Benefits for Children
- Disability Living Allowance for Children: DLA for child is a tax-free benefit for those under 16. It can help cover the extra costs caused by a disability or long-term ill health.
Car Transport Benefits for the Disabled
Financial help for the disabled is also available in vehicle and transport benefits. Those who have a disability can apply for:
- A railcard or bus pass for disabled persons or help buying (or leasing) a car through The Motability Scheme.
- Blue Badge Membership: The scheme provides a range of parking benefits for disabled people. It is for those with severe walking difficulties who travel as passengers or drivers.
Road Tax Exemption for Disabled Drivers
- Armed Forces Independence Payment.
- Enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment.
- War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement.
- Higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.
You must have the vehicle registered in the name of the disabled person (or nominated driver). The vehicle must only get used for the disabled person’s personal needs. A nominated driver cannot used it for their own personal use.
Note: You can only have one vehicle tax exemption at any one time.
How to Claim Road Tax Exemption for Disabled
You should make the claim for exemption when you apply for vehicle road tax. You need to claim at a Post Office if it is your first time claiming for vehicle tax exemption. You will also need to use the same process any time you change your vehicle.
Vehicle Tax Reduction for Disabled
The eligibility for vehicle tax reduction for disabled persons depends on the PIP benefit. If you receive the PIP standard rate mobility component you should get a 50% reduction in vehicle road tax.
Note: Getting the DLA lower rate mobility component does not qualify for reduced road tax.
How to Claim Vehicle Tax Reduction for Disabled
Include the following documents when you apply for vehicle tax reduction:
- A letter or statement from the DWP stating the date you started to receive PIP.
- The vehicle log book (V5C) and a V10 form.
- An original MOT certificate or GVT certificate (if required).
- A cheque or payable order (made out to ‘DVLA, Swansea’) for 50% of the full rate of car tax for the vehicle.
Note: There is no need to send your PIP assessment or any extra medical information with your application form.
What if you recently bought the vehicle and is not yet registered in your name? In this case you should download V62 form and include the V5C/2 new keeper supplement with your application.
Note: Send the filled in documents to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1DZ. You must meet the legal obligations for drivers before driving a vehicle.
Motability Scheme for Disabled Drivers
The Motability Scheme can help you with leasing a car, an invalid scooter, or a powered wheelchair. But, to qualify you must be getting one of these disability benefits:
- Higher rate of the mobility component of DLA
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP
VAT Relief Disabled Vehicles
Disabled persons do not usually need to pay the VAT on vehicle adaptations to suit your condition. VAT relief for disabled vehicles also applies on the lease of a Motability vehicle. In this case, they would already have made the vehicle adaptations for disabled drivers.
Community and Public Transport for Disabled
Many local councils operate a taxi scheme or dial-a-ride system for people with disabilities. Often the schemes use tokens or vouchers to operate. Disabled persons may also be eligible to get a Disabled Persons Railcard and a bus pass.
Home and Housing Benefits for Disabled
Direct Payments and Personal Budgets
- Direct Payments: Many disabled people and UK care workers prefer to arrange their own care and services. If your local council assesses that you need care and support services, you might opt for Direct Payments.
- Having direct payments and personal budgets allows you to buy in and arrange help yourself. That gives you more flexibility in arranging your care and support needs.
Disabled Facilities Grants
- Disabled Facilities Grants: DFGs are grants issued by local councils. A Disabled Facilities Grant could help cover the cost of essential adaptations to your property. In many cases that means disabled people can to continue to live in their own homes.
Council Tax Reduction for Disabled
Most disabled people have benefits entitlement to a reduction in their Council Tax bill. As a rule your home must have certain features essential to you living there to qualify for the reduced rate.
An Example: You have an extension built for a downstairs bedroom. That will increase the size of your property and means more Council Tax is due. But, providing the room got built because of your disability, you can get your new higher rate of Council Tax reduced. That means you would pay the same amount as you were before the property extension.
Housing Benefit for the Disabled
Financial Help for the Disabled on a Low Salary
Most disabled persons can claim Income Support benefit if they are:
- Between the age of 16 and 60.
- Getting a low income.
- Not working at all or working less than 16 hours a week (on average).
There are further disability benefits for disabled in the form of a Disability Premium. This extra financial support includes:
- Disability Premium
- Severe Disability Premium
- Enhanced Disability Premium
As a result, you should then also qualify for a Council Tax Reduction and the Housing Benefit. In some cases you can get extra money towards prescriptions and other health costs.
Working Tax Credit
Being in work and on low pay means you should get Working Tax Credit which can top-up your earnings. You may also get extra credits if someone living in your household is disabled.
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
Those who are looking for work and receiving income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit could also be eligible for disability premiums. You might qualify for an Access to Work grant to help with travel costs or buying special equipment at work.
Sight Impaired Benefits
- Blind Person Tax Allowance: This disability benefit for blind people means they can earn income without having to pay tax. The welfare support is added to their personal tax allowance.
TV Licence Discount for Disabled
There is no free TV licence for disabled people per se. But, you will get a 50% TV licence discount if either:
- You are registered as a blind person or severely sight impaired.
- You are living with someone who is registered as a blind person or severely sight impaired.
Note: You may need to transfer the licence to their name. Change it if the registered blind person is not the current licence holder for your address.
You can change the TV licence address by contacting the TV Licensing agency.
Apply for TV Licence Concession for Blind People
You will need a certificate from your ophthalmologist or from the local authority. The certificate states that you are registered blind or severely sight impaired.
- Northern Ireland: The document must be issued by, or on behalf of, a Health and Social Services Trust.
- Isle of Man: The certificate must be issued by, or on behalf of, the Department for Health and Social Services.
Send a copy of the certificate and your licence renewal notice (if appropriate). Remember to include your name, address, phone number and TV licence number. Post the documents and a cheque or postal order for the licence to this address.
Blind Concession Group
VAT Relief for Disabled People
- VAT Relief for Disabled: The UK does not provide a blanket exemption of VAT reliefs for disabled persons. That means older or disabled people are not exempted from VAT by any automatic procedure.
Work Related Injuries or Illnesses
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Your disability may mean you qualify for the Industrial Injuries Benefit. In most cases the eligibility criteria means you became disabled as a result of:
- An accident at work or deafness caused by work.
- A disease.
Armed Forces Compensation
You can claim through the Armed Forces Injury Compensation scheme if while serving in the armed forces:
- You got an illness or an injury.
- An existing condition that you already had got worse.
You can also apply to get Constant Attendance Allowance as well. You should qualify if you already get armed forces compensation and need daily care for a disability.