Money support for disabled children and young people

There's lots of help available if you're looking for financial support to:

  • help your child or young person
  • modify your home
  • planning days out.

Find information about financial support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families, friends and carers:

How we can help you

There are some instances where we are able help you.

If you or someone you care for gets help from social services, you can apply for direct payments. Direct payments let you pick and choose the services you need, rather than us choosing them for you.

See how you can apply for direct payments and get help.

Adapting your house to suit your needs will cost you money. But, the Disabled Facilities Grant can help cover these costs. You get it through an Occupational Therapy assessment.

Find out more and request an Occupational Therapy assessment.

If you have a disability, mental health needs or are an informal carer, you can get an exempt card.

Contact your library to find out more.

We also have a range of services especially for people with disabilities and elderly people.

You may be able to get help for:

  • meals on wheels
  • leaving the hospital
  • equipment and home care services

See what support is available to help you at home if you are:

The Household Support Fund helps vulnerable households in need of help with rising living costs.

If you qualify, we will give you one physical or one virtual prepaid card. The voucher will be worth £100 and you can use it for energy costs.

Find out more ab out Household Support Fund and how to apply.

Kent Together can help if you're struggling with money due to living costs or other challenges. Whether your're looking for:

  • financial advice
  • money to pay for food or other essentials
  • housing support
  • employment.

Find out more about how Kent Together can support you.

A personal budget is the money needed to cover the cost of the special education help in your education, health and care (EHC) plan. You can ask for your personal budget when your EHC plan is drafted or in your review meeting. You cannot have a personal budget unless you have an EHC plan.

Learn more about personal budgets and how you can request one.

Benefits for under 16 year olds

If you are looking after a child under the age of 16, these benefits may support you:

Disability Living Allowance can help with extra costs of looking after a child who:

  • is under 16
  • has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability.

Find out how to apply for a DLA, including easy read and BSL guides.

DLA for adults will soon be replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to up to 15 hours of free early education and childcare over 38 weeks of the year. 2 year olds can also get free childcare if they:

  • are looked after by a local authority
  • have a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • get Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Find out more about free childcare.

Tax-Free Childcare

For each of your children, you can get up to £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year) to help with childcare costs. It increases to £1,000 every three months if your child is disabled (up to £4,000 annually).

Tax-Free Childcare money can pay for extra childcare hours. Your childcare provider may also be able to use it to buy mobility aids for your child. If your child needs equipment, you can discuss it with them.

Find out more about Tax-Free Childcare.

The Max Card is a discount card for families of children with disabilities. It can help you save money on great days out at castles, zoos, bowling alleys and more.

These are available to any family with a disabled child or young person who gets disability benefits or has an EHC plan.

Find out how to register for a Max Card.

Universal credit is replacing Child Tax Credits in 2022 and is a payment to help with your living costs.

You might get extra Universal Credit if you have a health condition or disability. It must prevent you from working or preparing for work.

Find out more about Universal Credit.

Benefits for over 16 year olds

Money helps you to pay your bills and buy the things you need or want in life.

You can get money by having a job. Or, you could get benefits (money from the government) to help you.

If you feel unable to manage your benefits someone can become an appointee on your behalf. The appointee can apply to deal with your benefits for you if you are struggling with it. They can be a friend or relative, or an organisation like a solicitors or your local council.

Find out more about becoming an appointee.

If you or your young person are over the age of 16 and moving into adulthood, these benefits may support you:

The government’s Access to Work scheme helps you get or keep a job. It is for people with a health condition or disability.

Depending on your needs you can apply for:

  • a grant to help pay for practical support with your work
  • advice about managing your mental health at work
  • money to pay for communication support at job interviews.

Visit the government website to find out about the Access to Work scheme. Or read their easy read guide to the Access to Work scheme.

You may be able to receive a reduction in your Council Tax, if you get one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
  • standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • the disability element in Working Tax Credit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • an increase in Disablement Pension for constant attendance.

Find out if your local borough or district council can support you.

Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) can cover costs for university students who have:

  • mental health problems
  • long term illness
  • any other disability.

Find out more about having a DSA.

You can add disability premium payments to other benefits. These include:

  • income support
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • housing benefit.

Find out more about the additional payments and if you're eligible.

You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work.

ESA gives you help:

  • with your living costs if you’re unable to work
  • to get back into work if you’re able to due to your disability.

Find out more about ESA.

Learn how employers can support you whilst at work.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is available to apply for if you or your young person is over the age of 16. PIP can help with any extra living costs if you have both:

  • a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition.

You can receive PIP if you:

  • work
  • have savings
  • receive most other benefits.

See if you're entitled to PIP.

To go to a higher education setting, you may be able to get extra funding through your university or college including:

  • bursaries
  • grants
  • scholarships.

These do not have to be repaid. So they won’t contribute to the overall cost of going to university.

Learn more about scholarships and grants.

You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get either the:

Or, you can apply for a 50% vehicle tax reduction if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.

Find out more about vehicle support.

Benefits for 0 to 25

The following benefits are for any disabled child or young person under the age of 25:

Grants are one-off lump sums of money that you don’t have to pay back and are different to benefits. Some charities offer grants to disabled children, young people and their families.

Visit the Scope website to find out:

  • government disability grants
  • charities offering disability grants
  • tools to help you find a disability grant.

When going on a day out, you want to be as prepared as possible. You know your child’s needs and what works for them.

You also may get cheaper or free tickets to join your child or young person.

For more information:

If you need extra help at home, your energy supplier can support you. They can send large print bills or offer priority help during a power cut.

Find out more about:

Or, read our helpful tips to help improve energy efficiency in your home and save money on your energy bills.

If your child is aged 3 or over and entitled to either of the following, this scheme can help you lease a car:

Learn more about the Motability Scheme.

You can get 50% off the cost of your TV licence if either:

  • you’re registered blind or severely sight impaired
  • you live with a child or a young person who is registered blind or severely sight impaired.

Apply for a reduced TV licence.

There are many ways you can travel around Kent and further with disability discounts for travel. Whether this be discounted train fares, bus tickets or using community transport.

Find out what support is available to you when travelling.

If you’re disabled or have a long-term illness, you will not be charged VAT on products designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use.

This can include:

  • repairs or maintenance
  • spare parts of accessories
  • the installation
  • adjustable beds
  • stair lifts
  • wheelchairs
  • medical appliances to help with severe injuries
  • alarms
  • braille paper or low vision aids - but not spectacles or contact lenses
  • motor vehicles - or the leasing of a motability vehicle
  • building work like ramps, widening doors, installing a lift or toilet

Find out more by visiting the government website.

Managing your money

It's important to manage your money when you move into adulthood.

If you’re not used to managing your money, you can practice on small amounts. Start by keeping a record of what money you have and where it comes from and write down items or bills you spend it on.

Budgeting and saving is important, it allows you to build up your money to help you to pay for your bills or days out.

Setting up a budget means you’re:

  • less likely to end up in debt
  • less likely to get caught out by unexpected costs
  • able to spot areas where you can make savings
  • in a great position to save up for a holiday, a new car, or another treat.

It's a good idea to get a family member or a friend to support you with setting up a budget. You can sit down together to make a plan, where you can stick to it to help you to work out how much money you have.

Find more tips to help you budget.

A bank account can help you to become independent. It means that you can save and access your money to help you to pay for bills, shopping and days out.

Every bank offers you different ways they can support you and work towards your goals. They also may have special offers for new customers and discounts on shops or railcards.

There are different kinds of accounts.

  • A current account which you mainly use to pay in money and pay bills or buy things with.
  • A savings account where you want to save money and do not want to take money out as often. This account may give you a higher interest rate, which is the amount of money you are paid for saving with them.

You should talk to the bank in person if you can. To find out what questions to ask when you go to the bank, visit Scope's website.

Read an easy read guide to banking.

Once you understand how to budget for your day to day activities, it should be easier to pay your bills.

Paying bills allow you to live independently in your own home. But, if you're unsure or feel worried about any decisions, never be afraid to ask for help.

Examples of bills you need to pay are:

  • rent
  • water
  • Council Tax
  • gas and electricity
  • phone
  • TV and internet
  • subscriptions.

Who you pay your bills to and when, will depend on your provider. You can pay your bills online, via direct debit, through the phone or sometimes in person.

Find out about discounted bills.

Advice and support

For all benefits you may be entitled to visit the government website or read an easy read guide to benefits.

If you are looking for money advice or support, there are many different charities and services that can help you:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau: get advice about money and budgeting
  • Gateways: offer face-to-face advice about benefits and financial support.
  • Mencap: download easy read guides about money and benefits for people with a learning disability
  • Seeability: offers an easy read guide to the benefits you may be entitled to
  • The Prince's Trust: ask for funding to train and learn
  • Turn2Us: support for grants and benefits help.