Money support for disabled children and young people

Whether you are looking for financial support to look after your child or young person, adapting your home, in search of days out or looking to move out, there's lots of support available for you.

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 allow you to choose and buy the services you need, instead of us choosing them for you, and can be given as part of your personal budget.

Find out how you can apply for direct payments and what support is available.

If your home needs a lot of work, such as changing the entire layout of a room or changing the use of a room (for example, changing a spare room into a bathroom), then you will need to pay for it.

However, the Disabled Facilities Grant provided through an assessment helps to pay for these changes.

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.

We also have a range of services especially for people with disabilities and elderly people you may be interested in.

Contact your library to find out more.

If you are looking for support in looking either after yourself or your disabled child or young person, you could be eligible for meals on wheels, help after leaving hospital, equipment, home care services and other support to live at home.

Find out what support is available to help you at home.

A personal budget is the money needed to cover the cost of the special education help in your education, health and care (EHC) plan. When your EHC plan is drafted or in your review meeting, you can ask for your personal budget. 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 is available to help with any 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

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

You can use the extra Tax-Free Childcare money you get to help pay for extra hours of childcare. You can also use it to help pay your childcare provider so they can get specialist equipment for your child such as mobility aids. Talk to them about what equipment your child can get.

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 of a disabled child or young person who is in receipt of disability benefit, or who has an education health and care (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 an extra amount of Universal Credit if you have a health condition or disability that prevents 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 either through having a job or you could get benefits (money that the government gives you) to help you along the way.

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 to get or to stay in work, if you have a physical or mental health condition or disability.

The scheme supports you 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 or any other disability.

Find out more about having a DSA.

Disability premium payments can be added to other benefits that you may receive including:

  • 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.

PIP can be given if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.

See if you're entitled to PIP.

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:

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 be entitled to cheaper or free tickets to accompany your child or young person.

For more information:

If you have a disabled child or young person living with you and you need extra help, your energy supplier can support you. They can provide large print bills or priority support during a power cut.

You can also ask to be added to your electricity network priority services register.

Find out more about:

This scheme can help you to lease a car if your child is aged 3 or over and is entitled to either the:

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. However, 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.