As a parent/carer of a child or young person with special needs, state benefits are there to enable you to look after your child/young person.

The organisations below can give advice on benefits. Receiving the correct support and benefits are your right, and the services listed in Useful Contacts in Related Pages can help support you when applying for benefits, and highlight any benefits that you may be entitled to.

Some of the key benefits and organisations you should know about include:

You could get £69.70 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.

You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

You do not get paid extra if you care for more than one person.

If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance.

Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that you and the person you care for get. You have to pay tax on it if your income is over the Personal Allowance.

Further information is available on the GOV.UK website

Get help and advice

You can get more help and advice from:

You can download An introduction to Carer's Allowance - Easy Read here

Tax credits are payments from the government. If you're responsible for at least one child or young person, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but are on a low income, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit. Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible to both types of tax credits and they aren't taxable.

  • Working Tax Credit is based on the hours you work and get paid for, or expect to be paid for. You can claim whether you're an employee or a self-employed person. But unpaid work doesn't count for Working Tax Credit.
  • Child Tax Credit is paid to you if you are responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you. You don't have to be working to claim Child Tax Credit.  

To claim tax credits you have to fill in a claim form. You can only get a tax credits claim pack from the Tax Credit Helpline. It is a good idea to get the following together before you call:

  • Your National Insurance number.
  • Your income for the last tax year (a tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the next) if you were employed - P60 / final pay slip for the tax year.
  • Details of your income for the last tax year if you were self employed.
  • Details of any benefits you get like contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Carer's Allowance.
  • Details of other income you get like savings interest, pensions or rent.
  • Details of any childcare payments you make if you use a registered or approved provider.  For more information contact Inland Revenue Tax Credit Helpline

on tel: 0845 3003900 or visit:

Contact a Family have a Benefits Checklist and a Factsheet called Benefits, Tax Credits and Other Financial Assistance.

To get either or both contact them on tel: 0808 8083555 or visit:

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the 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

They will need to meet all the eligibility requirements.

The DLA rate is between £24.45 and £156.90 a week and depends on the level of help the child needs.

You can find more information on DLA for children here

You can download About Disability Living Allowance for Children - Easy Read here

Shortly after your child’s 16th birthday, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send a letter inviting them to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by a certain date.

To apply, you must:

You may need to have an assessment if more information is needed. Contact the number on the letter if you need any reasonable adjustments. 

When you apply, your child’s Disability Living Allowance (DLA) payments will continue until a decision is made about their PIP claim.

If you do not apply by the date in the letter, their DLA payments will stop.

It takes an average of 24 weeks to get a PIP decision, but it can take longer.

You can find more information including, being your child's appointee, preparing for PIP, PIP assessments by visiting the Scope website

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a new benefit replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults aged 16-64. DLA will continue as separate benefit for children aged under 16 years.

Initially PIP only applied to those making a new claim, but it is now also replacing existing DLA awards for some claimants.

For more information please visit

Contact a Family supports families with disabled children across the UK. Whatever the condition, whenever they need us, wherever they are. We provide information, advice and support. We bring families together so they can support each other. We campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.

Most of us have debts of some sort or another. However research shows us that families with disabled children are more at risk of getting into debt as it costs more to raise a child with additional needs.

Contact a Family provide access to parent advisers on their helpline to answer some commonly asked questions around the subject of debt.

Information around where to get help is readily available on their website Dealing with debt


Contact a Family are also accessible to help you get a full benefits check, if you would like to know more, call their freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555, Monday-Friday, 9.30-5.00pm.


Contact a Family Representative - St Helens

Ruth Card

Volunteer Parent Representative

Telephone: 01942 721 323


Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Last year, we provided 88,407 grants and services worth over £33 million to families across the UK.

We believe that all families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people should have the same choices, quality of life, opportunities and aspirations as other families. Beginning with those on low incomes, and considering all conditions against our own eligibility criteria (based on the social model of disability),we aim to make a difference to outcomes for disabled or seriously ill children and young people and the lives of the families raising them across the UK.

We support this aim by providing grants for essential items such as kitchen appliances, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets/computers, furniture and clothing. It can be a struggle financially, emotionally and physically for families raising a disabled or seriously ill child, and these grants help break down many of the barriers families face, improving their quality of life and easing the additional daily pressures.

We also provide a range of programmes and services, as well as information and advice to families that apply to us, in order to help them access more of the support that may be of help to them in raising their child or young person.

Find out more at, call us on 01904 550055, email us at or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

To find out if you are eligible to receive a grant visit the Family Fund website.



Telephone: 01904 550055
Textphone: 01904 658085
Fax:           01904 652625  

Family Fund
4 Alpha Court
Monks Cross Drive
YO32 9WN

Working Families™ is the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation.  The charity helps working parents and carers and their employers find a better balance between responsibilities at home and work.

Everyone who has a child usually has to consider their options for caring for their child whilst maintaining financial security. If you are finding it difficult to decide what to do for the best then it is worth checking what benefits and tax credits you are entitled to, or would be entitled to, if you make changes to your working life.

Working Families offers advice for rights at work to parents and carers to help them achieve a work-life balance.

For more information visit the or use any of the contact details below.

Contact details

Working Families

Cambridge House

1 Addington Square


SE5 0HF  


Telephone: 020 7253 7243

Advice line: 0300 012 0312


Please be advised that Working Families do not use encrypted email. As such please ensure that you do not provide personal information in your email content. If unsure, please use the advice telephone line.

All families whose child has an EHC plan will have a right to request a personal budget. The personal budget will allow young people or parents to buy support identified in the plan directly.


Download St Helens Personalisation & Personal Budgets Policy

As a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, including a:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty, eg dyslexia
  • You must meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010.

The support you get depends on your individual needs and not on income.

For more information, please see Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

Bursaries, Scholarships and awards

Students in higher education can apply for money directly from their university or college on top of any other student finance - you don’t have to pay this money back.

For more information please see - Bursaries, Scholarships and awards

University and College Hardship Funds

You could get extra money from your university or college if you’re experiencing financial hardship.

The amount you can get is decided by your university or college and it is paid in a lump sum or instalments.

You usually won’t have to pay the money back, but in some cases you’ll get a loan that you will have to repay.

For more information please see - University and College Hardship Funds

What Access to Work is

Access to Work can help you get or stay in work if you have a physical or mental health condition or disability.

The support you get will depend on your needs. Through Access to Work, you can apply for:

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

You can find out more information by visiting

You can download easy read - get help from access to work

Related Pages...


The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

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