Benefits for Parent Carers

Here are the main benefits you can claim if you're a parent carer of a disabled child.

Disability Living Allowance

If you have a child aged under 16 who has needs for help with personal care and/or mobility, you can still claim Disability living Allowance (DLA) for them.

DLA may be claimed on behalf of a disabled child who has greater or different care needs to child of the same age without a disability and /or cannot walk or has difficulty walking. 

DLA has two components. Your child may qualify for either or both.

Care component rates:

  • low rate is £23.20
  • middle rate is £58.70
  • high rate  is £87.65

Mobility component rates:

  • lower rate is £23.20
  • higher rate is £61.20

The Gov.uk website has further information about DLA and what level of care and mobility needs fall into each rate

If you have a child who will soon be 16, you will be asked to change their claim from DLA to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which is replacing DLA. You can find out more or make a claim on the Gov.uk website

Motability, home adaptations and other help

If you have a disabled child you may be able to get help and support including home aids and adaptations, short breaks, play schemes, childcare and support for children with special educational needs. Derbyshire County Council's Children's Services will be able to help support you and your child. tel: 01629 533190

If your child is over 3 and gets the higher rate of the DLA mobility component, you may be able to lease a car on the Motability Scheme.   

Carers Allowance

Carers Allowance is paid to someone who looks after a child for whom the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance is paid.

Carers Allowance is £66.15 per week. It can be claimed by carers who spend at least 35 hours a week looking after the child.

People who work can claim as long as their net earnings (after tax and National Insurance) are no more than £123 a week.

If the child you care for is in hospital

If the child you care for is in hospital and under the age of 18, their DLA or PIP can continue to be paid for the whole time they are in hospital. This means you continue to be entitled to Carers Allowance.

Once the child is 18, they are only entitled to DLA or PIP for the first 28 days they are in hospital. This means your eligibility for Carers Allowance also stops. You can get the payments re-started when the child is discharged.

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is £20.70 per week for the eldest child and £13.70 a week for each other child. Entitlement continues up until the child's 16th birthday, and up to 20 if they remain in education or are on certain training courses. If you or your partner earn over £50,000 per annum then you may have to pay a higher income tax charge if you wish to claim Child Benefit. 

Means Tested help – most new claims will now be for Universal Credit

Universal Credit is replacing six means-tested benefits for most new claims for working-age people: these benefits are Income Support/Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance/Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance/Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. The Department of Work and Pensions calls these ‘legacy benefits’

If you are making a new claim in 2019, you will usually have to claim Universal Credit instead of one of these benefits.

However – Housing Benefit may still be claimed if you are in temporary accommodation because you are homeless or if you are in certain accommodation where care, support and counselling are provided.

Some severely disabled claimants can still claim legacy benefits because they are not yet permitted to claim Universal Credit. This happens when you receive a ‘severe disability premium’ as part of your legacy benefits, or you did so within the last month. Seek advice if this applies to you or if you are not sure.

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

If you are currently receiving Tax Credits, your award will carry on for the time being. If however there is a change in your circumstances which stops your claim, any new claim may have to be for Universal Credit, unless you are affected by the rules for severely disabled claimants.

You may also need to claim UC if you move home to a new local authority area and you need to claim help with your rent costs.

If you already get Child Tax Credits (CTC) and you start work over 16 hours a week, you can claim Working Tax Credt (WTC) as this does not stop your Tax Credits claim.

If you already get WTC and you need to claim for a child, you can claim CTC, as this does not stop your Tax Credits claim.

Between November 2020 and 2023/24, all CTC claims will be moved over to Universal Credit.

To find out the latest on Universal Credit, please see the Derbyshire County Council website.

Pregnancy and welfare benefits

The Derbyshire County Council Welfare Rights Service have produced a brief information factsheet about benefits you can claim during pregnancy and after the birth of your child.

Welfare Rights Service

The Derbyshire Welfare Rights Service can help check you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to. They may also be able to support you with any appeals against decisions. Contact the Team on tel: 01629 531535, between 11am and 4pm, Mon, Tue, Thur and Fri or email: welfarebenefits@derbyshire.gov.uk.

This information was last updated on 08/04/2019

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