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Money and Benefits (Local Offer)

Cash

Money and Benefits

If you have disabilities you may be able to claim some money from the Government to pay for your housing or support. There are a number of places you can go for advice and information.

The Gov.uk page on benefits is a useful source of information

To make a claim for a specific benefit you can call free on 0800 055 6688

You might be able to apply for a grant from Family Fund.  Find out more here.

Household Support Fund

Help for people experiencing immediate financial hardship

The Household Support Fund has been created to help people experiencing immediate financial hardship to pay for food, household energy or other essential items. 

Support is offered in two ways:

  • Support with food, household energy and other essentials for individuals and families
  • Direct food voucher scheme

Apply online now

The Household Support Fund is now available to apply for online. For more information or to access the form directly please follow the link below. 

Household Support Fund - Peterborough City Council

You can find further details on the Fund below:

Committee agree new Household Support Fund which will help those in need this winter - Cambridgeshire County Council

Disability Energy Support from SCOPE

SCOPE offer free energy and water advice to disabled people, helping them to manage their energy and water needs. 

The service is open to:

  • any disabled person or households where 1 or more disabled people live, and
  • those households are in England or Wales

You can make a telephone appointment or send them an email.

Full details are on their Disability Energy Support webpage

Personal Budgets

Image of money

Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan)

A Personal Budget is money identified to pay for support specified in an Education,
Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from the council for education and social care and from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for health.

There are four ways you can use a personal budget:

  1. The council, school or college will look after the Personal Budget for you. This is called an Arrangement or a Notional Budget
  2. You can receive money directly to manage all or part of the Personal Budget yourself. This is called a Direct Payment. Direct Payments will be monitored regularly to ensure they are used to meet the identified needs and outcomes
  3. You can opt to have someone else manage the Personal Budget for you. This is called a Third Party Arrangement
  4. You can have a mixture of some or all of these arrangements

A Personal Budget is not additional funding, it is about using existing funding in a way that suits your needs better.

Who can ask for a personal budget?

Parents of a child or a young person (up to the age of 25 years) with an EHC plan can request a Personal Budget, either during the drafting of an EHC plan or once the plan has been issued and is under review.

Personal budgets may also be requested if there is no EHC plan in place (as there are no identified educational needs), but the child or young person is receiving support from health and/or social care.

What can a personal budget be used for?

Personal budgets can be used to meet the assessed needs of the child or young person, as set out in the EHC plan or the health/social care plan. This must be agreed by the council for education and social care support, and by the CCG for health provision.

The Personal Budget policy for Peterborough is available to download. The policy provides information about the services across education, health and social care that form part of a Personal Budget, how the funding arrangements will work and support available for people in relation to their Direct Payments.

Contact details Education

Statutory Assessment and Monitoring (SAMS) team

Contact details Children’s Social Care

Please contact your allocated social worker.

Contact details Health

You can view a Fact Sheet about Personal Budgets here.

You can find out more on Contact's website and on Scope's website.

Personal health budgets for children, young people and families

NHS England is working with partners across education and social care to support more young people with complex health needs to access personal health budgets.

Personal health budgets can improve people’s quality of life and their experience of care, by helping people to have more choices about how their healthcare needs are met.  You can find information about Personal Health Budgets here,

Direct Payments

What are direct payments?

Direct Payments are an identified sum of money paid directly to the parents of young person to enable them to choose, arrange and pay for services themselves.  An agreement has to be signed and the monitoring arrangements will ensure that these directly arranged services still meet their identified outcomes.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments

Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.

View the GOV.UK website for more information.

Commissioning

Health professionals sitting in circle

Deciding how to use the recources available

Commissioning is the process for deciding how to use the total resource available for children, young people and parents/carers in order to improve outcomes in the most efficient and effective way which is also fair and sustainable way.

The Children and Families Act 2014 places a legal duty on Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to secure services to meet the provision set out in individual EHC Plans.

This means that the CCG and the Local Authority will work together to ensure the full integration of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision across education, health and care and strengthen the principles of joint planning and commissioning of services as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014, including those that will:

  • improve the identification of needs
  • support and develop further joint commissioning arrangements through the joint commissioning strategy
  • build on work already undertaken in the joint health and wellbeing strategy.

Commissioned services may be provided directly by schools, health services and/or the Council, or they may be purchased from private companies and/or voluntary sector organisations, such as charities. Contracting is the process of negotiating and agreeing the terms of a contract for services, and these contracts are reviewed regularly to make sure that they are delivering the best results and are providing value for money. Commissioners also regularly repeat the Needs Assessment process to make sure that services that are commissioned are still relevant to local needs.

Grants for families raising disabled children remain available from Family Fund

Providing grants for essential items

The DfE has provided a further £10 million to the Family Fund which is a UK-wide charity that provides grants for essential items to families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children.

Families can apply for grants for a wide variety of items that they feel could help their disabled child and ease some of the everyday pressures they face. These can include kitchen appliances, computers and tablets, furniture, family breaks and day trips, sensory toys, clothing and bedding, and more. Family Fund cannot consider requests where a statutory agency has assessed a need and have a responsibility to provide the item.

Families who have previously received a grant from Family Fund before 1 April 2020 and whose circumstances have not changed can re-apply for further funding.

Disabled Students Allowance

Teenager in a wheelchair

Allowances

If you are a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students' Allowance 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.

Welfare Benefits Advice

Entitlement

There are a number of benefits and tax credits that you may be entitled to. Some benefits can be paid because your child is disabled while others may be paid to you for other reasons. For example, you may be getting disability living allowance (DLA) for your child and Carer's Allowance as their carer. 

 Information about Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children - YouTube videos

View the YouTube videos at the bottom of this page for more information about Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children.

Universal Credit

Depending on your income and certain other factors, you may also be able to claim Universal Credit.

You can find out more on the Contact website.

Mobility

If your child has medium or long term mobility issues then you may need extra help with the costs getting to and from appointments, If you are  using mobility related services you may get help towards additional costs and be eligible for welfare benefits including grants such as

The Department of Work & Pensions

The Department of Work & Pensions website has the up to date information about benefits (link to Browse: Benefits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)) including:

Support and Advice about Finances and Benefits

Your Jobcentre Plus work coach can tell you about support you can get to help you combine work with looking after children or caring responsibilities.

Peterborough Community Assistance Scheme (PCAS) - Peterborough
  • Peterborough’s Community Assistance Scheme (PCAS), links eligible individuals and families to support from a range of agencies. This includes access to low cost re-used and refurbished household items and foodbanks.

Peterborough Community Assistance Scheme (PCAS) - Peterborough

Money fact sheets for family carers

Dosh, an independent organisation who provide financial advocacy, information and advice for adults with learning disabilities have also produced some factsheets (link to Read Dosh factsheets for family carers)

for family carers who are, or will be, involved with managing money for an adult relative.  They cover things like benefits, banking and appointeeship.  Read The Dosh Guide to Money)

Further Benefits advice and information 

There are information sheets about benefits for people of all ages, including about changes that happen as children become adults, and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) -  which are updated on a regular basis.

Disability Cambridgeshire provide information and advice on benefits to people of all ages.

Debt Advice

Turn2Us are a national charity who provide information and support to help you get back on track.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau can offer advice and practical support too.

Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space

If you are receiving mental health crisis treatment, Breathing Space can help take the pressure off of debts and repayments. An Approved Mental Health Practitioner can provide evidence of debts to a debt advice provider.

The debt advice provider will try to establish (as far as possible) which debts you have, and whether they are eligible for the scheme, before including them in a Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (MHCBS).

To find out more ask your mental health practitioner.

More information about Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (Gov.UK)

Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit supports you if you are on a low income or out of work. It includes a monthly payment to help with your living costs.

This website produced by The Department for Work and Pensions is really useful if you are:

Universal Credit for sick and disabled people

The Money Advice Service produce useful information on their website explaining about Universal Credit for sick and disabled people.

New resources on claiming Universal Credit for a disabled young person in education

Claiming Universal Credit for a disabled 16-20 year old can be a complicated process, and this is particularly true if they are still in education.

To help, Contact’s specialist family finances team have produced new resources. These include a set of templates that parents can use to challenge the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) delays in processing claims and in organising medical assessments.

You’ll also find pre-recorded benefit webinars and a link to a free download of their guide: Universal Credit – Claiming for a Young Disabled Person.

Tax information for deaf people

Lady having hearing aid fitted

Royal Deaf Tax

The Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) and HMRC have launched a new website, Royal Deaf Tax, which provides information in British Sign Language on tax and tax credits, as well as enabling you to book a webcam appointment with the RAD’s tax advisor. 

Disability Energy Support - from SCOPE

Energy advice service for disabled people

Scope now offer an energy advice service for disabled people across England and Wales.

Scope's Disability Energy Support service provides free energy advice to any household where a disabled person lives across England and Wales. Their expert energy advisers can offer support with: 

  • Energy debt
  • Switching tariffs or supplier
  • Changing your meter
  • Green energy 
  • Becoming more energy efficient
  • Accessing energy benefits, grant and trusts 
  • Contact or complaining to your supplier
  • Understanding your bills
  • Understanding how to use your heating systems 
  • Free pre-payment fuel vouchers (conditions apply)

You can book an appointment on our webpage 

Appointments are available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (excluding bank holidays)

Freephone: 0808 801 0828 Lines open Monday to Friday 11am to 4pm (excluding bank holidays)

Email: disability.energysupport@scope.org.uk 

Blue Badge parking scheme

Blue badge

Information on the Blue Badge Parking Scheme locally and how to apply for a Blue Badge

can be found on the Blue Badge Parking Scheme page.

Helping young people with a learning disability to understand money

Young woman working in a shop

Financial skills

Financial skills are vital for young people as they make the transition to adulthood. The ability to manage money is essential in allowing them to take control of their lives. Young people who have learning disabilities are at particular risk of having poor financial management skills.

Most of them have been in a position where their family or carers take care of all of their finances, so they have not been exposed to – or had the opportunity to see – how financial management works.

This booklet by the Money Advice Service will help you understand and manage your money better.

Natwest Money Sense

Natwest moneysense has introduced new tools to help young people and children with special educational needs learn about money. You can find more deytails about this programme by visiting the Young money website

Save or reclaim £365 or more after a Government fees overhaul

Child Trust Funds

Families of disabled children trying to access savings held in Child Trust Funds can save or reclaim £365 or more after a Government fees overhaul.

The announcement, and how to claim the money, is being reported by the Money Saving Expert website which was founded by Martin Lewis - https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/12/child-trust-fund-fees-waived/.

As explained on the article, CTFs are tax-free savings accounts for kids born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011. Families were given free cash vouchers from the Government of £250 or £500 to put into the account – and some were also given top-ups, meaning children could have been given £1,000 in total. 

However, until now, If a young person didn't have the capacity to manage their own finances, their parent or guardian had to apply to the Court of Protection to manage and access money on their behalf.

For those who had a certain amount in savings, this came at a cost, starting from £365.

You will still need to go to court to access the money, but under the changes fees for doing so will be waived and those who have already paid can get a refund.

Making decisions for someone who lacks capacity

Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity

You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. This means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.

People may lack mental capacity because, for example:

  • they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
  • they have dementia
  • they have severe learning disabilities

As a deputy, you’ll be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.

There are two types of deputy.

  • Property and financial affairs deputy - You’ll do things like pay the person’s bills or organise their pension.
  • Personal welfare deputy - You’ll make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.

Find out more about becoming a deputy at www.gov.uk.

Become an appointee for someone claiming benefits

You can apply for the right to deal with the benefits of someone who cannot manage their own affairs because they lack the capacity to do so or are severely disabled.

To find out more visit the Department for Work and Pensions Website.