Benefits And IBD (UK)

Benefits And IBD

Info on benefits available - they change every few months so check with your local social security for updates:

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Don’t be put off by the name: you don’t have to be disabled to claim DLA. If you have problems or pain with everyday activities, such as using the toilet or dressing or bathing or cooking a main meal for yourself, then you may be able to claim the care component of DLA. If you can’t walk very far without suffering severe discomfort or don’t go out alone to unfamiliar places, perhaps because you need someone with you to help in case of an urgent need to get to a toilet, you may be able to claim the mobility component of DLA. And you can get DLA even if:

•you are working

•you are getting any other benefits (such as incapacity benefit)

•your partner or spouse works

•you have capital

•you live alone and no-one is providing care for you

•you already have someone, a partner for example, providing care for you •you don’t want anyone to provide care for you DLA is for people under 65. (If you are older than that there is a similar benefit called Attendance Allowance which you may be able to claim).

Benefits for people with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

•Rent you should apply for Housing Benefit Your mortgage you should apply for Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance Council tax you should apply for Council Tax Benefit One-off expenses you should apply for a Community Care Grant or Budgeting Loan Please note: this is NOT a complete list of social security benefits. For example, it does not include pensions, child benefit or benefits for industrial injuries and diseases. For a complete list get hold of a copy of booklet MG1 A guide to Benefits from your local Benefits Agency office. You should also note that this is a very simplified guide to a very complicated system (many benefits overlap, for example, so that if you claim one you may not be able to claim another). You should always get advice before deciding you are not entitled to any benefits.

•Attendance Allowance This is for men and women aged 65 or over and is a very underclaimed benefit. It is similar to Disability Living Allowance but there is no mobility component and your care needs have to be greater than for the lower rate of DLA. If you receive Attendance Allowance this may entitle you to higher payments of other benefits such as Income Support,

•Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Budgeting Loans If you have been getting Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance for at least six months, you may be able to get a Budgeting Loan to help pay for items like clothing, bedding or a washing machine. Unlike a Community Care Grant a Budgeting Loan has to be repaid. Community Care Grant If you are getting Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance you may be able to get a Community Care Grant to help ‘ease exceptional pressures on you or your family’. So, for example, if your illness means you are in need of extra clothing, bedding or a new washing machine you may be able to get a Community Care Grant. You do not have to repay a Community Care Grant. 4 Council Tax Benefit This is help for people who pay council tax and is another very underclaimed benefit. Whether you’re eligible depends on what income and capital you have. There are no age limits. Note that people under 18 do not have to pay council tax.

•Disability Living Allowance The mobility component of DLA has a lower and a higher rate and the care component has a lower, middle and higher rate, depending upon your care needs. Getting Disability Living Allowance may entitle you to higher payments of other benefits such as Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Disabled Persons Tax Credit This is extra money for people who are at a disadvantage in getting a job because of a ‘disability’. You have to be working at least 16 hours a week and to have been getting certain incapacity or disability benefits to be eligible for this benefit. Whether you are eligible and how much you get also depends on what capital or income you have. You must be 16 or older when your claim begins.

•Disabled Students’ Allowance This is paid to students who are doing certain courses of Higher Education (HE), eg: Degrees, Higher National Diplomas, Diplomas of HE. The Disabled Students’ Allowance is paid by Local Education Authorities (LEAs) if you live in England and Wales, the Student Awards Agencies (SAAs) if you live in Scotland and local Education and Library Boards in Northern Ireland. Contact ‘Skill’ for further information

•Housing Benefit This helps people who pay rent. Whether you are eligible depends on what income and capital you (and your partner) have. You don’t have to have worked in the past and there are no age limits. Incapacity Benefit This provides help for people who are too ill to work. You have to have worked in the past and paid sufficient National Insurance contributions. Some types of income, such as your occupational pension or your partner’s earnings, may be taken into account but your capital will not be. You have to be below pensionable age to claim, which is currently aged 60 for women and 65 for men.

•Income Support This helps with living expenses and mortgage payments for people who work less than 16 hours a week or who are not working and not looking for work, for example elderly people, carers, lone parents or people too ill to work. You don’t have to have worked in the past but whether you are eligible depends on your (and your partner’s) income and capital. There are extra premiums depending on such things as your age, whether you have children, are ill or care for someone who is ill. You must be aged 16 or over.

•Invalid Care Allowance This is help for people caring for someone who gets Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or higher rate . You must spend at least 35 hours a week providing care and your net earnings (after deductions and allowable expenses) from any work cannot be more than £72 a week. You can get Invalid Care Allowance even if you are getting Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance for yourself. You must be at least 16 and under 65 when you make your claim.

•Jobseekers Allowance There are two types and it is possible to get both at the same time. For each benefit you must be below pensionable age (60 for women and 65 for men) and capable of work. Also you must be either unemployed and looking for work, or working less than 16 hours a week and looking for full-time work.

•Contribution Based Jobseekers Allowance This is a flat rate payment for people who have worked recently and paid enough National Insurance contributions. It doesn’t matter what capital you have, but your earnings are taken into account. This benefit only lasts for six months.

•Income Based Jobseekers Allowance This is for people who have received their six months of Contribution Based Jobseekers Allowance, or who hadn’t paid enough National Insurance contributions to get it in the first place, or who are entitled to have it topped up because, for example, they have children. Whether you are entitled and how much you get depends on your income and capital. You can claim extra payments of this benefit to help with your mortgage.

•Statutory Sick Pay This provides help for employed people under 65 when they are ill. It should be paid automatically by your employer at a flat rate for 28 weeks in any period of sickness. You do not need to have paid National Insurance contributions but you do need to be earning at least £72 per week.

•Therapeutic work This is not really a benefit at all; it is way of doing a small amount of work without losing your entitlement to benefits. It is work you do on the advice of a doctor to ‘improve or to prevent or delay deterioration in the disease or bodily or mental disablement which causes your incapacity for work’. So if, for example, part of the reason you are unable to work is caused by depression or anxiety (as well as your Crohn’s or UC) and your doctor thinks that part-time work will help reduce this, then you can work under 16 hours a week and earn up to £66.00 a week, . This income won’t affect some benefits, such as Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance, but others, such as Income Support and Housing Benefit, will be reduced as a result. Always get advice from an advice agency and check with the Benefits Agency before beginning any therapeutic work and make sure you get your doctor’s advice in writing.

•Working Families’ Tax Credit This is help for people who work at least sixteen hours a week and have at least one child. Whether you qualify and how much you can get depends on your capital and income.

•Where to get claim forms

You can get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit forms from your local council’s Housing Department. You can get claim forms for all the other benefits listed from your local Benefits Agency office or by phoning freephone 0800 882 200 and asking for a claim form to be posted to you. Some claim forms can now be downloaded from the DSS website Want to find out more Citizens’ Advice Bureaux There are over 750 bureaux in mainland Britain. Look under Citizens Advice Bureau in your phone book or telephone the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux on 0207 833 2181 for details of your nearest one. You can also find details of your nearest bureau at: www.nacab.org.uk Disability Information Advice Line There are over 140 local DIALs, all staffed by disabled people and all offering telephone advice. If you have a local line it should be listed in your telephone directory under DIAL UK. Alternatively, call the national office on 01302 310 123 or visit their website at www.members.aol.com/dialuk Other advice agencies These may be listed in your local Yellow Pages in one or more of the following sections: disability information and services; information services; social service and welfare organisations; counselling and advice. Over 900 advice agencies are members of the Federation of Independent Advice Agencies (FIAC). Details of your nearest ones are available from FIAC on 0207 489 1800 or from their website at www.fiac.org.uk Law Centres The Law Centres Federation 020 7387 8570 can tell you where your nearest Law Centre is, or visit their website at www.lawcentres.org.uk. Law Centres are free, they can give you benefits advice and information, help complete claim forms and provide representation at tribunals. Local Authority Your local council may employ Welfare Rights Workers who can help you with your claim. Start by asking your council’s main switchboard if they can put you through to a Welfare Rights Worker. If the operator doesn’t know of one, ask to be put through to the Social Services Department, and if they can’t help try the Housing Department

Good Luck xxxxx