Personal Independence Payment

What is a P.I.P.?

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that helps you with the extra costs of having a disability or having a long-term health conditions. It is for people aged 16 to 64. The PIP is not a means tested benefit.

You'll find a great step-by-step guide to filling in the form on this page. Scroll down to the end of the page for lots more information about how to apply, how to appeal a decision and find lots of other organisations that can help you with your PIP application process.

Children under 16

You can’t make a claim for PIP for children under 16. For existing DLA for child claims the DWP will contact you  when your child is 15 years and 7 months old.

PIP Allowance

If you’re aged 16 to 64 you could get between £23.60 and £151.40 a week by claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

personal independence payment phone number

Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Calling from abroad: +44 191 218 7766
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

How is it Scored?

How does the PIP get scored and how many points do you need?

PIP is made up of 2 parts, the daily living component and the mobility component. Each component can be paid at one of 2 rates, either the standard rate or the enhanced rate. You need at least 8 points to get the standard rate or 12 points to get the enhanced rate of PIP. You will qualify for one of these if  you need is great enough. The 'points' in each section range from 0-12 depending on the severity of need.

Component Weekly rate
Daily living - standard rate £59.70
Daily living - enhanced rate £89.15
Mobility - standard rate £23.60
Mobility - enhanced rate £62.25

In our step-by step guide below, you'll find charts explaining how the points are awarded.

pip

How to claim PIP

You can make a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Someone else can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they call. There are also other ways to claim if you find it difficult to use a telephone. The process is different in Northern Ireland.

Appointees

If a person can’t do things like tell the DWP if their condition gets better or worse, or about changes in address or bank details and so on, another person may need to act on their behalf, as their ‘Appointee’. This must be because of their illness or disability and not just because they are still a young person. Chat to the DWP on the number below to set someone else up as an appointee.

Claim by calling:

Telephone: 0345 850 3322
Textphone: 0345 601 6677

Before you call, you’ll need:

  • your contact details, for example telephone number
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number - this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code
  • your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
  • dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital

Carers are currently providing care worth £132 billion...which is the same as the entire NHS budget!

How do I fill in the form?

A Step-by-Step Guide to Filling in your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Form

As soon as your form arrives, put on the kettle and work through our guide. It does take ages but we'll do our best to help you one question at a time.

personal independence payment

PIP Q.1 - List all the professionals that you see because of your conditions.

These can include your GP, hospital doctor, specialists nurse, community psychiatric nurse, occupational therapist, teachers, SENco, educational psychologist, physiotherapist, social worker, counsellor, or support worker. Say when you last saw them and include their contact details.

PIP Q2. Conditions & Medications

PIP Q2a - List all of your physical and mental health conditions and disabilities and say when they were diagnosis. If you’re not sure, just put down the year.

PIP Q2b - List all of the medications you’re taking and at what dose. Include any treatments you’re having or will be having and any side effects they have on you.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

...and while you're working hard on your PIP application, we wondered if there is anything else we can tell you about?

PIP Q3 - Preparing Food

This question is about if you can prepare a meal for yourself. Can you do things like peeling, chopping or opening packaging? Can you use a hob, oven or microwave oven safely?

PIP Q3a – What other help from an aid or appliance do you need to prepare and cook a simple meal for yourself? Do you need things like perching stools, lightweight pots and pans, easy grip handles on utensils, single lever arm taps and liquid level indicators?

PIP Q3b - Do you need help from another person to prepare or cook a simple meal?
Do they remind you or motivate you to cook? Do they plan the task for you? Do they supervise you, help you physically or do they prepare all your food for you?

PIP Q3c - Extra information - Preparing Food

Write down anything else about how you find preparing food tricky because of your condition. How are you managing now? How long does preparing a meal take? What help do you need? Is it safe for you to cook? Are you in pain or do you get tired?

 

Preparing Food Points
Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided. 0
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2
Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave. 2
Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example: you lack motivation to prepare and cook a simple meal on the majority of days due to a mental health condition, or need to be reminded how to prepare and cook food on the majority of days. 2
Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. You may need supervision to safely heat or cook food using a microwave oven; or to claimants who cannot safely prepare vegetables, even with an aid or appliance. In cases of a risk of self-harm, there should be good evidence of the risk. 4
Cannot prepare and cook food. 8

 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP Q4 - Eating and drinking

This question is about how you eat and drink because of you condition(s).

Do you remember to Eat? Do you need help cutting up your food? Can you put food and drink into your own mouth and can you chew and swallow?

PIP Q4a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to eat and drink - like weighted cups or adapted cutlery?

PIP Q4b – Do you use a feeding tube or similar device to eat or drink - like a feeding tube with a rate limiting device as a delivery system or feed pump?

PIP Q4c – Do you need help from another person to eat and drink? Does someone have to remind or encourage you to eat? Do they supervise you? Do they physically help you to eat and drink or do they manage your feeding tube?

PIP Q4d - Extra information - Eating and drinking

 

Eating and drinking Points
Can take nutrition unaided. 0
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition; or ii. supervision to be able to take nutrition; or assistance to be able to cut up food. 2
Needs a therapeutic source to be able to take nutrition. You may require enteral or parenteral feeding but can carry it out unaided. 2
Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. 4
Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition. 6
Cannot convey food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so. 10

 

PIP Q5 – Managing treatments

This section is about how tricky you find it to manage your treatments, monitor your condition and stop yourself getting worse. That might include monitoring your blood sugar level or noticing changes in mental state and pain levels.

Q5a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to monitor your health conditions or take medication or manage home treatments? E.g. Do you use a Dosette Box for tablets.

Q5b – Do you need help from another person to remind you to take medications and treatment? Does someone supervise you while you take your medication? Do they physically help you take medication or manage treatments?

Q5c – Extra information - Managing treatments. Chat about the good days and the bad ones. Do you have any side effects that make managing your medication tricky?

 

Managing treatments Points
Does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided. 0
Needs either to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication; or supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor a health condition. Eg. You might need help opening bottles or taking pills out of blister packs; help interpreting or reading blood sugar for the correct dose of medication; supervision to ensure the medication is taken properly; prompting to remind the claimant to take medication at the appropriate time(s). 1
Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 3.5 hours a week. 2
Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week. 4
Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 7 but no more than 14 hours a week. 6
Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 14 hours a week. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example, a claimant needs 15 minutes of assistance with therapy each day Monday to Friday, or reminding to manage 8
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PIP Q6 – Washing and bathing

How does you condition affect you taking a bath or showering? Can you wash your body, limbs, face, underarms and hair and can you use a standard bath or shower?

Q6a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to wash and bathe yourself, including using a bath or shower? Aids and appliances include things like a bath / shower seat or grab rails.

Q6b – Do you need help from another person to wash and bathe? Do they physically help you? Do they remind you when to wash and bathe and do they watch over you to make sure you are safe?

Q6c – Extra information - Washing and bathing

Tell us more about any difficulties you have when washing and bathing like risks including accidents a safety, the time it takes and if you have pain, breathlessness or get really tired.

 

 

Washing and bathing Points
Can wash and bathe unaided. You can wash and bath unaided, including getting in to and out of both an unadapted bath and unadapted shower. 0
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to wash or bathe. E.g. a long-handled sponge, shower seat or bath rail. 2
Needs supervision or prompting to be able to wash or bathe. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. 2
Needs assistance to be able to wash either their hair, or body below the waist. 2
Needs assistance to be able to get in or out of a bath or shower. 3
Needs assistance to be able to wash their body between the shoulders and waist. 4
Cannot wash and bathe at all and needs another person to wash their entire body. 8

 

PIP Q7 – Managing toilet needs

 

Talk about if  you can get on or off a standard toilet, and clean yourself after using the toilet. Can you manage emptying your bowel and bladder? Do you need a collecting device such as a bottle, bucket or catheter?

PIP Q7a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to use the toilet or manage incontinence like commodes, raised toilet seats, bottom wipers, bidets, incontinence pads or a stoma bag?

PIP Q7b – Do you need help from another person to use the toilet or manage incontinence? Do they physically help you? Do they remind you when to use the toilet or do they watch over you to make sure you are safe?

PIP Q7c – Extra information - Managing toilet needs

Say how long it takes you to complete this activity. Is it different day to day? Tell them about good and bad days. Are you incontinent? How you manage it?

 

Managing toilet needs Points
Can manage toilet needs or incontinence unaided. 0
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage toilet needs or incontinence. 2
Needs supervision or prompting to be able to manage toilet needs. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. 2
Needs assistance to be able to manage toilet needs. E.g. If you require assistance to get on and off the toilet and/or to clean themselves afterwards, but 4
Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of either bladder or bowel. 6
Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of both bladder and bowel. 8

 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP Q8 – Dressing and undressing

In this section, you can talk about how your condition affects you putting on and taking off clothes, including shoes and socks. Do you know when to put on or take off clothes, and can you choose clothes that are appropriate?

PIP Q8a – Do you use an aid or appliance to dress or undress like modified buttons, front fastening bras, velcro fastening, shoe aids or an audio colour detector?

PIP Q8b – Do you need help from another person to dress or undress? Do they physically help you? Do they select your clothes for the weather, the occasion or the time of day? Do they tell you when to dress and undress or do they remind you when to change your clothes?

PIP Q8c – Extra Information - Dressing and undressing

Add anything here that helps explain how else your condition affects you doing this activity like how long it takes you to dress and undress or if only have difficulty dressing certain parts of your body?

Dressing and undressing Points
Can dress and undress unaided. 0
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress. E.g. modified buttons and shoe aids. 2
Needs either prompting to be able to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing. 2
Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their lower body. 2
Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their upper body. 4
Cannot dress or undress at all. 8

 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP Q9 – Communicating

How does your condition affect you communicating? That includes your speech, hearing or how you understand what is being said to you. (In your native language).

 

PIP Q9a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to communicate with others like a hearing and voice aids, picture symbols or other assistive computer technology?

PIP Q9b – Do you need help from another person to communicate with others?
Do they help you understand what people are saying? Do you have someone who helps you by interpreting speech into sign language or do they help you by speaking on your behalf?

PIP Q9c – Extra information - Communicating

Mention it here if you have Tourette’s syndrome, Asperger’s or autism and find it difficult to communicate or if your medication has side effects that make it difficult to communicate. Does communicating cause anxiety and distress?

Communicating Points
Can express and understand verbal information unaided. 0
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear. E.g. You might require a hearing aid or an electro larynx. 2
Needs communication support to be able to express or understand complex verbal information. E.g. You may require a sign language interpreter. 4
Needs communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information. E.g. You may require a sign language interpreter. 8
Cannot express or understand verbal information at all even with communication support. 12


 

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PIP Q10 – Reading

This section is about how you read normal sized text and understand signs, symbols and words (in your native language). You should also talk about if you have problems concentrating when you read. Talk about how you read and understand signs, symbols and words written or printed in your native language, not braille. How you understanding numbers, including dates and other day to day reading like timetables.

PIP Q10a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance other than spectacles or contact lenses to read signs, symbols and words like magnifiers or need to take breaks?

PIP Q10b – Do you need help from another person to read or understand signs, symbols and words? Does somebody else need to read or explain signs and symbols to you because you have a learning disability or a mental health problem?

PIP Q10c – Extra information - Reading

Write about how how your condition affects your writing. How long does it take you to write a letter?

Reading Points
Can read and understand basic and complex written information either unaided or using spectacles or contact lenses. 0
Needs to use an aid or appliance, other than spectacles or contact lenses, to be able to read or understand either basic or complex written information. E.g. You may require vision aids. 2
Needs prompting to be able to read or understand complex written information. 2
Needs prompting to be able to read or understand basic written information. 4
Cannot read or understand signs, symbols or words at all. E.g. You may require another person to read everything for them due to a learning disability or severe visual impairment. 8

 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP Q11 – Mixing with other people

This question is about how you get on with other people face-to-face, either individually or as part of a group. Do you understand how they're behaving towards you, and can you behave appropriately towards them?

PIP Q11a – Do you need another person to help you to mix with other people? Does someone else need to encourage you to mix with other people? Does someone help you understand how people are behaving and how to behave yourself because you have a learning disability or mental heath problem?

PIP Q11b – Do you find it difficult or stressful to meet other people?

PIP Q11c – Extra information - Mixing with other people

Explain any stress, anxiety or confusion you feel around meeting people. Do you need help to stay safe? Do you have good days and bad ones? How do they differ?

Mixing with other people Points
Can engage with other people unaided. 0
Needs prompting to be able to engage with other people. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example: may apply to people who need encouragement to engage with others in the presence of a third party. 2
Needs social support to be able to engage with other people. 4
Cannot engage with other people due to such engagement causing either –

i. overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant; or ii. the claimant to exhibit behaviour which would result in a substantial risk of harm to the claimant or another person. ‘Overwhelming psychological distress’ means distress related to an enduring mental health condition or intellectual or cognitive impairment which results in a severe anxiety state in which the symptoms are so severe that the person is unable to function. This may occur in conditions such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, dementia or agoraphobia.

8

 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP Q12 – Making decisions about money

This section is about how you manage money. Do you understand how much things costs? How much change you should get and how to manage budgets? Can you understand how to pay bills and plan?

PIP Q12a – Do you need someone else to help you to understand how much things cost when you buy them or how much change you'll receive? Do you need someone to do it for you or do they need to remind you to do it or how to do it? Do you need someone to help you understand?

PIP Q12b – Do you need someone else to help you manage your household budgets, pay bills or plan future purchases? Do you need someone to do it for you or do they have to help you manage your bills? Do you need encouragement and help to do it?

PIP Q12c – Extra information - Making decisions about money

How your condition affects you understanding money? Do you have a learning disability that makes understanding money difficult?

 Making decisions about money Points
Can manage complex budgeting decisions unaided. 0
Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make complex budgeting decisions. 2
Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make simple budgeting decisions. 4
Cannot make any budgeting decisions at all. 6

 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP Q13 – Going out

This section is about how your condition makes it tricky to go out. That includes how to plan and follow a route, follow a train and bus timetable or if you have severe anxiety or stress prevents you from going out.

PIP Q13a – Do you need help from another person to plan a route to somewhere you know well? Do you need someone to help you plan a route, or plan it for you? Do you have an assistance dog or specialist aid, such as a white stick? Do you find it difficult or stressful to handle change? Do you have a mental condition that makes travelling difficult? Do you need somebody with you to stay safe?

PIP Q13b – Do you need help getting to somewhere you don't know well?

Just like in the previous question about travelling to a familiar place this question asks about the same challenges but for an unfamiliar place. Is an unfamiliar journey different in terms of the challenges it presents to you?

PIP Q13c – Are you unable to go out because of severe anxiety or distress?

PIP Q13d – Extra information - Going out

Talk about tell us how your condition affects you going out if you. Talk about any orientation aids you use. Do you have good days and bad days? Do you feel anxious, fearful or nervous? Are you at risk of accidents, injury or do you get lost?

 Going out Points
Can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided. 0
Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. ‘Overwhelming psychological distress’ means distress related to an enduring mental health condition or intellectual or cognitive impairment which results in a severe anxiety state in which the symptoms are so severe that the person is 4
For reasons other than psychological distress, cannot plan the route of a journey. 8
For reasons other than psychological distress, cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid. 10 points. 10
Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 10
For reasons other than psychological distress, cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. 12

 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP Q14 – Moving around

This question is about you standing safely without help and if you can walk safely

PIP Q14a – How far can you walk taking into account any aids you use? To give you an idea of distance, 50 metres is approximately 5 buses parked end to end.

PIP Q14b – Do you use an aid or appliance to walk? Walking aids include walking sticks, walking frames, crutches, and prostheses.

PIP Q14c – Do you use a wheelchair or similar device to move around safely, reliably and repeatedly and in a reasonable time period?

PIP Q14d – Extra information - Moving Around

Talk about any aids you use, rest breaks you need, pain, the time it takes to move around, accidents and other risks. Do you need someone to help you? Do you regularly fall? Do you find it difficult to move around on certain ground surfaces? Do you use a wheelchair? Is it motorised or manual? Do you experience any other difficulties, either during or after the activity, like pain, breathlessness, tiredness, dizziness or anxiety?

Moving around Points
Can stand and then move more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided. 0
Can stand and then move more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided. For example, this would include people who can stand and move more than 50 metres but no further than 200 metres either by themselves, or using an aid or appliance such as a stick or crutch, or with support from another person. 4
Can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. For example, this would include people who can stand and move more than 20 metres but no further than 50 metres, without needing to rely on an aid or appliance such as a walking stick, or help from another person. 8
Can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. For example, this would include people who can stand and move more than 20 metres but no further than 50 metres, but need to use an aid or appliance, such as a stick or crutch to do so. 10
Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided. For example, a person who can stand and move more than 1 metre, but no further than 20 metres, either unaided or with the use of an aid or appliance such as a stick or crutch, or support from another person. 12
Cannot, either aided or unaided – i. stand; or ii. move more than 1 metre. 12

 

PIP Q15 – Additional information

This page is blank. Add any more information in here or on a separate page with your name and national insurance number at the top.

Add any reports from you family or carers here too....and that's just about it! You've definitely learnt another cup of tea.

 

Top Tips...

  • Get all of your professional reports as early as possible.
  • If you use information in the reports to give evidence of need in your form, then reference it and highlight relevant sections in the reports when you attache them.
  • If you're not confident hand writing your form, don't worry. You can answer pretty much everything by using separate pieces of paper that you attach to the form. Remember you MUST put the claimant's name and national insurance number at the top of each page.
  • Photocopy everything! You don't want to have to do the whole thing again.

When you've finished your form, post it off in the envelope provided.

You’ll then probably have to have an assessment to complete your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) application. This will be a meeting with a health professional who will write a report and send it to the DWP. You need to prepare for the meeting in advance. Happily, there's a fabulous guide from Citizens Advice HERE that will help you prepare.

DWP's intro to PIP's

This website includes an overview, details about eligibility, what you'll get, how to claim and what to do if your circumstances change.

Citizens Advice Bureau - PIP Language

This guide to the language used in the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment criteria. Whether you can get PIP depends on an assessment of your ability to carry out certain daily living activities and mobility activities. This is measured against a list of descriptors, which describe varying levels of ability under each activity.

Challenging a PIP decision

A CAB guide to appealing against the decision made about your PIP claim.

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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

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Holidays & Free time

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Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

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Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

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Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Disabled Bills

Disabled bills & Council Tax Discounts

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HELP WITH YOUR BILLS

Having a child with additional needs can add to the costs to running your home and also reduce your income because of your caring responsibilities. Thats why there are lots of support systems in place to help level the playing field and help you support your child without worrying about how to pay the bills.

GAS & ELECTRICITY BILLS

Some gas and electricity suppliers have set up funds that give grants if you're in financial hardship because of fuel costs. Your supplier will let you know what's available. Some charities, such as Macmillan, also make grants towards fuel costs. Even if you fall behind in your payments, you shouldn't have your electricity or gas supply cut off during the winter months especially if your home has someone who is disabled living there or if you have a child under 18 living with you.

COLD WEATHER PAYMENTS

Check that you are receiving the Cold Weather Payment. You may be eligible because your child's disability. You’ll get a Cold Weather Payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded or forecast to be zero degrees celsius or below for 7 consecutive days.

WATER BILLS

Some water companies can offer you help from their charitable trust schemes, so contact your water company for more information.

 The WaterSure scheme is available to families on certain benefits who have a water meter. It will allow those families to have their bills capped so they won't get a massive bill out of the blue. To find out more, have a look at the OFWAT website.

COUNCIL TAX DISCOUNT

You can get a discount on your Council Tax if your child needs extra space or an additional bathroom because of their disability. Your bill will be reduced to the next Council Tax band down. For example, a C property will be charged at a B rate. Even if your property is in Band A (the lowest band) you will still receive a reduction.

 Contact your local authority for more information.

Finding the right Discounts for Council Tax Bills

There are three different kinds of council tax reductions that you should know about...

  • The disability reduction scheme
  • The single person’s discount
  • Low income and hardship funds
  • The Disability Reduction Scheme

If someone in your household is ‘substantially and permanently disabled’ you may qualify for a reduction in the banding of your council tax bill.

Who qualifies?

There must be a disabled person or child living in your property and one of the following must apply....

  • Wheelchair - They use a wheelchair indoors
  • Extra bathroom or kitchen - That you have a second bathroom or

    kitchen in your home that is needed by your disabled child.

  • Extra room - Your child’s disability is such that one of the rooms in your property (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet, and in addition to their own bedroom) is needed by and mostly used by them. Possibly an adapted room, a treatment room or where you store all of their kit.

    Your local authority will assess your home and decide if you qualify for a reduction in your council tax.

    Single Person’s Discount, Who Counts?

    Council tax bills assume that there are at least two adults in the household. If only one adult is ‘visible’ then you qualify for a 25% discount.

Top Tips...

• Call your LA and ask them to send you details of their schemes.

• Talk to your disability social worker about what you might be able to be eligible for. They may have more local information.

• Take notes when to talk to your Local Authority on the phone and if you’re not sure, write down when you both chatted about and email it to them to check your details are right.

Here is a list of people that may not be counted as ‘visible’.

  • Please contact your Council Tax department for a complete list in your area.
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • People aged 18/19 years of age for whom Child Benefit is payable
  • They can then be counted as ‘invisible’ until 31 October of that year
  • Full time students, most apprentices and trainees aged under 25
  • Anyone who has a ‘severe mental impairment’, for example learning disabilities or are on the autistic spectrum. They must also get a disability benefit like DLA or PIPs.
  • Some live-in care workers providing care on behalf of an LA or charity. It also includes some carers providing at least 35 hours of care a week to someone who claims:

    • Attendance Allowance at either rate (only the high rate in Scotland)

    • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or high rate (only the high rate in Scotland)

    • Personal Independence Payment daily living component at either rate (only the enhanced rate in Scotland)

    PLEASE NOTE that you do count if you are caring for your child under 18 years of age.

Low Income and Hardship Funds

Each council reviews and decides on what level of income qualifies. That means that each scheme can be different and change each year so check with your local council annually to see if you qualify. Most local authorities run hardship funds. Even if they don’t you can still request extra help. A council has the power to make discretionary payments in individual cases.

More financial help

Find out about grants, benefits and other help for you and your family.

Personal Budgets

Find out about personal budgets, if you're eligible and how to apply.

Tax Credits

Find tonnes of information about the extra amount you should be getting if your child is disabled and you get child tax credits.

Sky Badger can also help you with...

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

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Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

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Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

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Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

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Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Personal Budgets

Personal Budgets

What is a Personal Budget?

Personal budgets are an amount of money given by your Local Authority to provide support that’s been identified in your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The personal budget is used to help your child’s individual needs and help them live more independent lives. You may be able to use it so a carer can take your child to Scouts, the cinema, out shopping, to help with personal care or to come along with you and help you while on holiday.

How do I get a Personal Budget for my Child?

Contact your Local Authority’s disability social worker team to get the ball rolling or ask to speak to someone at your LA who deals specifically with direct payments. Your local Authority will then carry out a needs assessment to get a clear picture of what your individual family needs.

Before your assessment think about...

  • What sort of help do you need?
  • How does your child’s disability/health affect them and your wholefamily?
  • What are you having trouble with at the moment?
  • How could your child have more control over their life?
  • Do your/their needs change?
  • How much help do you need and how often?
  • What do you imagine could change if you had the help?

You could ask for help to do the following...

  • Getting in or out of bed, washing, toileting, dressing
  • Playing outdoors, clubs, leisure or educational activities.
  • Shopping
  • Respite care or short breaks
  • Cooking
  • Socialising including going to events or places of worship

Top tips...

  • Find out what your local council’ s assessment criteria is before your first meeting.
  • Take notes during the assessment.
  • Ask what help your LA gives in order to manage your budget.

 Different ways to Manage your Personal Budget

Your Local Authority will give you loads of information and help about what options they offer and which way or combinations of ways you can get your direct payments.

Direct payments – your local council pays some or all of your budget into a bank account managed by you or someone else who will manage the budget for you like a broker.

An account managed by the council...indirect payments – the council will manage your budget and will sort out services on your behalf.

As an Individual Service Fund (ISF) – Your local authority pays an organization that provides support services and will follow your instructions in getting the services you need. You have a say as to how this support is provided.

Sky Badger can also help you with...

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

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Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

LOST IN TRANSITION – PART 14

When Billie Beat Bobby

When Billie Beat Bobby

A few months ago, I had my first tennis lesson since leaving school. The lessons were a suggestion by my (in)-significant other, who may be becoming a little more significant but that’s definitely fingers in the ears time going “La, la, la” for a while at least.

I needed to find a thing that was just for me. A bit of down time. Time that wasn’t firefighting. The only way I can describe it properly is that the back of my head goes a bit fizzy when things get tough with Max. If I don’t deal with the fizziness, then things tend to get a bit more serious.

I think about that ancient French and Saunders sketch when they played two Barbour and Hunter wearing posh countryside ladies. Exclaiming “Fuss and Nonsense!” after appalling accidents like chopping off parts of their bodies. Brilliant. But the thing is that when stuff does go wrong, Max still comes first so I have to carry on however bad it gets. And so the stress builds. For me I can handle pretty much anything mentally but physically, I simply fall apart.

A few of years ago my hair started falling out in huge clumps, my fingernails started separating from their nail beds. Then at the height of the bad times the muscles in my left hand somehow started to seize. I’d watch my hand contract into a tight ball and couldn’t straighten it out. It was like watching a Venus Fly Trap. All of this was truly fascinating “Fuss and Nonsense.“ See how funny it is?! Anyway, so now I take stress a little more seriously. After all, if anything happens to me I’ve got no-one around who can step in, so I have to start to look after myself for the first time, wierd.

So when my lovely new man suggested we join a tennis class at his local club wittily named “Rusty Rackets”. Not that witty, granted, I jumped at the chance. At 7pm, when the class started the sun was still high and hot in the sky. A perfectly quaffed bowling green and playground neatly wrap around the courts in a way that Cambridgeshire does best. Sometimes I think it’s like living in the Shires, Hobbit like. Oh how I’d love to live in Bag End.

The class was small. One older gentleman in sensible non-sports shorts, two mums and their disgruntled pre-teen sons being forced to bond with their mothers even though it’s after school. One dad in his 30’s and two women in their 40’s (I continue to be deeply suspicious of them). Post adultery scar tissue is funny stuff too.

I do however now remember why I don't play tennis anymore. That first lesson was without a doubt one of the most embarrassing things I have done in years. The balls I managed to get over the net had ice on them when they finally came down and the others either moved at odd angles hitting people or went through the enormous invisible hole in my racket.

Women apparently 'glow' but not me. I hadn’t sweated like that since the day I gave birth, disgusting. The veil of genteelness I've worked so hard on for Bob's benefit defiantly hit the ground in flames. I couldn't make eye contact with him for ages after. Pity.

The following morning, bruised and battered I told a couple of mates. As my story unfolded their giggles exploded until I reached the highpoint, my shameful joy at beating a 14-year-old child in a 5-point knock about. I didn’t mean to actually jump, screaming with joy while watching the boy crumple in shame, confidence noticeably damaged beyond repair. It felt like watching a slow motion car crash.

My mates both fell about laughing, gasping for breath. Neither offered to help me improve my tennis game by the way, instead they asked where the class was so they could bring a bottle and come along for a laugh. I declined to share this information. So embarrassed but nice I can bring joy to so many. A good example of my obvious mental instability is that I still attend the class.

Sky Badger can also help you with...

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

gwvmbgpp-pq-steinar-la-engeland

Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Lost in Transition – part 13

As Good as it Gets part 13

As Good as It Gets

6 minutes early. Lovely.

Without looking up from her screen, the receptionist, wearing a black and white sleeveless leopard print top, red rimmed glasses and the yellowest, yellow hair tied back painfully tight asks for Max's DOB, next of kin, doctors address...all fine, “take a seat”. Still no eye contact. I hold fast stubbornly until she finally looks up confused and asked me to take a seat again. It’s the principle of the thing and I’m feeling like I need a bit of a win today. An easy win granted, and an almost unnoticeable win but the joy is in the small things right? So dear receptionists, just so it’s clear, eye contact is not time consuming it isn’t exhausting it just makes us feel human, it matters.  And so here we are again. Max is already back on his ipad. Minecraft calls and he sets fire to a tower with a newly selected lava block.

The magazine pile is eclectic as usual in the Maxillofacial Clinic. One National Geographic (I read that edition last time), Gardeners World Magazine, Patchwork and Quilting, 8 copies of Classic Scooterist (I wonder which doctor donated that little aspirational stash?), 2 copies of My Weekly, Puzzles Galore!, Simply Knitting, Select Sudoku and the compulsory tattered copies of Woman’s Weekly. However, I do think Military Modeling and French Property News are a little lateral even for Cambridge. I wonder if hospital magazine piles vary from area to area? I’d love to know.

2 minutes late now. This appointment is to check Max's bone graft and his new blue braces. Every time we've been in this particular waiting room before, Max always asks the same two questions...Will I get back to school in time for lunch? And will it hurt as much as last time? A big hug instead. I don’t answer either question, I never do. I don’t like to break promises.

8 minutes late. Today the chairs are set up in rows all facing each other. Characters of note include a round woman with a two tone haircut. She needs to get her roots done but I don’t think it’s a priority, she doesn’t look happy. She has a walking frame and a shockingly old looking dog with enormous eye brows. There is also a little boy who has yet to learn how to use his “inside” voice. I'm guessing he's quite new to all of this because his mum is catching everyone's eye and smiling politely as new patients take their seats. This is not the approved etiquette.

There is something perfect about a waiting room because until they call Max’s name my delicious fantasies can keep swimming through my mind like an overloaded washing machine.

The  first one is a classic…The consultant takes off her glasses, puzzled, “I’m not sure why Mrs Marek but everything has magically corrected itself.”

or…

A research team huddle around Max’s bed, “There’s a new treatment Mrs Marek with extraordinary results, completely pain free too.”

Or…well you see what I mean. I think that’s why people buy lottery tickets. They know they won’t win but it’s the minutes or days that you have until the draw that allows you to dream that everything’s going to be OK. The minutes I’m currently stealing in this waiting room are also allowing me to imaging that it’s all going to be OK.

 

If you’re in the same place, you might want to check out these useful links…

The National Autistic Societyhttp://www.autism.org.uk

Epilepsy Action - https://www.epilepsy.org.uk

 

Sky Badger can also help you with...

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

gwvmbgpp-pq-steinar-la-engeland

Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Lost in Transition – part 12

Grange Hill

When I was growing up, Grange Hill was what a state comprehensive school was all about. That sausage, Zammo and Ro-LAND were my anti-heroes. Now, (a horrific 30 years later) my two strapping mini-men are both at a state Comprehensive School....but this one is different.

I think a lot of it comes down to the support they’ve both had. Obviously, Max needs a huge amount of medical support but it’s the communication help that’s made all the difference. The speech therapists, the OT, the constant encouragement academically and socially. The school even runs a board games club that (without any pressure) helps build turn taking skills and helps Max work on his small talk.

You have to understand where Max came from to get how big this is. Max went from being pretty much non-verbal in yr. 7 to in yr. 11 sitting exams, having a girlfriend, done his bronze DofE, going to college and he’s just been approved to do the NCS over the Summer.

The school has a sibling group too. My youngest found Max’s needs really hard to cope with and he still does if I’m honest. But knowing that other friends at school are in the same boat in having brothers and sisters with special needs was life changing to him. After that first sibling group meeting it was as if he exhaled for the first time in years. In the last year, he’s gradually came out of his shell. He’s become less angry and found that he does like some lessons. He got into sport in a big was and now does squash, tennis, rugby, climbing and fencing. He got his bronze award last night!

I know mums do this annoying bragging stuff on FB all the time but my two have had some extraordinarily tough times. They haven't always done well, been well mentally or physically, fitted in or even been that happy at times. Getting them into the right school might just be the very best thing I've ever done for either of them.

So why am I telling you this? Well, because I’ve made a tonne of mistakes. I kept them both in schools that were not right for them because I was scared to make a fuss. I didn’t ask the questions I should have, I took ‘professionals’ word as gospel even when I knew something was wrong. I was so afraid of not being liked, scared that ‘professional’ would think I was crazy or difficult.

The school they now attend has made an enormous difference to who they could become…I worked for my two so why don’t you suggest your child’s school starts a games club? Or offers the DofE to their SEN student? Or starts up a sibling club?

Become a pain in the arse, get things moving. For what it’s worth, I don’t care what ‘professionals’ think about me anymore. I will be as difficult and crazy as I need to be to make absolutely sure that my two get the best chances they can. Because when I do my best, they seem to fly. They have this strength, a kind of internal generator that pushes them onto bigger and better things. I can't tell them any of this obviously but I don't think I'll ever give up the hugs at the school gate even though they are bigger than me. They are my new heroes and I hope they know it.

 

If you’re in the same place, you might want to check out these useful links…

The National Autistic Societyhttp://www.autism.org.uk

Epilepsy Action - https://www.epilepsy.org.uk

Duke of Edinburgh Awards – SEN support

http://www.dofe.info/go/additionalneeds/

National Citizen Awards - http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/summer?gclid=Cj0KEQjw6-PJBRCO_br1qoOB4LABEiQAEkqcVZSGfXbrVy5PzJNblpdaAR-gZKsptFVxtV-w3QXz98UaApeY8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

 

Sky Badger can also help you with...

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

gwvmbgpp-pq-steinar-la-engeland

Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Sports for Disabled & Autistic Children

disabled sports, disabled clubs

On this page you'll find tonnes of exciting new sports for your special needs or disabled child to try.

From archery to water skiing, there is a huge range of sports that a disabled child can take part in. Whether they just want a bit of fun exercise, or have ambitions to be a future Paralympian, these links will help you find something exciting for them. We also have links to governing bodies in our directory – they should be able to put you in touch with a local club so you can try something new.

Disabled Sports and more

There are so many sports to try out whatever your child's interests or needs are. Don't forget to check out our other Sky Badger's guides to finding funding for sports kit and adventure holidays.

On this page, you'll find disabled sports clubs, funding for equipment and local clubs to get in touch with.

football

Find...

  • disabled sports clubs
  • wheelchair sports
  • blind sport
  • wheelchair basketball
  • adaptive skiing
  • disabled cycling
  • wheelchair rugby
  • disabled football
  • wheelchair tennis
  • disability netball
  • English federation of disability sport
  • Sailability
  • Accessible mountain biking
  • Riding for the disabled
  • Disabled flying
  • And much more!

Top 5 Sky Badger Sports to Try...

The RYA Sailability

The national body for all forms of disabled boating, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, inland cruising and narrowboats, and personal watercraft.

Flying!

Aerobility is a registered charity founded in 1993 offering disabled people, without exception, the opportunity to fly an aeroplane. For some, just that amazing first flight is enough to change their outlook on disability forever.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Authentic mountain bike experiences for disabled riders with a range of abilities.

Wheelchair Rugby

Find a club near you

Boom!

Horse Riding

Riding for the Disabled

Find lots more sports to try here!

Click here to see the Sky Badger Sports directory.

You should also check out the Sky Badger website to find holidays, clubs, grants and much more.

Local Sports Clubs

Click the button below to find your local offer. The Local Offer is a directory that your Local Authority has. It lists all the help and support that you might need to help your disabled or special needs child. You'll find all the disabled and special needs sports clubs listed there.

Local Offer

Click here to find clubs near you.

Sky Badger can also help you with...

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

gwvmbgpp-pq-steinar-la-engeland

Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

What can you do if your child’s application for assessment is turned down?

Disability Living Allowance Dressing

If you're dealing with special needs tribunal or an assessment of special educational needs...Get advice and help here.

There is a lot of free professional advice available throughout the whole of the UK. There are also a lot of advocates and solicitors that specialise in SEN. We suggest you talk about costs right at the outset.  Time is of the essence. Just like the application process there are tight deadlines to appeal decisions. You also have to wait a certain amount of time before you can reapply. Some things are out of your control – sadly, the chances of success vary wildly depending on your local authority and how much funding they have left in the kitty. Have a look through these guidance notes: Special Educational Needs and Disability appeals (HM Courts & Tribunals Service)

If you take professional or free expert help, we still suggest you get every document emailed, acknowledged, time stamped and sent to your home address as a hard copy.

 

Here is a template letter for parents who have been refused an assessment

Every Disabled Child Matters, in association with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.

Douglas Silas Solicitors

Everything you wanted to know about the law on special educational needs but were too afraid to ask.

l change in the way that education, health and social care professionals work with families and young people.

Detailed advice about the EHCPs

Use our directory to find lots of organisations and charities with detailed advice

Can we help you with anything else?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

gwvmbgpp-pq-steinar-la-engeland

Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

istock_000021104923large

Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.