Benefits for people with a learning disability and their carers
If you have a learning disability or you are caring for someone with a disability it is important to make sure you are getting the financial support you are entitled to. There are a range of benefits available and we have included information about the ones we believe are most relevant to people with a learning disability and their carers.
For further information about benefits, please visit www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
If someone has a disability they might be eligible for help through one of the four main benefits for disabled people:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
DLA is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled people. Someone can only make a new DLA claim if they are under 16.
An adult might be getting DLA if they were under 65 when they claimed.
There are two components to DLA:
- the care component
- the mobility component.
The care component of DLA is paid at 3 different weekly rates, depending on how the disability affects someone:
- higher rate £101.75
- middle rate £68.10
- lowest rate 26.90.
The mobility component of DLA is paid at 2 different weekly rates:
- higher rate £71.00
- lower rate £26.90.
These can be paid at different rates depending on the level of needs someone has and can continue to be paid after the age of 65 if the entitlement conditions continue to be satisfied.
DLA is tax free. It is not means-tested and getting it will not reduce entitlement to Pension Credit.
Read more about DLA for adults.
Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with the extra costs caused by a disability if you are aged 16 to 64.
PIP can help towards paying some of the extra costs disabled people face, such as paying for support around the home or using the money to pay for taxis to help you get around.
PIP is usually paid every 4 weeks and can be paid if you’re in or out of work. It is made up of two components (parts). Whether you get one or both of these depends on how your condition affects you.
PIP is a non-means tested, tax free benefit, which you can spend in a way that best meets your needs. It is not treated as income when Pension Credit is worked out.
Daily living component weekly rate:
- standard – £68.10
- enhanced – £101.75.
Mobility component weekly rate:
- standard – £26.90
- enhanced – £71.
The rate you get depends on how the condition affects you, not the condition itself. You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of help you get.
Your rate will be regularly reassessed to make sure you’re getting the right support. Your disability or health condition You must have a long-term health condition or disability and face difficulties with ‘daily living’ or getting around.
You must have had these difficulties for three months and expect them to last for at least nine months, unless you’re terminally ill (you don’t expect to live more than six months).
Daily Living Difficulties
You may get the daily living component of PIP if you need help with things like:
- preparing or eating food
- washing, bathing and using the toilet
- dressing and undressing
- reading and communicating
- managing your medicines or treatments
- making decisions about money
- engaging with other people.
You may get the mobility component of PIP if you need help going out or moving around.
Videos explaining PIP
Visit YouTube for videos by the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) to help people who are claiming or about to claim PIP.
If someone is State Pension age or over, and not getting DLA or PIP, they may be entitled to Attendance Allowance if they have needs in relation to personal care or require supervision to stay safe. There is no mobility component to Attendance Allowance.
Attendance Allowance is paid at 2 different weekly rates, depending on how the disability affects someone:
- higher rate £101.75
- lower rate £68.10.
Attendance Allowance is tax-free. It is not means-tested and getting it will not reduce entitlement to Pension Credit.
Read more about Attendance Allowance.
Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
AFIP provides financial support to service personnel and veterans seriously injured as a result of service to cover the extra costs they may have as a result of their injury. Individuals awarded a Guaranteed Income Payment of 50% or higher under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme will be eligible.
Those eligible will receive a flat rate equivalent to the enhanced rates of both components (mobility and daily living) of PIP.
The AFIP weekly rate is £172.75.
AFIP is not treated as income when Pension Credit is worked out.
Read more about AFIP.
Extra Pension Credit for severely disabled people or carers
If someone gets Attendance Allowance or the middle or highest rate care component of DLA, PIP or AFIP, they may be entitled to extra Pension Credit of £76.40.
If someone gets Carer’s Allowance they may be entitled to extra Pension Credit of £42.75. They may also get this extra Pension Credit if they are entitled to Carer’s Allowance but they are not being paid it, or being paid it at a lower amount than normal, because they are being paid a higher amount by another, income-maintenance benefit such as State Pension (this is called underlying entitlement).
Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers.
It is a benefit paid to help people who look after someone who is disabled. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for. It is paid at a basic rate of £76.75 a week (from April 2023).
You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you are 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week or more for someone who is ill or disabled. You can get Carer’s Allowance if you are caring for someone who is in receipt of DLA or PIPs at the middle or highest rate for personal care. Your earnings must be £139 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.
Read more about Carer’s Allowance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Visit Carers UK for factsheets and guides.
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly.
You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.
Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits and tax credits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit.
If you’re getting any of these benefits or tax credits, you do not need to do anything unless either:
- your circumstances change
- you get a letter called a ‘Migration Notice’ telling you that you must claim Universal Credit.
Read more about Universal Credit.