Read our top tips for making sure you get the right benefits.
Make sure you know what you are entitled to
As a parent it is important to find out exactly what benefits you are entitled to, and what financial support you can receive. It is also a good idea to find out about the various assessments that are available for you and your child, and the services that will be provided.
- Read the Mencap guides on carer's assessments and community care assessments
- Visit the gov.uk website to find out more about the different types of benefit that are available, and who can claim them.
- Call the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 88 22 00. The service is available 8:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday, or 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
- Contact the Learning Disability Helpline for support and advice on 0808 808 1111.
Remember that claiming some benefits may affect the other support you receive
Each benefit will have different rules about who can claim and how much support they will receive. Some benefits will take into consideration how much money you earn and your savings.
In some cases, claiming a certain benefit may also mean that you can no longer receive another benefit, or may result in you receiving less money. It is always a good idea to read the details carefully and to seek professional advice before claiming a benefit in case it will affect the other support you receive.
- Get support with claiming benefits from your local Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB). Find your nearest branch on the CAB website.
I have received information on the changes to child benefit, but I will need to sort out an independent living fund for my son when he leaves school – it's a minefield with all the other stuff going on in our lives.
Remember to tell Jobcentre Plus or your benefits officer if your circumstances change
There are various circumstances that could affect the benefits that you receive, for example, getting married, moving house or getting a new job. If your situation changes it is important to tell the Jobcentre Plus or your benefits officer so they can make sure you continue to receive the right amount of support.
- Visit the gov.uk website for more information on how changes in your circumstances can affect the benefits you receive
If you think a decision is wrong you can appeal
If you think a decision about benefits is wrong you can request a review or appeal.
- Search for Mencap factsheets on money and benefits
- Find out more about the appeal process on the gov.uk website
Find out about other sources of support
In addition to benefits and assessments, there are other sources of support available for families with children with a learning disability.
- The Social Fund can provide lump sums of money, grants or loans to people under certain circumstances.
- The Independent Living Fund provides financial support for disabled people to allow them to live more independently.
- The Family Fund provides grants to families in the UK caring for severely disabled children.