Know your benefits

Contact a Family – the only UK charity that supports families with a disabled child whatever their condition or disability - is worried that many local families remain unaware of the government’s cap on benefits, which has been rolled out across the UK.

The cap, which has already been piloted in four London boroughs, limits the total amount of benefit payments, including housing benefit, that a family receives. However it won’t apply if you, your partner or any dependent child gets disability living allowance (DLA) or the new personal independence payment (PIP) and in certain other circumstances.

Although it’s good news that households in receipt of DLA are exempt from the cap, Contact a Family knows that more than half of disabled children do not claim this benefit. This can be for a range of reasons such as lack of awareness of this allowance, difficulty completing the DLA form or because they don’t see their child as disabled. This means that some families with disabled children could find themselves hit hard by the new benefit cap.

In addition, having an older child at home who gets DLA does not automatically mean you are exempt from the benefit cap. If your son or daughter receives certain benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance in their own right, or if they have left full time education and your child tax credit and child benefit for them has stopped you may not be protected from the cap.

Contact a Family wants to encourage all local parents who have a child with a disability to be prepared and find out more about this latest change to benefits. If you are a parent of a disabled child and are concerned about the new benefit cap or would like more information about how to claim DLA please call our team of expert benefit advisors on freephone 0808 808 3555. Don’t be caught out by benefit changes.

Una Summerson,

head of policy and

public affairs,

Contact A Family,