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Your experience of Adoption Allowance (or not)

(10 Posts)
ChoccyJules Tue 10-Oct-17 12:27:04

At our last review meeting the IRO asked about Adoption Allowance as if it was a matter of course.

We had always assumed it was nowadays rarely paid unless a child has very complex needs. However, AD has a disability (indeed she has a SW from the Disabilities Team, not the Adoption Team) and I can think of ways I would use an allowance if she were entitled to something.

Her SW wasn't sure, she asked the family finder who said it was means-tested. This appears to be a general Adoption Allowance, ie the LA doesn't go on the child's needs but the income of the adopters. We therefore wouldn't qualify.

I have read on the Adoption UK Forum that LAs favour funnelling this money towards disabled and complex needs children, which is not necessarily means-tested. Should we be asking them to consider this for AD, is there any precedent or is it purely at their discretion?

We have no contact on the Adoption Team itself as explained. Our own SW is from a different LA as we adopted out of county, so her experience presumably won't help here.

We want to clarify the matter before sending in the Adoption Application, as people advise to get everything sorted before doing this. Unfortunately there seems to be no written LA policy and when I contacted the IRO, she emailed AD's SW for advice, so she doesn't know.

What are others' experience in recent times?

6isthemagicnumber Tue 10-Oct-17 13:15:06

Allowances used to be easy.
Not now. 2 disabled children - allowances approved due to the disabililty, but still means tested every year. Its a pain 😯
They cannot count the childs dla or carers allowance as 'income', but child benefit and tax credits are counted.
Hope that helps.

Jellycatspyjamas Tue 10-Oct-17 14:35:56

It depends on where you are, in Scotland legislation sets out when LAs must consider an adoption allowance - there are set criteria (is sibling groups, significant needs, long distance adoption) and the LA then applies whatever means test. If in doubt, always ask - the wurst that can happen is that they say no.

flapjackfairy Tue 10-Oct-17 16:16:34

We adopted our v complex foster child last year and sw negotiated a non means tested adoption allowance guaranteed until he is 18 ( written into the ao so no wriggle room we hope) . So yes it can be done under some circumstances.

6isthemagicnumber Tue 10-Oct-17 17:14:26

I think v complex cases are different. Where other adopters are not likely to be found - we also have 2 where the AA cannot be touched and is paid till aged 18. Ours are older now, very very hard to get that now, so well done flapjack. Did you have to fight for it?

Ted27 Tue 10-Oct-17 19:07:04

I have a hard to place child and receive adoption allowance. Theoretically I will receive it until he is 18 or 21, as long as he is in full time education. It is means tested and reviewd every year. Its quite rare to get a non means tested allowance, they would be for the most complex or severely disabled children.

Do you get DLA?

ChoccyJules Tue 10-Oct-17 20:05:50

Yes, I applied for DLA when she arrived and she got the care component but oddly not mobility.
We believe from what they've said that she was classed as hard to place. They spent over a year trying to place her as part of a sibling group and then almost a year before eventually placing her with us.
The trouble is nobody wants to answer any questions which may lead to them paying out for something.

6isthemagicnumber Tue 10-Oct-17 20:43:14

Is she in a wheelchair choccy? or on crutches/splints etc...
over 3?
it is now very difficult to get the mobility element if you dont fall into the above.

you used to get it for other reasons so some kids did if they were unsafe around roads eg deaf, blind, autistic 'runners'....but as people have renewed those elements have been lost in the last few years.

as adults have moved over from dla to pip, only those who cannot walk have mostly received the mobility element....the system is a mess!
(and it affects kids benefits as they move fro dla to pip age 16 sad )

ChoccyJules Thu 12-Oct-17 10:23:52

That makes sense, we thought she'd get it from being a runner and a constant faller (usually off the kerb into the road) but no, she has weak joints and had the support boots. She's been referred back to Physio to check she doesn't still need boots. Thanks for the explanation.

B1rdonawire Thu 12-Oct-17 11:02:09

Hi Choccy,
We couldn't apply for the mobility bit until DD was over 5, since she was technically able to walk without significant aids.
We had an adoption allowance that was means-tested - it was related to disability/additional needs, because it was those needs that prevented me from working. But it was, as others have said, based on the household income excluding DD's DLA. Geez that's a lot of acronyms grin

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