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To think the way I spend my child's DLA is fine and does benefit them?

(121 Posts)
Catoninetails Sat 17-Aug-19 09:20:56

Bit of background, I'm a single parent with 2 DC, my youngest who is 7 has ASD and ADHD with sensory processing disorder as well. They haven't been able to attend school full time for over 12 months. As a result of this I had to cut my working hours significantly. I get child and working tax credits and partial housing benefit, and I also claim DLA on behalf of my disabled child (low rate mobility and middle rate care, which adds up to £327 a month plus a child tax credit premium for them).

I use this as follows:

-Seam free pure cotton clothing (needed for sensory reasons)
-Music lessons (recommended by occupation therapist for improving coordination and getting both sides of body working together better)
-Saving for an appointment at BIBIC (for assessments and therapy that the NHS can't afford to provide)
-Running a small elderly camper van so we can spend nights at the seaside etc (they cannot cope with sleeping in strange places so this gives familiar surroundings, these nights away are the only holidays we ever get and my child loves them, it's not a luxury motorhome by any means, just a van with beds and a cooker fitted into the back and it's our only vehicle)
-Buying items like a laminator (for making social stories and signs and lists to go around the house), a docking charger for their tablet (to stop the charging port getting fucked AGAIN from being carelessly plugged/unplugged), the sort of things that makes life that bit easier for them and therefore us!
-Magazine subscriptions for them (expensive special interest magazines that they love)

All of this is stuff that I couldn't afford if not for the DLA. And IMO it all benefits my child. But the DLA also goes towards the general running of the house now that my earnings have dropped - bills (higher now we are in the house more rather than being at work/school all day on weekdays), takeaways when we've had an awful day and I can't be arsed to cook, taking my older child for a treat day every couple of months when my younger child is with their dad (older child is classed as a young carer so they need to have that sort of time made for them). The camper van is also used as our daily vehicle for shopping trips etc.

I've seen posts on a DLA for children Facebook group saying that DLA should only be spent on the child it's paid for. Some parents saying they write down every penny of it and how it's spent, or have it paid into a seperate account in their child's name to keep track of it, or take it out weekly and keep it in an envelope and account for how they spend it all. They seem to think it's tantamount to financial abuse and fraud to do what I do 😕 and now I'm worried that I'm not spending it appropriately or keeping records of how it's spent etc.

youarenotkiddingme Sat 17-Aug-19 09:26:06

It's fine.

My ds gets same rate.

I work less hours because of caring for him too.

it does all go on DS. It does towards things he wouldn't otherwise get that benefit him because I work shorter hours. 🤷‍♀️

AvengerDanvers95 Sat 17-Aug-19 09:28:33

I'm fairly certain that having you at home and the bills being paid does benefit your children.

Cryalot2 Sat 17-Aug-19 09:29:52

You are doing wonderful. At least you are spending the money on things that make life easier. I am aware of a parent that spends hers on cigarettes and alcohol.

WhyBirdStop Sat 17-Aug-19 09:30:57

Surely if you've reduced your hours to be able to care for your child, this is what DLA is for, the other things as well, but having a parent carer in those circumstances is the best thing for them and DLA rightly allows that.
We are very fortunate to be able to save DSs child benefit in an account in his name, that doesn't mean I think other people shouldn't use it for bills etc!

Summerunderway Sat 17-Aug-19 09:32:28

Have you considered contacting your MP about your HB? Read recently about a lp who won a case after they declared it inappropriate that her rent wasn't covered and she had to use other benefits to cover it as she couldn't work extra hours... Not sure whole story but seems similar to your case imo...

TheBadCop Sat 17-Aug-19 09:32:44

of course it's fine. my DC's DLA gets spend on the mortgage and in Lidl smile

SinkGirl Sat 17-Aug-19 09:32:51

Most of the time I spend my twins’ DLA on things they need, and on an extra morning at nursery because it benefits them. Other times I have to spend it on things we need for the house / bills, because I’ve already spent my own money on things they need. Guarantee that my kids disabilities cost me more than the £100 a week we get.

gamerchick Sat 17-Aug-19 09:34:19

It's fine, you're doing fab.

It must be nice if these people to be able to afford to have this money as an extra to be able to use it like that. Do they see child maintenance in the same way as well? I know plenty of men who do.

Idontwanttotalk Sat 17-Aug-19 09:34:41

You have provided evidence to support the claim for DLA and been awarded it for your child. DWP do not specify how it should be spent so why are you worried about what others think? You are using it to help your child.

Someone else could have the same and buy a new campervan on finance to help with transport holidays and not do the other things you do. That expenditure is equally valid.

Don't read others' opinions about what it should be spent on.

x2boys Sat 17-Aug-19 09:35:40

My child s DLA goes towards general bills,food etc, I can't work due to my child s disabilities so it benefits is all

Gooseygoosey12345 Sat 17-Aug-19 09:35:49

Sounds fine to me. It's not like you're using it to go out drinking every weekend! Everything you've said benefits your child/children. You've no need to feel guilty about any of it! The bills have to be paid to keep a roof over your child's head, electricity, water etc. All these things benefit your child so it's absolutely fine

CherryPavlova Sat 17-Aug-19 09:36:47

I think DLA for children is best used to enable the family to manage. If that means it releases the mother from paid work to care for the child then that’s a truly reasonable use. Actually, if it pays for the mothers haircut to boost her confidence and make her smile through tough times, that’s reasonable too.

Catoninetails Sat 17-Aug-19 09:37:30

Well it made me fret that if I ever get investigated I won't be able to demonstrate exactly where it goes confused They were talking about compliance officers going round to discuss how it's spent!

x2boys Sat 17-Aug-19 09:37:43

And I'm fairly sure that having a home and food is beneficial too my son.

Della1 Sat 17-Aug-19 09:38:03

We spend our child’s DLA in a similar way e.g. swimming lessons to help his hypermobile joints and low tone, more expensive shoes because of his weak ankles etc.

I think you’ve really thought about how to spend the money and shouldn’t worry about putting it into a separate pot. The money is benefitting your child- it’s not as though you’re spending it on yourself.

Nanna50 Sat 17-Aug-19 09:38:20

DLA is paid to help towards the extra cost of disability and therefore you spend it on whatever you need to which includes household expenses.

The letters explain that the money is for the child so I think some people believe that it has to be spent on the child directly and that at some point DWP will ask them to show where they have spent the money.

Have you checked whether you can qualify for Carers Allowance now you have reduced your hours? There are allowable expenses. I take it if you are on other forums you are aware of grants etc?

Mermaidoutofwater Sat 17-Aug-19 09:38:21

Don’t doubt yourself.
I wouldn’t even judge someone who used the money for an occasional child free night out. Building a good life for a child with a disability must be very hard at times.

PicaK Sat 17-Aug-19 09:38:48

I think you are doing brilliantly. DLA is supposed to benefit the child. You know how to do that best. Our child needs constant 1:1 support and wakes thru the night . That is exhausting. With the absolute full support of our social worker we've spent the money on a posh gym membership. We get respite when she's in their creche and a wonderful place to escape to and relax. Access to an always empty Softplay etc. It gives us the boost we need to be the parents she needs us to be. I guess to many it would look like we were wasting the money. But I'm absolutely confident in this and I don't say that often.

theWarOnPeace Sat 17-Aug-19 09:39:01

The thing is, these people must have other sources of income that cover a nice life without it. Same goes for people who save child benefit for their child when they’re 18 or whatever. Most people absorb it into the income of the household, to make sure their children have a nice environment to grow up in. My son gets DLA at highest rates for both. I don’t sit there counting out every penny that goes on him. He has the best of everything, he has all the lovely things that he likes and needs. We spend hours and hours and hours doing things for him that NT children don’t need. He can’t go to kids clubs, so we have had to completely rethink our working lives. I would in no way be justifying what each penny goes on, because I know that we provide him with the best life we are capable of, and the DLA is crucial to be able to do that.

Sounds to me like you do exactly the same, you provide above and beyond for your child, I couldn’t homeschool. I know I couldn’t, I think it would break me. I take my hat off to you for doing what you do. Spend it as you see fit, you’re clearly extremely responsible and a very caring and conscientious mum. Make the decisions you have to, to keep everyone at their best.

MonChatEstMagnifique Sat 17-Aug-19 09:39:30

You know how this money will best benefit you child and family. You really don't have to justify how you spend it if your children are loved and provided for.

Della1 Sat 17-Aug-19 09:40:07

also you sound like a lovely mum!

StripyHorse Sat 17-Aug-19 09:40:27

Concentrating only on the logistics for a moment. If you worked longer hours and used DLA to pay for someone to care for your child while you worked, this would be seen as a cost directly benefitting your child.

Your child is probably benefitting more from having you look after them than a third party. Using that logic, using some of the payment to be able to spend time caring for your child (and therefore funding the bills that would have been paid from a wage) is fine.

x2boys Sat 17-Aug-19 09:41:26

I have never heard that Catoninetails?but the if your in the same Facebook DLA groups as me I would take a lot of what they say with a pinch of salt .

Suebnm Sat 17-Aug-19 09:43:19

The DWP cannot dictate how or what you do with DLA or PIP in my case. This is well documented on www.whatdotheyknow.com. Please don't worry.

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