Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
post 16 benefits(7 Posts)
My son has a severe disability and is about to turn 16. He will be staying in special needs school up until he is 19. We are going through the process of him getting a bank account and getting his DLA paid into it. We will need to manage his affairs. What I am trying to find out is what benefits we should be applying for, for him and is there somewhere that explains it all simply?
This is not straight forward. As your DS is 16 he will be entitled to claim benefits in his own right as an adult or you can opt to continue claiming for him as a child until he leaves full time education.
Which one to do depends on your/family income and which way you would be better off! Basically if you are getting child/working tax credits in addition to child benefit you might be better to continue to claim as if your DS is still a child. However, if you don't get tax credits. or you get minimum amounts and may lose child benefit in Jan 2012 because of policy changes, then you will probably be better off putting in a claim for Employment and Support Allowance on behalf of your DS.
The system is complicated and DWP helpline don't even understand it all! Their website is as clear as mud and they initially told me that DD could not claim ESA as she was staying on at school - although I knew this was rubbish as others at her school were claiming it. As long as they are at specialist school/college where curriculum is specially adapted for their disability then they can claim. I was badly advised by DWP and when I got correct advice from our LA Welfare and Benefits Advisor, we ended up having to go back to DWP as they had made mistakes & owed DD lots of money she should have had.
My advice to you is to get advice from a benefits advisor either at your LA or CAB or other disability organisation.
Hope that makes sense.
if you are on tax credits i think you get more if you claim for him as part of your family till 18 . if not it would get him more if he claims in his own right.
thanks for the replies everyone, very helpfull!
And just to complicate matters - if you do decide to go with the option of claiming ESA for your DS. there are different types. There is ESA in youth and ESA contribution based (which they can claim even though they have never paid NI) plus ESA income related.
I was initially told there was very little difference and that DD could claim any but DWP advised me to claim ESA in youth. This turned out to be the wrong one for DD as it meant she didn't qualify for lots of other things. She should have been put on ESA contribution based + income related (as her only other income is DLA + she has minimal savings). By being on this type of ESA she also became eligible for Winter fuel payments, a cap on water meter costs, can claim back travel costs for hospital appointments, could get free school meals (except she is tube fed!!!), and could have had a tv converted for digital switchover free of charge!
I was very lucky that my DS now 18 ASD has a very good SW from the disability team or else i wouldnt have had a clue what to do, i was still claiming tax credits up until he had to leave college unexpectedly due to bullying and anxiety just before he turned 18, SW arranged for a benefits lady to come to the house to advise me and to help fill in a ESA form, he was put on the assessment phase for the first 13 weeks, which was £53 a week, during the assessment phase i was sent a ESA 50 form to fill in so they could assess how many points he got, ( again got benefits lady in ) i then had to take DS for a medical ( again was lucky as usualy you have to go to the ESA medical centre to be assessed by one of their doctors but my nearest one is 50 miles away so managed to get own doctor to do it )
There are 2 groups, the work related activity group, which you have to go for regular interviews, or the support group where you dont, and once you are on the main phase you go in one of those groups, my DS is in the support group and gets £113 a week which is a lot more than i thought he would get. more info here.
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