Benefits and funding the extra costs of having a disabled child

This information applies to England and Wales.

If you are the parent or carer of a disabled child, you could get disability benefits, grants and advice about money. And as some benefits are not means-tested, you can work full-time and still receive money.

Help with care

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is available for children under 16 who need extra looking after or have difficulty walking, even if they do not have a diagnosis.

DLA eligibility criteria (GOV.UK)

If you care for a disabled child for more than 35 hours a week, you may be eligible for Carer's Allowance.

Carer’s Allowance (GOV.UK)

Local authorities must publish all services available to support disabled children and their families in the area. This is called the Local Offer. It covers education, health and social care services. Speak to your social services department about what you can get.

Find your local authority (GOV.UK)

Help with travel

You can get help with your child’s bus and train travel. If your child travels for NHS treatment, you can claim reasonable costs for them and whoever goes with them:

Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (NHS)

Contact your local authority for:

  • free school transport
  • disabled person’s bus passes, which give carers free or discounted travel if they are with someone with a pass

You can get a third off rail fares for you and someone travelling with you:

Disabled Persons Railcard

Disability discounts for days out and travel

If your child has the higher rate mobility for DLA, you can lease a car by using your mobility component. You will not have to pay for insurance, tax, breakdown cover, servicing or MOTs.

The Motability Scheme

Help with the home

Your local authority can provide a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) if you need specialist equipment or make changes to your home.

This includes:

  • wider doorways and ramps
  • special locks for external doors, fridges or cupboards containing hazardous items
  • stairlifts and a downstairs bathroom
  • adapting lighting and heating controls
  • specialist equipment for mobility or using the bathroom

Getting home adaptations

Some organisations provide grants for items not covered by your local authority or the government. A grant does not have to be paid back.

Finding and applying for grants

Help with gas and electricity bills

Local advice

Look for a local agency who can provide advice on benefits, housing, jobs, legal issues and other practical help.

Find a local agency (Advicefinder)

Get local advice (Advicelocal)

This information applies to England and Wales. The law can vary in different parts of the UK.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 09/10/2023

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