THOUSANDS of Brits are missing out on benefits they are entitled to and are being urged to check if they can claim.
Payments for some benefits are made regardless of income if you have a long term health condition or disability.
There are some benefits available to help too if you’re looking after someone with an illness or disability.
Anyone who’s entitled to the support but not claiming the cash could be missing out on as much as £152 a week.
That’s nearly £8,000 over a year and could help boost budgets which are under pressure from higher living costs.
As energy and food prices are going up people are being urged to check what help they can get.
Chloe Smith, minister for disabled people, health and work, said: “Living with a long-term illness or disability can have a profound effect on daily life, both for those with a diagnosis and those who care for them, so it’s vitally important you are receiving all the help you are entitled to.
“Millions of people already receive this support and I would urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible for extra financial help to check online.”
What benefits can I get and how much are they worth?
There are several benefits you might be entitled to and the exact amount you get can depend on your circumstances.
That includes your condition and whether you’re able to work or not.
You can check if you’re entitled to any of these using a benefit checker, but the exact amount you get will be determined when you apply.
Benefit calculators include:
When making a claim you may have to have an assessment of your condition which could mean face-to-face meetings, or calls by phone or video.
Personal Independence Payment – up to £152 a week
Personal Independence Payment, or PIP for short is for those who have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability that makes it difficult to do everyday tasks or get around.
You can get PIP even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits, if you’re under state pension age.
There are two main elements to PIP, a daily living part if you need help with everyday tasks and a mobility part if you need help with getting around.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will assess how difficult you find daily living and mobility tasks to see whether you qualify.
If you’re eligible for the daily living part you’ll either get the low rate of £60 a week or the higher rate of £89.60.
The mobility element is £27.30 a week on the lower rate or £62.55 for the higher rate.
If you’re entitled to Personal Independence Payment, you could get access to extra help and benefits on top, like a disability premium topping up other benefits, like housing benefit.
Attendance allowance – up to £89.60 a week
For those over the state pension age (currently 66), attendance allowance offers help covering costs if you need support at home because of an illness or disability.
It’s worth £60 a week if you need help either in the day or at night and £89.60 a week if you need help through both.
The amount of money you earn and the savings you have don’t affect how much you get.
You can make a claim for attendance allowance online through gov.uk
Employment and Support Allowance – up to £114.10 a week
If you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you earn, or whether you can earn at all, you could be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
To be eligible you need to have worked either as an employee or been self-employed in t he past, and have paid enough National Insurance over the past two to three years.
It is also possible to claim Universal Credit alongside ESA, but you can’t receive Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) at the same time.
You could make a claim if you’ve been on SSP for some time and it’s ending and you remain unwell.
You can apply for ESA online through the government website.
Child Disability Living Allowance – up to £152.15 a week
If your child is disabled or has a health condition they may be entitled to more support.
The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) offers kids under 16 between £23.70 and £152.15 a week regardless of parents’ income.
The amount they can get depends on their difficulties and how much help they need.
In Scotland DLA has been replaced by the Child Disability Payment.
You can find out more about DLA for children from gov.uk and apply if you think you’re eligible.
Carer’s Allowance – up to £67.60 a week
Carer’s allowance is for anyone who has caring responsibilities for at least 35 hours a week, regardless of age.
It’s worth up to £67.60 a week or £3,515 a year.
As the carer, you don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for but they will need to get certain benefits, such as the daily living component of personal independent payment or disability living allowance.
And your income must also be under £128 a week (£6,656 a year) after tax and national insurance.
It’s worth noting that carer’s allowance can affect the other benefits that you get and you have to pay tax on it if your income is over the Personal Allowance.
The easiest way to claim is online via the government website.
You can find out more about carer’s allowance and how to claim in our guide.