After the interview under caution

After the interview under caution

After you have been interviewed by a benefits fraud investigator, the interviewer will then decide how to proceed. The interviewer may decide: To do nothing – The interviewer may be happy you have not committed benefit fraud, or if they suspect you have they still may not proceed as they feel there is insufficient supporting evidence. Issue a Civil Penalty – The interviewer will issue a £50 Civil Penalty if they think you made a…

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After your medical assessment

After your medical assessment

The report of your medical assessment will be sent to a decision maker at the Department of Work and Pensions who will decide whether you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance. The report After your medical assessment, the approved healthcare professional’s report is sent to the person at the Department for Work and Pensionswho is responsible for making a decision on your claim. The decision maker will consider the report along with all the…

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Am I eligible for War Disablement Pension?

Am I eligible for War Disablement Pension?

You may be able to get War Disablement Pension if you’ve been injured or disabled during a time of war or as a result of service in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces. Who is eligible? You may be able to get War Disablement Pension if you were injured or disabled through serving in HM Armed Forces, including the: Ulster Defence Regiment (now known as the Royal Irish Regiment) Home Guard nursing and auxiliary services or…

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An overview of carers rights

An overview of carers rights

There are some specific rights that relate to carers, including employment rights, the right to an assessment and receiving direct payments. Carers’ rights to an assessment Under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000, carers aged 16 or over who provide a regular and substantial amount of care for someone aged 18 or over have the right to an assessment of their needs as a carer. If there is more than one carer providing regular…

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Appealing against a Child Benefit decision

Appealing against a Child Benefit decision

If you are not happy with a Child Benefit decision, you may be able to appeal. You’ll normally have to appeal within one month of when the Child Benefit Office sent you their decision. Before you appeal You can often sort out any Child Benefit Office decision you are not happy with without having to make a formal appeal. You can do this as follows: ask the Child Benefit Office for an explanation of their…

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Applying for a National Insurance number

Applying for a National Insurance number

National Insurance is the system of contribution towards state benefits and other welfare provisions operated in the United Kingdom. It was first introduced in 1911, to insure the population against illness and unemployment. Today the National Insurance system does not directly fund the health service, but instead offers a fund to pay for state benefits such as statutory sick pay, job seekers’ allowance, disability allowance and the state pension. In fact, the Government collected over…

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Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a tax-free benefit you may get if you’re aged 65 or over and need help with personal care because you’re physically or mentally disabled. The information in this section is a guide only. The office dealing with your claim can answer any questions you may have about claiming and getting Attendance Allowance. Who can get Attendance Allowance? You may get Attendance Allowance if any of the following apply: you have a…

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Bank holidays and Child Benefit payments

Bank holidays and Child Benefit payments

Your Child Benefit payments are made every week or every four weeks, depending on what you chose when you claimed. If your usual payment day falls on a bank holiday, you should get your payment earlier than normal. Payments over bank holidays From time to time, your normal Child Benefit payment day may fall on the same day as a bank holiday. This will often be a Monday, but not always. When this happens, you’ll…

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Benefits and help for parents going back to work

Benefits and help for parents going back to work

If you are going back to work and you’ve got children, you can get financial and practical help with childcare. From tax credits to flexible working arrangements, there’s lots of support available to make your life easier. Early years education All three and four year olds are entitled to up to five two-and-a-half hour daily sessions a week, for three terms each year, with a ‘registered provider’ such as a school, nursery or playgroup. Some…

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Benefits and help when going back to work

Benefits and help when going back to work

When you return to work after being on benefit, some of your benefits will carry on for a short while. Find out more, including the benefits and support you may be able to get once you’re working. Help with housing costs If you were getting help with your housing costs while you were out of work, you may carry on getting this. This is if you have claimed income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support…

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Benefits and help when looking for work

Benefits and help when looking for work

If you’re unemployed and available for work, you may be able to get Jobseeker’s Allowance and other benefits. Jobcentre Plus may also give you help and support to look for a job. Find out more, including how to get benefit advice. Benefits if you’re unemployed Benefits adviser Use the online benefits adviser to get an estimate of the benefits you may get. You can also find out how a change in your circumstances may affect…

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Benefits for those going back to work

Benefits for those going back to work

If you are just starting work If you stop being entitled to Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance or Incapacity Benefit after several months because you start work or because you increase your hours of work or your earnings, you may be able to get ‘extended payments’ of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. This means you will carry on getting these benefits for four weeks at the same rate as before you…

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Bereavement Allowance

Bereavement Allowance

After you’re widowed you may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance, the taxable weekly benefit paid to you for up to 52 weeks from the date of death of your husband, wife or civil partner. Who can claim You may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance if all of the following apply: you’re a widow, widower or surviving civil partner aged 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died you’re not bringing…

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Bereavement Payment

Bereavement Payment

If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to get Bereavement Payment, a one-off, lump-sum payment of 2,000 that’s tax-free. Who can claim You may be able to claim Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner had paid their National Insurance contributions (NICs) or their death was caused by their job and either: you were under State Pension age (60 for women and 65 for men) when they…

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Budgeting Loans

Budgeting Loans

If you’re on a low income and need help with certain important costs, you may be able to get an interest-free Budgeting Loan from the Social Fund that you pay back. Who is eligible? You may be able to get a Budgeting Loan if you or your partner have been claiming or getting paymentof one of the following benefits for at least 26 weeks: Income Support income-related Employment and Support Allowance income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Pension…

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Can I claim Child Benefit if my child is in further education or training?

Can I claim Child Benefit if my child is in further education or training?

What happens to your Child Benefit payments when your child turns 16? In general, Child Benefit payments stop on 31 August on or after your child’s 16th birthday if they are no longer in education or training. However, if your child continues in approved education or training, Child Benefit payments will continue. During your child’s final year at school, you will be sent a letter asking you to confirm your child’s plans. You are responsible…

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Can I receive child benefit if my child is 16 or over?

Can I receive child benefit if my child is 16 or over?

Child Benefit normally stops on 31 August after your child’s 16th birthday if they leave education or training. However, if your child is in approved (non-advanced) education or approved training, you can continue to claim Child Benefit for them until they reach 19 and, in certain circumstances, 20 years old. During your child’s final year of school, the Child Benefit office will send you a letter asking you to confirm your child’s plans – that…

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Care home standards and how to complain

Care home standards and how to complain

Care homes are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which is responsible for monitoring the standards of most private, voluntary and local council care services. Meeting National Minimum Standards The CQC inspects all registered care homes to make sure they meet national minimum standards, which are set by the Department of Health. The CQC only registers care homes if they meet these standards. National minimum standards set acceptable levels of things like: health and…

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Care homes and benefits

Care homes and benefits

A permanent or temporary stay in a care home can affect your benefits. If you are receiving any benefits and your circumstances change, you need to tell the relevant government department. You will probably have to contribute most benefits you get towards your care home fees. Moving into a care home should not affect the mobility component of your Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It will also be disregarded when your local council are calculating how…

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Care homes and hospital

Care homes and hospital

You may decide that moving into a care home when you leave hospital is the right option for you. Your local council can help make the necessary arrangements. If you’re living in a care home, you may need to go into hospital at some point. Going into a care home from hospital If your circumstances have changed or if you are newly disabled – and you need support and perhaps nursing care – a move…

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Carers Allowance

Carers Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit to help people who look after someone who is disabled. You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for. The information in this section is a guide only. The Carer’s Allowance Unit – who will handle your claim – can answer any questions you may have about claiming and getting Carer’s Allowance. Who can get Carer’s Allowance? You can get Carer’s Allowance if you’re…

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Changes that affect your benefit

Changes that affect your benefit

If you get benefits and your circumstances change, tell your local benefits office as soon as possible. Reporting changes quickly, means you’ll get any increase or new benefit faster. For some changes your payments may be reduced. Find out how a change in your circumstances can affect your benefit claim. Changes you need to report You must report any change in your circumstances to your local benefit office as soon as it happens, whether or…

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Child Benefit – do you qualify?

Child Benefit – do you qualify?

Child Benefit do you qualify? You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you have children under 16 (or under 20 and in certain types of education or training) and you live in the UK. Who is eligible? You may be able to get Child Benefit if your child is: aged under 16 aged between 16 and 19(up to 20 in some cases) and is in education or training that qualifies for Child Benefit 16 or…

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Child Benefit – other benefits you might qualify for

Child Benefit – other benefits you might qualify for

If you’re a parent and you get Child Benefit, or you are expecting a baby, you may be able to get other benefits and financial help. Tax credits Tax credits are payments from the government to help you with your everyday costs. The amount of tax credit you get depends on things like: how many children you have living with you whether you work – and how many hours you work if you pay for…

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Child Benefit – which changes you need to report

Child Benefit – which changes you need to report

It’s important to let the Child Benefit Office know of any changes in your circumstances as soon as possible. This will make sure you get the money you’re entitled to without any delays, and also that you don’t get overpaid and have to pay some back. Changes to do with you Some changes in your circumstances can affect your entitlement to Child Benefit. You must tell the Child Benefit Officeas soon as possible if any…

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Child Benefit and birth and adoption certificates

Child Benefit and birth and adoption certificates

When you claim Child Benefit you need to send the Child Benefit Office your child’s original birth or adoption certificate so they can confirm who youre claiming for. The Child Benefit Office cannot normally accept photocopies so if you dont send them the original, this may delay your first payment. Certificates you need to send with your claim form You should send the Child Benefit Office the original of one of the following: your child’s…

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Child Benefit for children in hospital or residential care

Child Benefit for children in hospital or residential care

If your child is ill or disabled and is in hospital or residential care in the UK or abroad you can still get Child Benefit for up to 84 days. If its longer than that, you or your partner need to spend money on them to qualify. What is ‘residential care’? This is accommodation provided by the local authority for your child because he or she has mental or physical disabilities. It can also be…

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Child Benefit for under 18s who leave education or training

Child Benefit for under 18s who leave education or training

The Child Benefit Office can often extend your Child Benefit for up to 20 weeks if your child has left education or training and they’re still under 18. You’ll need to let them know that you want to get your benefit extended. Who qualifies for the extension? If your child is aged 16 or 17, and has left education or training that qualified for Child Benefit, you may be able to get these extra weeks….

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Child Benefit if one or both parents die

Child Benefit if one or both parents die

If you become the main carer for the child or children of someone who’s died, you may be able to get Child Benefit. You may also be able to get an extra payment called Guardian’s Allowance if you’re not the child’s parent. If you’re now responsible for the child Let the Child Benefit Office know as soon as possible about the death of the child’s parent or parents. You need to tell them: the exact…

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Child Benefit if you adopt or foster a child

Child Benefit if you adopt or foster a child

You may be able to get Child Benefit if you live in the UK and you’re adopting or fostering your child. If you get payments towards the cost of your child’s accommodation or basic maintenance from your local authority, you won’t normally be able to get Child Benefit. You’re going to adopt a child If you’re in the process of adopting a child, it is important to apply for Child Benefit as soon as possible….

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Child Benefit if your child dies

Child Benefit if your child dies

If your child has died, your Child Benefit payments will carry on for a short while longer. They could help with the extra costs that you face at this difficult time. What you need to do You will need to tell the Child Benefit Officeas soon as possible if your child or a child you’re responsible for has died. Tell themthe exact date of death too. The Child Benefit Office will record this information and…

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Child Benefit if your child dies

Child Benefit if your child dies

If you are claiming child benefit and your child dies, you should contact the Child Benefit Office as soon as possible.  You will receive payment for eight weeks after the death. However, if your child would have turned 20 before the eight weeks were up then benefit would stop on the date your child would have turned 20. If you have already made a claim If you have already made a claim for child benefit,…

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Child Benefit if your child is in care

Child Benefit if your child is in care

If your child is taken into care or is looked after by a local authority or another public body, your Child Benefit payment may not stop immediately. What you need to do if your child goes into care You must tell the Child Benefit Office as soon as your child goes into care. They will then check if you can continue to be paid. You can tell them online by using the link below, or…

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Child Benefit if your child lives with someone else

Child Benefit if your child lives with someone else

If your child goes to live with someone else, you may be able to keep getting Child Benefit for up to eight weeks. You might be able to get it for longer if you keep contributing towards your child’s upkeep. The first eight weeks after a child leaves home If your child leaves home to live with someone like a friend or relative, the Child Benefit Office willusually keep paying you Child Benefit for the…

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Child Benefit if youre living or working abroad

Child Benefit if youre living or working abroad

You usually have to live in the UK to get Child Benefit. But you may qualify if you live in another European country, are a Crown servant posted overseas, or leave the UK for a short time. Find out if you can get Child Benefit and how to keep your payments up to date. You live in another European country You may be able to get Child Benefit if you are responsible for a child,…

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Child Benefit overpayments

Child Benefit overpayments

Sometimes you may receive too much money from child benefit. This situation is considered an “overpayment” and you must contact the Child Benefit Office immediate if this happens. Why have I been over-paid? Overpayment usually occurs when you have not reported a change in your circumstances to the Child Benefit Office. Such changes in circumstances include: If you leave the UK for longer than eight weeks If your child leaves home If your child is…

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Child Benefit payments stopped or gone down?

Child Benefit payments stopped or gone down?

There could be a number of reasons why your Child Benefit payments have stopped. It might be for the simple reason that your circumstances have changed and the Child Benefit Office don’t know about them. Why has your Child Benefit stopped? There are several reasons why your Child Benefit payments may have stopped. These include: the Child Benefit Office havewritten to you but you haven’t replied to their enquiry your child has turned 16 and…

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Child Benefit payments stopped or gone down? 

Child Benefit payments stopped or gone down? 

There could be a number of reasons why your Child Benefit payments have stopped. It might be for the simple reason that your circumstances have changed and the Child Benefit Office doesn’t know. Why has your Child Benefit stopped? There are several reasons why your Child Benefit payments may have stopped. These include: the Child Benefit Office has written to you but you haven’t replied your child has turned 16 and you haven’t told the…

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Child Benefit rates

Child Benefit rates

You get a higher rate of Child Benefit for your eldest or only child, and then a lower rate for any additional children. Guardian’s Allowance is an extra amount that some people get on top of Child Benefit. How much do you get? The amount of Child Benefit you’ll get depends on: how many children you’re entitled to get Child Benefit for the current rates of Child Benefit When you start getting Child Benefit you’ll…

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Child Benefit rates >> Payment

Child Benefit rates >> Payment

Who can receive Child Benefit? Child Benefit is normally payable to persons who are responsible for children, regardless of whether or not these individuals are their parents. How much is Child Benefit and how often is it paid? The Child Benefit rules state that only one person can receive Child Benefit for each child. The amount of Child Benefit an individual will receive depends on: the number of children the person is entitled to Child…

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Choosing a care home

Choosing a care home

Once you have made the decision to move into a care home you need to begin the process of choosing the right one for you as this can often take some time. Your local council can help you choose a care home and, after a financial assessment, may contribute towards the cost. Your right to choose You have the right to choose which care home you live in. If your local council is helping with…

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Christmas Bonus

Christmas Bonus

You may be able to get Christmas Bonus, the one-off tax-free 10 payment made before Christmas. This is normally paid automatically to those customers getting a qualifying benefit in the qualifying week and who meet the residency conditions. Who is eligible? To get a Christmas Bonus you must be a resident in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, any EEA country, or Switzerland. You must also be entitled to at least one of…

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Claiming benefits in Europe

Claiming benefits in Europe

Your rights to claim benefits, tax credits or other financial support are protected by social security arrangements between the UK and other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA). This means you may be able to get UK benefits while living abroad in certain countries. Who can claim benefits in the EEA? You may be able to get benefits and other financial support if any of the following apply: you’ve lived, worked or studied (a…

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Claiming disability benefits if you live in another European country

Claiming disability benefits if you live in another European country

Some disability benefits may be paid to people who have left the UK to live in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Find out which benefits are affected, who can get them and what to do next. Affected benefits The decision affects: Disability Living Allowance (care component only) Attendance Allowance Carer’s Allowance The mobility component of Disability Living Allowance has not been affected by this judgement. Disability Living Allowance

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Cold Weather Payment

Cold Weather Payment

What is the Cold Weather Payment? The Cold Weather Payment is a UK Government grant issued to eligible households when the average temperature is at or below zero degrees Celsius for a period of seven consecutive days. Qualifying households receive 25 for each week of cold weather between 1 November and 31 March (2014/2015). Who qualifies for the Cold Weather Payment? Eligibility for the Cold Weather Payment is based on income rather than savings. Cold…

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Community Care Grants

Community Care Grants

If you need financial help to live independently in the community or to ease exceptional pressure on you and your family you may be able to get a Community Care Grant. You don’t have to pay it back. Who is eligible? You can apply for a Community Care Grant if you are either: already getting Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, or payment on accountof one of these benefits…

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Constant Attendance Allowance

Constant Attendance Allowance

If you need daily care and attention because of a disability and you claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or a War Disablement Pension, you can claim Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA). Who is eligible? To be eligible for Constant Attendance Allowance you must be claiming one of the following: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit War Disablement Pension If you’re claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit To claim Constant Attendance Allowance you must: need daily care and attention (for…

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Council Tax Benefit

Council Tax Benefit

If youre on a low income, whether you’re working or not, and need financial help to pay your Council Tax bill, you may be able to get Council Tax Benefit. Find out more, including who is eligible and information about the Second Adult Rebate. Who is eligible? To get an estimate of benefits that you may get (whether you’re working or not), including Council Tax Benefit, use the online benefits adviser. Benefits adviser Council Tax…

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Crisis Loans

Crisis Loans

If you need financial help with an emergency or disaster you may be able to get a Crisis Loan; the interest-free loan from the Social Fund that you pay back. Who is eligible? You can apply for a Crisis Loan if all the following apply: you’re aged 16 or over you don’t have enough money to meet your (or your family’s) immediate short term needsin an emergency or as the resultof a disaster without the…

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Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse is a national charity which provides support services for people who have been bereaved. The helpline offers listening support and practical advice on bereavement related issues and puts people in touch with local Cruse branches that provide a range of services including individual and group support. Cruse Bereavement Care Contact point Cruse Bereavement Care Address PO Box 800SurreyTW9 1RG Phone number Helpline0844 477 9400Administration020 8939 9530 Fax 020 8940 1671 Email address helpline@cruse.org.uk Website…

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Direct payments for care and services

Direct payments for care and services

Direct payments are local council payments for people who have been assessed as needing help from social services, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local council. A person must be able to give their consent to getting direct payments and manage them, even if they need daily help to do this. Who is eligible? If you already receive social…

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Direct payments for disabled children

Direct payments for disabled children

Direct payments, which allow you to arrange care and services yourself instead of receiving them directly from your local council, can be made to parents and carers aged 16 or over. This includes people with parental responsibility for a disabled child. If you have parental responsibility for a disabled child Following an assessment, direct payments can be used for a variety of services which offer your child stimulation, new experiences and independence. These include: short…

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Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance – sometimes referred to as DLA – is a tax-free benefit for children and adults who need help with personal care or have walking difficulties because they are physically or mentally disabled. The information in this section is a guide only. The office dealing with your claim can answer any questions you may have about claiming and getting Disability Living Allowance. Who can get Disability Living Allowance? You may get Disability Living…

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Disabled Facilities Grants

Disabled Facilities Grants

A Disabled Facilities Grant is a local council grant to help towards the cost of adapting your home to enable you to continue to live there. A grant is paid where the council considers the changes necessary to meet your needs – and is happy that the work is reasonable and practical. Who is eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant? You can claim if you, or someone living in your property, is disabled and: you,…

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Disabled Facilities Grants >> Support For Disabled People

Disabled Facilities Grants >> Support For Disabled People

A Disabled Facilities Grant is a sum of money you can receive from your local council. It is intended to help with the cost of altering your home if you are suffering from a disability.  Can I claim a Disabled Facilities Grant? You can claim the Disabled Facilities Grant if you, or someone living in your property, is disabled and: you, or the person on whose behalf you are applying, are either the owner or…

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Disabled Students Allowances – an introduction

Disabled Students Allowances – an introduction

Disabled Students’ Allowances provide extra financial help if you have a disability or specific learning difficulty like dyslexia. They are available on top of the standard student finance package and don’t have to be repaid. This page is an introduction to what is available if you live in England. Who Disabled Students’ Allowances are aimed at Disabled Students’ Allowances are grants to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result…

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Does Child Benefit affect your other benefits?

Does Child Benefit affect your other benefits?

Child Benefit doesn’t count as income for other benefits. But if you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, the office paying you needs to know if you’re getting Child Benefit. This is so they can work out how much to pay you. Does Child Benefit affect your tax credits? Child Benefit doesn’t count as income if you’re applying for tax credits. Does Child Benefit affect your other benefits? Child Benefit doesn’t count as income…

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Employment and Support Allowance – eligibility

Employment and Support Allowance – eligibility

You may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance if you have an illness or disability that affects your ability to work. Find out if you might be eligible for the two kinds available. Who can get Employment and Support Allowance You may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance if any of the following apply to you: your Statutory Sick Pay has ended, or you cannot get it you are self employed…

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Employment and Support Allowance – how to claim

Employment and Support Allowance – how to claim

There are several ways you can claim Employment and Support Allowance. The easiest and quickest is by telephone or textphone. Claiming by telephone or textphone You can claim Employment and Support Allowance by telephone or textphone. An adviser at the contact centre will go though the application with you and fill in the form. You will not have to fill in any forms yourself. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 8.00 am to 6.00…

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Employment and Support Allowance – introduction

Employment and Support Allowance – introduction

Employment and Support Allowance provides financial help to people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. It also provides personalised support to those who are able to work. Find out more about Employment and Support Allowance. About Employment and Support Allowance Employment and Support Allowance offers you personalised support and financial help, so that you can do appropriate work, if you are able to. It gives you access to a specially trained…

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Employment and Support Allowance – rates

Employment and Support Allowance – rates

The amount you get paid depends on your circumstances. There are several things that will be taken into consideration. It also depends on what effect your disability has on your ability to do any work. Rates Weekly rate during the assessment phase The assessment phase rate is paid for the first 13 weeks of your claim while a decision is made on your capability for work through the Work Capability Assessment. Age of claimant Weekly…

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Energy Rebate Scheme

Energy Rebate Scheme

If you are aged 70 or over you may be due a one off rebate for 2010 on your electricity bill. If you are eligible you will probably get this automatically on your electricity bill. Find out now if this help applies to you. Are you eligible? This scheme will deliver a rebate this year on electricity bills to some older people. You may be eligible if, on 26 March 2010, all of the following…

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Extended Payment of Council Tax Benefit

Extended Payment of Council Tax Benefit

When you go back to work, work more hours or earn more money, some of your benefits may stop. To help you pay your Council Tax you may get an extra four weeks of Council Tax Benefit, called Extended Payment of Council Tax Benefit. Find out more, including who is eligible. Who is eligible? You don’t have to claim an Extended Payment of Council Tax Benefit if you or your partner or civil partner (and…

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Extended Payment of Housing Benefit

Extended Payment of Housing Benefit

When you go back to work, work more hours or earn more money, some of your benefits may stop. To help you pay rent you may get an extra four weeks of Housing Benefit, called Extended Payment of Housing Benefit. Find out more, including who is eligible. Who is eligible? You don’t have to claim an Extended Payment of Housing Benefit if you or your partner or civil partner (and they remain a partner throughout…

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FAQ 09 – My benefit has been overpaid. What do I do?

FAQ 09 – My benefit has been overpaid. What do I do?

Check the amount You should always check how much of the overpayment is repayable. Any amount of benefit you were genuinely entitled to over the period of the overpayment should be taken into account. In some cases it may be possible to reduce the overpayment to take account of other benefits that you did not claim for the same period. Challenging the overpayment You can challenge an overpayment for two reasons. You may think you…

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FAQ 12 – Im returning to work. Do all my benefits stop?

FAQ 12 – Im returning to work. Do all my benefits stop?

Find out which benefits you might still be entitled to once you return to work. If you are returning to work, you won’t necessarily lose entitlement to all your benefits. Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Industrial Injuries Benefit and Reduced Earnings Allowance can all be claimed in full whilst you are working. If you are a carer, you may be able to continue claiming Carer’s Allowance in full if you still meet the conditions and…

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FAQ 14 – What benefits are available for people with disabilities?

FAQ 14 – What benefits are available for people with disabilities?

Find out what benefits you could claim if you have a disability. The main disability benefits are Disability Living Allowance for people under 65 years of age and Attendance Allowance for people over 65 years of age. If you are under 65, you can claim Disability Living Allowance for help with: mobility, if you have severe difficulties walking outdoors; and/or personal care, if you need help from another person in connection with bodily functions. Bodily…

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Finding your Child Benefit number or proving you qualify

Finding your Child Benefit number or proving you qualify

From time to time someone might ask you for your Child Benefit number or proof that you’re getting Child Benefit. So it’s a good idea to keep all your paperwork about Child Benefit together in a safe place in case you need it later on. Why you might need your Child Benefit number If you have received Child Benefit for your child in the past and are now making a new claim for them, it…

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Free milk, infant formula, vitamins, fruit and vegetables

Free milk, infant formula, vitamins, fruit and vegetables

You may be entitled to free milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, infant formula and vitamins under the Healthy Start scheme. Who is eligible for Healthy Start? You may qualify if youre pregnant and/or have at least one child under four years old and your family gets any of the following: Income Support income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit unless your family is receiving Working Tax credit run-on only) with an…

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Funeral Payments

Funeral Payments

If you’re on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you’re arranging, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund. You might have to repay some or all of it from the estate of the person who died. Find out more information including how to claim. Who is eligible? You may be able to get a Funeral Payment but it depends on the benefits you’re getting,…

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Getting Child Benefit on behalf of someone else

Getting Child Benefit on behalf of someone else

Very young parents and ill or disabled people with a child or children may find it difficult to make a claim for Child Benefit. They may also find it difficult to collect their payments but you may be able to help them with this. Helping a very young parent get Child Benefit You can fill in a Child Benefit claim form for a very young parent, if they can’t fill it in themselves. It doesn’t…

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Getting help to make your mortgage interest payments

Getting help to make your mortgage interest payments

Homeowners on certain benefits may be able to get help towards mortgage interest payments called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). Find out if you are eligible, how to claim SMI and what extra help is available during the economic downturn. SMI what it is and who is eligible You may get help with mortgage interest payments as part of your benefits if you are a homeowner and are eligible for: Income Support income-based Jobseekers Allowance…

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Guardians Allowance

Guardians Allowance

Guardians Allowance Guardian’s Allowance is a tax-free payment for people who are bringing up children whose parents have died. In certain circumstances you may qualify for Guardian’s Allowance where only one parent has died. Do you qualify? You can usually get Guardian’s Allowance as long as: youre bringing up someone elses child or children and both their parents have died you qualify for Child Benefit for the child or children youre bringing up You can’t…

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Guide to benefits in retirement

Guide to benefits in retirement

According to Government figures, over one million pensioners are not claiming the benefits they are entitled to (2014/15). This guide outlines the benefits that can be claimed in retirement. State Benefits The Government provides various benefit payments to boost retirement income. Some of these benefits are ‘means’ (income) tested while others are universal. Pension Credit Pension Credit is a tax-free supplement to the State Pension. It is for pensioners on a low income and consists…

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Guide to financial support for carers

Guide to financial support for carers

There is a range of benefits, tax credits and other financial support that you may be able to receive as a carer. This is a general overview. Carer’s Allowance You may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance if you are aged 16 or over and you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone. Carer’s Allowance – introduction Direct payments for carers If you have been assessed by your local council as needing…

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Guide to financial support for disabled people

Guide to financial support for disabled people

There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions. This is a general overview with links to detailed information. Main disability and sickness benefits Disability Living Allowance This is a tax-free benefit for people who have a disability and need someone to help look after them or have walking difficulties. You must claim before you reach age 65. Attendance Allowance This is a tax-free benefit for people…

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Guide to information for carers

Guide to information for carers

If you are a carer, you may also be entitled to help and support. A ‘carer’ means someone who looks after a friend, relative or neighbour who needs support because of their age, sickness or disability. Managing your affairs and lasting power of attorney There may come a time when, because you are incapable of managing your property and financial affairs or personal welfare, you will need someone to do this for you. You can…

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Having a baby or adopting?

Having a baby or adopting?

If you are having a baby or adopting a child If you have a job, you may get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) from your employer. These benefits are the minimum amount that an employer must pay you while you are off work having a baby or when you have just adopted a child. Whether you can get these benefits depends on how much you earn and how long you have…

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Health in Pregnancy Grant

Help with the Child Benefit claim form

Help with the Child Benefit claim form

To claim Child Benefit, you’ll need to fill in a claim form as fully and accurately as you can. This guide applies to the paper version of the Child Benefit claim form, and it can help you answer some of the main questions. Before you start Decide who should fill in the form. Usually whoever fills it in gets the payments. But you may be able to claim on behalf of someone else if they…

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Home Responsibilities Protection

Home Responsibilities Protection

Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) is not a benefit but a scheme which helps protect your State Pension. HRP can help if you’re not paying National Insurance contributions because you don’t work, or your earnings are low because you’re caring for a child, or a sick or disabled person. Who is eligible Depending on your circumstances you may either qualify automatically for HRP or you may have to apply. Qualifying automatically for Home Responsibilities Protection You…

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Hospital stays and your benefits

Hospital stays and your benefits

Going into hospital may affect any benefits you receive, including Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit. If someone receives Carer’s Allowance because they are caring for you, this may also be affected if you go into hospital. Disability Living Allowance If you go into hospital, nothing will usually happen to your Disability Living Allowance (DLA) straight away. If DLA is paid for someone aged 16 or over, it will…

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How benefits and pensions are paid

How benefits and pensions are paid

Direct Payment into an account is the normal method of payment for benefits and pensions. It is a safe, convenient, and efficient method of payment. Find out how Direct Payment gives you flexibility to choose where and when to collect your money, and access a wide range of other financial services. Advantages of using an account You can choose to have your money paid into one of a variety of accounts. These can be a…

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How changes can affect your Child Benefit payments

How changes can affect your Child Benefit payments

If you are getting Child Benefit your payments could be different, stop or be delayed if there’s a change in your – or your child’s – circumstances. It’s worth knowing how changes in your life could affect your Child Benefit payments. Changes that may stop entitlement The Child Benefit Officewill stop paying you Child Benefit if you: leave your family home and stop paying money for your child leave the UK permanently leave the UK…

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How claiming Child Benefit can protect your State Pension

How claiming Child Benefit can protect your State Pension

If you’re at home looking after children, or you’re a working parent who doesn’t earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs), there’s a scheme to protect your State Pension. Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) can protect your State Pension entitlement if you get Child Benefit. How HRP works HRP isn’t a benefit, it’s a way of safeguarding how much State Pension you’ll get. Your State Pension is based on the number of ‘qualifying years’ you…

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How do I claim Housing Benefit?

How do I claim Housing Benefit?

If you are unemployed or on a low income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help you with some or all of your rent payment (depending on your income and circumstances).   Who is eligible for Housing Benefit? You may be eligible for Housing Benefit if you satisfy the following criteria: You pay rent You are on a low income or claiming benefits Your savings are below the threshold – normally £16,000. If…

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How to appeal against a benefits decision

How to appeal against a benefits decision

If you think a decision about your benefits is wrong, you can ask the office that made the decision to explain it. You can also ask to get the decision reconsidered and, if you’re still unhappy, you can appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal. If you disagree with a benefits decision When the benefits office sends you a letter about their decision, if you do not agree, you can ask them to explain…

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How to change your bank account details for Child Benefit payments

How to change your bank account details for Child Benefit payments

The Child Benefit Office usually pays Child Benefit into your bank or building society account. Tell them as soon as possible if you want to change the account your Child Benefit goes into, otherwise your payments may be delayed. What you need to check before you change your account details Before you tell the Child Benefit Officeabout the change, make sure that the account is in any one of the following names: your own name…

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How to claim benefit

How to claim benefit

The government has a range of benefits to provide opportunities and support. These are handled by various departments and agencies. If you are entitled to any of these benefits, you will need to claim them from the right place. The different types of benefit Benefits are available for people of working age, for pensioners, for families and children, and for disabled people and their carers. Each of these areas is handled by different departments or…

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How to claim Child Benefit

How to claim Child Benefit

The only way to claim Child Benefit is to fill in a Child Benefit claim form and send it to the Child Benefit Office along with your child’s birth or adoption certificate. You can’t claim over the phone or the internet. Where to get the claim form There are several ways of getting a claim form. You can: get one from the ‘Bounty Pack’ that’s given to new mothers in hospital fill in a Child…

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How to claim Child Benefit

How to claim Child Benefit

The only way to claim Child Benefit is to fill in a Child Benefit claim form. You need to send the claim form to the Child Benefit Office along with your child’s birth or adoption certificate. You can’t claim over the phone or the internet. Where to get the claim form There are a couple of ways of getting a claim form. You can: get one from the ‘Bounty Pack’ that’s given to new mothers…

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How to complain to the Child Benefit Office

How to complain to the Child Benefit Office

In most cases, your dealings with the Child Benefit Office should be easy and cause you no difficulties or inconvenience. However, mistakes and delays can happen, or you may feel unhappy with how you have been dealt with. Whatever the problem, you have the right to complain about poor service. When to complain If you’ve had a bad experience, let the Child Benefit Office know as soon as possible. You may want to complain about:…

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How to complain to the Child Benefit Office

How to complain to the Child Benefit Office

In most cases, your dealings with the Child Benefit Office should be easy and cause you no difficulties or inconvenience. However, mistakes and delays can happen, or you may feel unhappy with how you have been dealt with. Whatever the problem, you have the right to complain about poor service. When to complain If you’ve had a bad experience, let the Child Benefit Officeknow as soon as possible. You may want to complain about: an…

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How to find out if you qualify for benefits

How to find out if you qualify for benefits

You may be entitled to receive benefits if you are on a low income or have certain costs to meet because of your personal situation. If any of the following apply to you, you may be entitled to claim benefits: you’re on a low income (employed or looking for work) you have dependent children you’reill or disabled you’re caring for someone you’re aged 60 or over you have been bereaved you’re pregnant or have recently…

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How to handle an interview under caution: Before the interview

How to handle an interview under caution: Before the interview

Get advice! Ideally you should get advice from both an adviser and a solicitor who has experience in helping people with interviews under caution. The adviser can advise you about your benefits and the solicitor about your rights in the fraud investigation. They can tell you how the law will affect your particular circumstances, explain your options, negotiate with the DWP or council on your behalf and may come with you to the interview. Solicitors…

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How to handle an interview under caution: Introduction

How to handle an interview under caution: Jargon buster

How to handle an interview under caution: Jargon buster

If you are facing an interview under caution, you may encounter some of these words and phrases. Here’s a quick guide to explain them. Jargon What it means for interview under caution Advice centre Most towns have advice centres such as Citizens Advice Bureaux, (CAB) or independent advice centres (often these are in community centres). Unlike some other professional help, help from an advice centre should always be free. If you go for advice, take…

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How to handle an interview under caution: Jens story

How to handle an interview under caution: Jens story

Jen didn’t know what to do. She’d taken on a friend’s shift at their local pub while he recovered from an operation and hadn’t told the Job Seekers Allowance office about it. ‘It hardly brought in a fortune and was only temporary,’ Jen says. But she got found out and had to go to an interview under caution. ‘To be honest, I didn’t think the interview was too bad,’ Jen explains, ‘But that was before…

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How to handle an interview under caution: Steves story

How to handle an interview under caution: Steves story

Steve had only been going out with Chloe for about six months when her landlord gave her notice to leave her flat. Things had been going well between them so they decided that she would move in with Steve to see if it worked out. A couple of months later they decided to make it permanent. They told the landlord that Chloe wanted to be an official tenant too. The landlord said it was fine…

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How to handle an interview under caution: What about my benefits?

How to handle an interview under caution: What about my benefits?

If you’ve been paid too much If the DWP or council is looking at whether you committed fraud, it is likely to be because they also think you’ve been paid too much benefit. If the benefits section sends you a written decision saying that you have been overpaid, and you don’t agree and want to appeal, then you will need to move quickly to make sure that you don’t miss the appeal deadline. You should…

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How to handle an interview under caution: What will the interview be like?

How to handle an interview under caution: What will the interview be like?

If you are suspected by the Department for Work and Pensions of conducting or participating in benefit fraud then they may contact you to request that you come in for an interview under caution. Benefit fraud is a major problem in the UK, with estimates suggesting it could cost the UK taxpayer £1.9 billion per year. In September 2013 the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer, announced a new ‘tough stance’ on benefit fraud that…

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How your benefit claim is checked for benefit theft

How your benefit claim is checked for benefit theft

Benefit claims are many and varied, and encompass benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance, housing benefit and incapacity benefit as the main types. Whilst the majority of those in receipt of benefits are entitled to receive them, there are some who commit fraud in order to receive benefits to which they are not entitled. Statistics suggest that benefit theft costs the UK more than £1.2bn in false claims, giving the Government a large incentive to…

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I do not agree with the decision on my benefit claim. What do I do next?

I do not agree with the decision on my benefit claim. What do I do next?

Reconsideration If you ask the benefit office to look at your benefit claim again, it will be reconsidered by a different person from the one who looked at your original claim. At this stage, if the office asks you for any further information, it is important that you provide it within one month. If you appeal instead, the benefit office may decide to look at your benefit claim again anyway. They will let you know…

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Im having problems with housing benefit

Im having problems with housing benefit

How to challenge a decision If you think a decision about your housing benefit is wrong, you can challenge it. For example, you may think you are entitled but have been turned down, or you may think you have been paid the wrong amount. You have the legal right to ask the local council to reconsider their decision, or you can appeal to an independent tribunal. You should take action within one month. If you…

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Incapacity Benefit

Incapacity Benefit

If you couldnt work because of illness or disability before 31 January 2011, you may be receiving Incapacity Benefit. Since 31 January 2011 no new Incapacity Benefit claims have been accepted. You should claim Employment and Support Allowance instead. Changes to benefits if you are ill or disabled From the 31st January 2011 people can no longer make new claims for Incapacity Benefit. You should claim Employment and Support Allowance instead. Employment and Support Allowance…

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Income Support

Income Support

Income Support is extra money to help people on a low income. Its for people who don’t have to sign on as unemployed. Whether you qualify or not and how much you get depends on your circumstances. Find out more, including who can get it. Who can get Income Support It’s for people who all the following apply to: are between age 16 and the age they can get Pension Credit have a low income…

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Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (accidents)

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (accidents)

You may be able to get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (accidents) if you are ill or disabled because of an accident or event that happened at work or in connection with work. The amount you may get depends on your individual circumstances. Who is eligible You may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if: you were employed when the accident or event happened the work accident or event that caused your illness or…

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Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (diseases and deafness)

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (diseases and deafness)

If you are ill or disabled because of disease caused by certain types of work, you may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (diseases). The amount you may get depends on your individual circumstances. Who is eligible You can claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (diseases) if you were employed in a job that caused your disease. The scheme covers more than 70 diseases, including: a disease caused by working with asbestos asthma chronic…

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Interview under caution: summary

Interview under caution: summary

There are many things that you can do to make sure your interview under caution goes as well as it can. Here is a quick reminder of some key points: Before the interview under caution: Get free independent professional advice. Get more information Decide whether to go, alone or with someone. Make sure you’re getting the right benefits. Prepare a statement of what you think happened. Get evidence which backs up your statement. At the…

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Job Grant

Job Grant

Job Grant is a one-off tax-free payment when you or your partner or civil partner start work and stop getting benefits. Who is eligible? You can claim Job Grant if you take up full-time work (at least 16 hours a week) and you expect the work to last for at least five weeks. You must also have been claiming one of the following benefits for at least 26 weeks before starting your new job: Jobseeker’s…

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Jobcentre Plus payday changes

Jobcentre Plus payday changes

Jobcentre Plus is making important changes to the day on which most people receive their working age benefits. Find out what this might mean for your benefits payments. Benefits affected by the payday changes If you receive any of the following benefits you may be affected: Bereavement Benefit and Widows Benefit Incapacity Benefit Income Support Jobseekers Allowance Maternity Allowance Severe Disablement Allowance Payments for people claiming Carers Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Industrial Injuries Disablement…

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Jobseekers Allowance

Jobseekers Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is a benefit paid to eligible people who are currently unemployed and looking for work. If you’ve claimed JSA in the last six months and none of your circumstances have changed, it should only take around 15 minutes for you to claim online. New claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance You can claim JSA online if you are: actively looking for work or working fewer than 16 hours per week over 18 but below…

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Jobseekers Allowance – Directgov : Money, tax and benefits

Jobseekers Allowance – Directgov : Money, tax and benefits

Jobseeker’s Allowance Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is a benefit paid to eligible people who are currently unemployed and looking for work. Start a new claim online 40 minutes Allow up to 40 minutes to apply for JSA online. 15 minutes If you’ve claimed JSA in the last six months and none of yourcircumstances have changed, it should only take around 15 minutes foryou to claim online. New claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance You can claim JSA online…

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Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance

If you are a private tenant renting property or room from a private landlord and you are on a low income, you may be able to claim and receive Local Housing Allowance. Find out more, including how it’s paid. What is the Local Housing Allowance? If you are renting a property or room from a private landlord, the Local Housing Allowance is used to work out how much Housing Benefit you get. If you have…

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Making a complaint about the Disability and Carers Service

Making a complaint about the Disability and Carers Service

The Disability and Carers Service is part of the Department for Work and Pensions and provides financial help to disabled people and carers. If you are unhappy with the way your claim has been handled, you can make a complaint. Covered benefits The Disability and Carers Servicedeals with claims for the following benefits: Disability Living Allowance Attendance Allowance Carer’s Allowance Vaccine Damage Payments How to make a complaint If you are unhappy withthe servicethe Disability…

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Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance

If you’re pregnant or have a new baby but don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from any employer, you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance (MA) through Jobcentre Plus. Find out more, including how to claim. Who is eligible? You might get Maternity Allowance if: you’re employed, but not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay you’re registered self-employed and paying Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs), or hold a Small Earnings Exception certificate you…

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Meals at home services

Meals at home services

If you have difficulty cooking meals for yourself, your council and other organisations can deliver ready-made meals to your home. This service is sometimes known as ‘meals on wheels’. Find out if you qualify for council meals at home and how the meals will be delivered to you. Do you qualify for council meals at home? If you would like to receive meals at home through your council, you will need to contact your councils…

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Medical assessment

Medical assessment

The medical assessment consists of up to three parts. Afterwards, a report will be sent to the Department for Work and Pensions. Before the medical assessment To prepare for the medical assessment, you mightwant to think about: what everyday tasks you have difficulty with, or are unable to do if you can do more on some days than others, what a typical day is like for you how your illness or disability affects your ability…

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More than one claim for Child Benefit for the same child

More than one claim for Child Benefit for the same child

If you and another person both claim Child Benefit for the same child, only one of you can get it. You should try to choose between you who should be the one to get the benefit. Try to decide who gets Child Benefit If you’re responsible for a child you can claim Child Benefit. But there may be someone else who pays towards the cost of looking after the child and they also want to…

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More than one claim for Child Benefit for the same child

More than one claim for Child Benefit for the same child

If you and another person make separate claims for Child Benefit for the same child, only one of you can get it. You should try to choose between you who should be the one to get the benefit. Try to decide who gets Child Benefit If you’re responsible for a child you can claim Child Benefit. But there may be someone else who pays towards the cost of looking after the child and they also…

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Mortgage Interest Run On

Mortgage Interest Run On

Mortgage Interest Run On (MIRO) is an extra four weeks of money you can get towards paying your housing costs if certain other benefits are stopping because you’re returning to work, earning or working more hours. Who is eligible? You may be able to claim Mortgage Interest Run On if you (or your partner or civil partner) have stopped getting income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support or income-related Employment & Support Allowance because one of you…

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New arrivals to the UK and Child Benefit

New arrivals to the UK and Child Benefit

If you’ve come from another country to live in the UK you may be able to get Child Benefit for your child. But to qualify for it you’ll have to satisfy some ‘residency’ rules. Who qualifies for Child Benefit? To get Child Benefit you’ll normally need to: be physically present in the UK – together with your child be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK – so your main home is here have a ‘right to…

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Paying for council services for carers

Paying for council services for carers

As a carer, there are some services you receive that you may have to pay for. You will not be charged for the services provided to the person you care for. Assessing your needs The amount of assistance you may be able to get to help you with your caring role does not depend on the amount you can afford. Your needs will be looked at in a needs assessment, and then social services will…

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Paying your care home fees

Paying your care home fees

Some people will have to contribute towards their care home fees. Your local council will work out how much you may have to pay by doing a financial assessment. Your financial assessment Before you move into a care home, you’ll have a financial assessment with your local council. The council will look at your income and capital and decide how much you may have to pay towards your care home fees. Examples of income include:…

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Pension Credit and free school meals

Pension Credit and free school meals

Children whose parents, carers or guardians receive the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit are entitled to free school meals or milk where it’s provided. The education department of your local authority must provide free school meals to eligible students where requested. Who is eligible? Free school meals only apply in England and Wales (although provision can vary). The free school meals scheme in England and Wales is usually administered by the education department of…

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Permitted Work – working while claiming Employment and Support Allowance

Permitted Work – working while claiming Employment and Support Allowance

You can do some limited work while claiming Employment and Support Allowance. There are rules about what work you can do and how many hours you can work. You may have to pay Income Tax on your earnings. About Permitted Work Generally, you are not allowed to work while you are getting Employment and Support Allowance because of an illness or disability. You may be able to do some types of work and within certain…

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Problems with your Child Benefit – where to start

Problems with your Child Benefit – where to start

Problems with your Child Benefit where to start If you think something’s gone wrong with your Child Benefit, there’s plenty of support and advice available to help check what’s happened and sort out any problems. Can’t find your claim form? If you had a Child Benefit claim form but you can’t find it you’ll need to get another one and send it to the Child Benefit Office. The easiest way of getting a new Child…

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Reduced Earnings Allowance

Reduced Earnings Allowance

If you can’t earn as much as you normally could because of an accident or disease caused by your work, you may be able to get Reduced Earnings Allowance (REA). Who is eligible? You may qualify for Reduced Earnings Allowance if you’re suffering from an illness or disability caused by a work-related accident or disease that happened before 1 October 1990. How much do you get? 57.44 per week is the maximum rate. Your individual…

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Reporting benefit fraud

Reporting benefit fraud

Benefit fraud cost the country around 900 million in 2008-09. If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, find out how you can report them and stop them taking money from the people who need it most. What is benefit fraud? Benefit fraud is when someone is dishonest in order to receive benefit or knowingly fails to report a change in their circumstances. This includes people who: do not report they are now living with…

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Severe Disablement Allowance

Severe Disablement Allowance

You may have been able to claim Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) if before April 2001 you were unable to work for at least 28 weeks in a row because of illness or disability. Who is eligible? You can’t make a new claim for Severe Disablement Allowance. But if you’re already getting the allowance – you’ll continue to receive it. You may be entitled to SDA if before April 2001 you were assessed as being 80…

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So, you’ve been asked to an interview under caution: what now?

So, you’ve been asked to an interview under caution: what now?

Don’t ignore it Understand what the problem is Get help and advice It’s really important to get an independent adviser or solicitor to help you with your case and represent you at the interview. An adviser can check whether you are entitled to the benefits or whether the case against you is weak. A solicitor can advise you about your rights in the interview which could become part of a criminal investigation. However, you might…

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Statutory Adoption Pay

Statutory Adoption Pay

Statutory Adoption Pay is a weekly payment you get from your employer to help take time off work when you adopt a child. Who is eligible? To qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay you must have been: matched with a child for adoption by an adoption agency employed by your present employer without a break for at least 26 weeks up to and including the week the adoption agency told you that you had been matched…

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Step-by-step guide: after an interview under caution

Step-by-step guide: after an interview under caution

This table explains what to expect and think about following an interview under caution. What to do: Why and how: Check that everything has been done correctly If you think the interviewer didn’t behave as they should have (see ‘What will the interview be like?’) or you are unhappy with anything about how the interview or the investigation went it is worth checking that they haven’t broken any rules. If you want to you can…

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Sure Start Maternity Grant

Sure Start Maternity Grant

If you’re on a low income, the Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment to help towards costs of a new baby. The grant comes from the Social Fund and you don’t have to repay it. Who is eligible? You can get a Sure Start Maternity Grant if you or your partner receive any of the following: Income Support income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance income-related Employment and Support Allowance Pension Credit Child Tax Credit at a…

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Taking disability benefits to other European countries

Taking disability benefits to other European countries

The European Court of Justice decided in October 2007 that certain disability and carers benefits are sickness benefits. This means they may be paid to people who leave the UK to live elsewhere in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Affected benefits The decision affects: Disability Living Allowance (care component only) Attendance Allowance Carer’s Allowance The mobility component of Disability Living Allowance has not been affected by this judgement. Disability Living Allowance Attendance Allowance…

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Temporary stays in a care home

Temporary stays in a care home

If you are unsure that a permanent move into a care home is right for you, then a temporary stay could be the answer. You may decide that day care in a care home can give you the support you need. What it can provide A temporary stay in a care home can be a welcome break for you and for your carer, if you have one – this is sometimes called respite care. A…

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The difference between Direct Payment and direct payments

The difference between Direct Payment and direct payments

Direct Payment of benefits and pensions is different from ‘direct payments’ from your local council. Direct Payment – pensions and benefits If you receive benefits or state pensions your money will normally be paid directly into a bank or building society account. This is the safest way to pay you and lets you choose how and when you get your money. How benefits and pensions are paid Direct payments – arranging your own care and…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Introduction

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Introduction

This guide is for anyone who thinks the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have made the wrong decision about their claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance (AA), and wants it to be looked at again (or is thinking about it). This guide will be particularly helpful for you if you don’t have an adviser, or if you have an adviser but they cannot come to the hearing with you. It will…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Jargon buster

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Jargon buster

Adviser This is a benefit expert who can give you advice about your claim. They may also be able to help you prepare for the hearing. Some advisers will also be able to be your representative at the hearing (see below). Appeal This means a panel of three experts who do not work for the DWP will look at your claim and see if the right decision was made. If they think the wrong decision…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Noras Story

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Noras Story

‘My granddaughter said I should apply for Attendance Allowance because my sight had got really bad. When they turned me down I was happy to leave it, but my granddaughter said we should appeal because I should get what I’m entitled to. I can’t see now and although I do manage, things are quite hard. I have my systems though, and I get a lot of help from my daughter and son-in-law. I went to…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Paperwork

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Paperwork

‘I’ve received a huge pack of papers! What do I do?’ Don’t be alarmed by the number of papers. It is just copies of everything that they based their decision on. For now, put the papers to one side – we’ll come back to them in the next section. First, you must deal with the form. The form It is very important that you send this form back within 14 days. If you can’t send…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Prepare for the hearing

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Prepare for the hearing

‘What do I need to do before the hearing?’ There are a lot of things for you to do over the next few months. It is important to start preparing as soon as you can. Some things can take a long time. If you are getting help from an adviser, he or she might do some or all of this for you. You need to be clear which things your adviser is going to do…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Roses Statement

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Roses Statement

Rose sent this statement to the panel before her hearing. If you are writing one yourself it might be useful to see the sort of things she said. On the right, we’ve explained why what she has written is useful, to help you write yours. I am writing to you to explain my condition and my reason for appealing the decision to award me the lower rate of case of DLA. I am appealing the…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Spencers story

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Spencers story

‘I didn’t want to go to the hearing. But my adviser said I’d have a much better chance if I did. He couldn’t come with me and neither could my brother, so I had to go on my own. As the day came closer, I started making notes of the things I wanted to say, just to calm myself. I couldn’t get my act together to write it up in a letter, but when my…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? The day of the hearing

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? The day of the hearing

‘What should I do on the day?’ o Make sure you arrive in plenty of time. o Don’t dress up or make a big effort with your appearance. It might give them the impression that you don’t need help, even if you do. o The panel may be running late and so you might have to wait. If you have made any notes of what you want to say, use this time to go over…

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Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Your Options

Turned down for DLA/AA? Think youre not getting enough? Your Options

If you made a claim for DLA or AA and you didn’t get the result you had hoped for, you don’t have to give up. You have three options: You could ask the benefits department to look at their decision again. They will call this a ‘reconsideration’. This is a good idea if you have any new evidence you can send them. But it can take 8 -12 weeks – which is a long time…

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Types of care home

Types of care home

There are hundreds of different care homes in the UK offering many different types of services. Some offer full-time nursing care, others support people with a specific disability or medical need. Care homes can be run by local councils, private businesses or not-for-profit companies. Your local council can help you find a care home to meet your needs, or the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) has a list of all registered care homes in…

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Understanding the benefits system

Understanding the benefits system

The benefits system provides practical help and financial support if you are unemployed and looking for work. It also provides you with additional income when your earnings are low, if you are bringing up children, are retired, care for someone, are ill or have a disability. Who pays benefits The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) manages most benefits through Jobcentre Plus offices. Benefits and entitlements for pensioners are dealt with through a network of…

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Understanding your Child Benefit Award Notice

Understanding your Child Benefit Award Notice

When the Child Benefit Office awards you Child Benefit, they will send you a letter – called an ‘Award Notice’ telling you what you’re entitled to. Check and keep the Award Notice to make sure you’re always getting what you’re entitled to. What your Award Notice shows Your Award Notice has several sections showing: information about your Child Benefit – how much you’ll get, who it’s paid for, when your payments start and how they’ll…

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Veterans benefits and pensions

Veterans benefits and pensions

Anyone who has served in the UK Armed Forces – and the widows, widowers and dependants of those who have served – may be entitled to financial help, in the form of pensions or other payments. Who is a veteran? A veteran is someone who has served in the UK Armed Forces. The term also includes their widows/widowers and dependants. There is no minimum service requirement to be considered a veteran, nor do you have…

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Voluntary organisations – how to act for your Child Benefit client

Voluntary organisations – how to act for your Child Benefit client

Some people – often known as clients – might ask you to deal with their Child Benefit on their behalf. You usually need to have your client’s authority to act on their behalf but not if you want to give them general advice. When you need to be authorised to act You need to be authorised if you: want to ask the Child Benefit Office for specific information regarding the person whose Child Benefit you…

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Warm Front Scheme in England

Warm Front Scheme in England

If you need help paying for heating and insulation improvements in your privately owned or rented home, you, your partner or civil partner may be able to get money from the government’s Warm Front grants scheme if, for example, you’re receiving income or disability-related benefits. Who is eligible? You may get a Warm Front grant if any of the following apply to you: 1. You get one or more of the following benefits: Working Tax…

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Welfare benefits for the unemployed

Welfare benefits for the unemployed

If you are unemployed You can get Jobseeker’s Allowance if you are able to work but you do not have a job or you work less than 16 hours a week. There are two types of Jobseeker’s Allowance: contribution-based; and income-based (means-tested). You may qualify for the contribution-based benefit if you have paid National Insurance contributions in recent years. If you are on a low income, you may get income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance based on your…

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Welfare benefits for those on a low income

Welfare benefits for those on a low income

If you have a low income If you have a low income, you can claim several benefits that can give you a basic amount to live on. To get them, you will need to pass a ‘means test’, so you will have to give details of all your income and savings. If you live with a partner, a civil partner or your husband or wife, their income and savings are also taken into account when…

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Welfare benefits for those with children

Welfare benefits for those with children

If you have a child or children you may be eligible for government benefits.  Child Benefit If you are responsible for a child or children under 16 years old or 20 years old if they are in approved education or training then you may be eligible for Child Benefit. If you have one child you could receive up to £20.50 a week. If you have further children you could receive up to a further £13.55…

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Welfare benefits if you cannot work through illness

Welfare benefits if you cannot work through illness

If you are ill and can’t work If you are off work sick, you may qualify for:   Statutory Sick Pay (and possibly also contractual sick pay from your employer) for the first 28 weeks; Incapacity Benefit (on top of any contractual sick pay you receive from your employer), if you are still ill and can’t work after 28 weeks. If you are self-employed or unemployed, you cannot receive Statutory Sick Pay, but you may…

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Welfare benefits if you have a disability

Welfare benefits if you have a disability

If you have a disability Depending on how long an illness or disability lasts and how your disability affects you, you may qualify for:   Disability Living Allowance if you are under 65; or Attendance Allowance if you are 65 or over. Disability Living Allowance is for people who have mobility problems or need help with personal care (for example, getting up and dressed, bathing and laundry), or both. Attendance Allowance is for people who…

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Welfare Benefits: If you have retired or are about to retire

Welfare Benefits: If you have retired or are about to retire

You may receive the State (retirement) Pension when you reach pensionable age (for now, 65 for men and 60 for women). You do not have to retire to get State Pension – you may receive it whether or not you are still working. The amount you receive will depend on how much National Insurance you or your husband or wife or civil partner have paid or been credited with during your working lives. However, once…

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Welfare Benefits: If your husband, wife or civil partner dies

Welfare Benefits: If your husband, wife or civil partner dies

If your husband, wife or civil partner dies and they have paid National Insurance contributions in the past, you may be able to claim a lump-sum Bereavement Payment of 2,000. If you have children and you are under pension age, you may qualify for Widowed Parent’s Allowance. If you were 45 or over but under pension age when your husband, wife or civil partner died, and you are still under pension age, you may get…

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Welfare Benefits: The Human Rights Act

Welfare Benefits: The Human Rights Act

If you are unhappy about how you or your family is treated in the benefit and appeal system, you may be able to challenge the rules on benefits themselves (rather than the actual decision that has been taken, or the way your case has been handled). The European Convention on Human Rights gives you many rights, including a right to: peacefully enjoy your possessions. These can include benefits based on contributions you have made, such…

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Welfare Benefits: What if I disagree with a decision about my claim?

Welfare Benefits: What if I disagree with a decision about my claim?

You can challenge a decision on benefits or tax credits if you think your claim has been wrongly refused or you have not had the right amount. If you want to challenge a benefit decision You must first contact the agency that made the decision and tell them in writing that you want it to look at the decision again. You should keep a copy of your letter. If you want to challenge a benefit…

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Welfare Benefits: What if Ive been badly treated?

Welfare Benefits: What if Ive been badly treated?

You may be unhappy with an agency that’s been dealing with your benefits because: you think you’ve been treated unfairly; you think you’ve been given bad advice; or the service has been poor, for example because of delays or errors. You can complain about the agency first by writing to it to give it a chance to explain and apologise or compensate you. Each agency has a complaints procedure and you can ask for information…

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Welfare Benefits: What must I do when I claim?

Welfare Benefits: What must I do when I claim?

For many types of benefit, you will have to provide a lot of personal information about yourself, your family and your finances. You may also have to provide some proof that you qualify for the benefit. You must give your National Insurance number, and you may have to prove your identity to show that the NI number belongs to you. If you do not have a National Insurance number, you must apply for one. Depending…

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Welfare Benefits: Where do I claim?

Welfare Benefits: Where do I claim?

Different agencies and authorities are responsible for different benefits. You must get in touch with the right one to apply for each benefit. See ‘Further help’ for their phone numbers and other details. Jobcentre Plus Jobcentre Plus deals with most claims from people of working age. You should usually start your claim by phoning Jobcentre Plus on the national freephone number (see ‘Further help’). If you are calling from a mobile phone, and have to…

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What do I need to know about benefit fraud?

What do I need to know about benefit fraud?

This guide will give you information about what benefit fraud is and what you should do if you are suspected of it.   What is benefit fraud? If you have been dishonest in order to claim benefits that you are not entitled to, you may be investigated for benefit fraud. Benefit fraud is a criminal offence, such as intentionally failing to inform the Benefit Office about the true state of your financial affairs when claiming…

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What happens if you are suspected of benefit fraud

What happens if you are suspected of benefit fraud

Find out what benefit fraud is, what to do if your benefit claim is investigated and where to get advice in this article. What is benefit fraud? A person in receipt of benefits (a claimant) can commit benefit fraud in two ways: a) deliberately not reporting a change in their personal circumstances to the appropriate benefits agencies b) being dishonest with benefits agencies about personal information with a view to securing benefits. What happens if…

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What happens to my Child Benefit if my child is 16 or over?

What happens to my Child Benefit if my child is 16 or over?

Your Child Benefit can carry on after your child reaches 16, if they’re staying in full-time, ‘non-advanced’ education at school or college, or starting an ‘approved’ training course. Find out what this means, when your payments will stop, and when you can get a Child Benefit extension if your child is under 18. What happens before your child turns 16 The Child Benefit Office willwrite to youduring your child’s last school year, to ask you…

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What is an interview under caution?

What is an interview under caution?

An interview under caution is an interview, usually taped, carried out by the DWP or your local council when they think you might have misled them about something to do with your benefits. An interview is one of the things they can do to help them decide what’s happened and what to do next – it doesn’t necessarily mean you have done anything wrong or that they’re about to take you to court. ‘Under caution’…

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What is Child Benefit?

What is Child Benefit?

Child Benefit is an allowance payment given to parents or guardians with children, teenagers and young adults. It is not ‘means tested’ and is therefore not dependent on the claimant’s income or savings. Who is eligible to claim child benefit? Provided a number of conditions are met, it is not a prerequisite for the child to be living with the parent or guardian to receive child benefit: the claimant must contribute to the maintenance of…

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What is the bedroom tax?

What is the bedroom tax?

The bedroom tax is a controversial element of welfare reform introduced by the Coalition Government as part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. The bedroom tax came into force on 1 April 2013. The Act does not expressly bring in any new elements of taxation; however, it does for the first time allow for a recalculation of the amount of housing benefit that is owed based on the level of occupancy of a property. The…

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What is Universal Credit?

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefits system currently being introduced to the country. The aim is to replace the current benefits system. At the moment, only certain areas are implementing the Universal Credit system. A list of those job centres where you can claim Universal Credit can be found here. You can claim Universal Credit in these areas if you were claiming: Jobseeker’s Allowance Housing Benefit Working Tax Credit Child Tax Credit Employment and Support…

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What to do if your benefit is overpaid

What to do if your benefit is overpaid

If you’re paid too much benefit it’s called an ‘overpayment’. It’s important to report any changes to the office that deals with your benefit as soon as possible and to answer any letters you get about overpayments promptly. Why overpayments happen Overpaymentsusually happen when your benefit hasn’t been adjusted to match your changed circumstances. If your circumstances have changed, you must tell the office that deals with your benefit straight away. Overpayments can also be…

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When to expect your first Child Benefit payment

When to expect your first Child Benefit payment

The Child Benefit Office aims to let you know the outcome of your claim and pay you within seven to eight weeks of getting your claim form. First payments are often made within two weeks. What happens once you’ve made your claim? When the Child Benefit Office receives your Child Benefit claim they’ll work out whether you qualify. Once they’ve worked this out, they’ll send you an ‘Award Notice’ telling you how much you’ll be…

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Who can claim welfare benefits?

Who can claim welfare benefits?

Welfare benefits are state payments designed to help those in need. Welfare benefits are paid by the government of the day from funds collected by central taxation.  The welfare benefit budget is one of the largest expenditure items in the UK economy. In 2011, the UK government spent £113.1 billion on welfare spending, excluding the additional £119.4 billion spent on the state pension payable to all UK citizens over the state pension age.  What are…

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Who to contact about disability and carers benefits

Who to contact about disability and carers benefits

Who you should contact depends on which benefit it’s about and whether you have already made a claim or not. Disability benefits before you have made a claim The Benefit Enquiry Line is a telephone advice and information service. You can call if you are sick or disabled or if you are caring for someone and acting on their behalf. Telephone: 0800 88 22 00 Textphone: 0800 24 33 55 You can also use the…

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Why has my Housing Benefit stopped?

Why has my Housing Benefit stopped?

Your Benefit Office should notify you if your claim is likely to be stopped for any reason. However, it is possible for your Housing Benefit payments to stop at any time, without notice. If this happens, you should contact your Housing Benefit Office immediately. One of the main reasons Housing Benefit payments are stopped is that people fail to report a change in their circumstances to their council. The number of people you live with…

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Widowed Parents Allowance

Widowed Parents Allowance

If youre a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and you have at least one child who you receive Child Benefit for, you may be able to get Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA). Who can claim? You may get WPA if all the following apply: you’re bringing up a child or young person under 19 (or under 20 in some cases for whom you’re getting Child Benefit you’re under State Pension age (60…

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Winter Fuel Payment

Winter Fuel Payment

If you are aged 60 or over you may get a Winter Fuel Payment to help pay for keeping warm in winter. This can be between 125 and 400 depending on your situation. Find out if you are eligible for this payment and how to apply. Are you eligible? You may get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 200910 if both the following apply: you were aged 60 or over, on or before 27 September…

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Work Capability Assessment

Work Capability Assessment

If you make a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from the Department of Work and Pensions, you will need to take a Work Capability Assessment to test to what extent you require the allowance. Also, you may also be asked to take part in a medical assessment so you can be assessed more accurately on your specific needs. About the Work Capability Assessment The Work Capability Assessment is a questionnaire that will be…

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Writing useful evidence for Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance appeals

Writing useful evidence for Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance appeals

For doctors, social workers, CPNs and other professionals Evidence from a doctor or other professional helps the tribunal to come to the right decision probably more than anything else. We have written this section because we want to help ensure that the time you spend writing this evidence is efficiently spent. Your evidence doesn’t need to be long or typed, but it would be most useful if it included everything you are aware your patient/client…

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You havent received your usual Child Benefit payment

You havent received your usual Child Benefit payment

If your usual Child Benefit payment doesn’t turn up or isn’t paid into your account when you expect it, there’s a number of things you can do to check what’s happened to it. Why you may not have got your usual payment You may not have got your Child Benefit payment because: the Child Benefit Office sent your cheque to the wrong address – this may have happened if you’ve recently moved and forgotten to…

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Your benefits while you are on holiday

Your benefits while you are on holiday

If you receive benefits either as a disabled person or a carer, you may be wondering what happens to them if you go on holiday. What is in this section The advicecovers the followingbenefits: Disability Living Allowance Attendance Allowance Incapacity Benefit Carer’s Allowance Taking disability benefits to other European countries Disability Living Allowance If your stay abroad is temporary, including a holiday, you can usually continue getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for 26 weeks. You…

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Your home, adaptations and equipment

Your home, adaptations and equipment

Independence at home Introduction to the types of support available to increase your independence Adapting your home Adaptations to your home and help from your local authority Disabled Facilities Grants – introduction Financial help towards the cost of making adaptations at home Disabled Facilities Grants – how to apply Details about the application, payment and appeals processes Equipment for use about the home An introduction to the equipment available to help you to live independently…

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