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Diasbled 16yo - benefits available?

My 15 yo son is severly physically disabled (he is 16 in three weeks). He is currently in receipt of DLA at the middle rate for care and the higher rate for mobility. I was aware that we(he) could claim Income Support from his 16 birthday and I have just got the ball rolling to start claiming through the JobCentre Plus. He is at school, full time education in a sepcial needs school, and will remain in school until he is 18. After that he will move on to a specialist Scope college as a day student. We already claim a reduction in Council Tax by one band and have initiated the process to have specialist adaptations to the house via the DFG (Disabled Facilities Grant - painful process but that is another story). My wife and I have found the level of advice on financial support for my son almost non-existant. We have a good salary coming in and, if means tested, would get nothing, however, I understand that from age 16 my son is assessed alone without referal to our income. My questions to you knowledgable folk out there are as follows:

a. Are there any other benefits we should consider applying for? I have heard about Incapacity Benefit but am confused between this and IS.
b. What is the likely IS payout? basic IS + a disablement premium?
c. Despite what I have said, is there any means testing of us (parents) in the benefits process?

Any other useful advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Replies

  • ROCKINGHAMROCKINGHAM Forumite
    982 Posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    I was means tested on my income when we applied for DFG, when my son was 16. So we waited 2 years and then it was means tested on my sons income alone.

    As regards benefits there are special rules regarding young people with long term disability. I believe there are entitled to Incapacity Benefit (short term) which is topped with Income Support and then after some many weeks they qualify for Incapacity Benefit (long term). The drawback is that one loses the trigger of Income Support as the springboard to other entitlements.

    And yes I do agree with you about the lack of information or should I say the lack of volunteering of info. In my experience you need to know the answer before asking the question.
  • donnalovedonnalove Forumite
    574 Posts
    sorry to ask this but if your son is severly physically disabled why is he only getting middle rate care?, surely he should be on high rate for both.
  • Mrs_B_12Mrs_B_12 Forumite
    364 Posts
    Have a look here http://www.after16.org.uk/ some useful info on there if you look under "money"
  • Peter, are you claiming Carer's Allowance for your son? :)
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  • Hi

    Just a recommendation that you contact either CAB, or even better in my experience

    http://www.disabilityalliance.org/

    or even ask your local council if they have a welfare rights unit (some do but some don't I think).

    The difference between middle and higher rates of Care component of DLA is to do with night time needs. If your son needs significant support at night a review may be worthwhile. Higher rate acts as a gateway to other benefits, and I think gives greater additions to IS and IB as well.

    Carer's Allowance is only payable if either yourself or your OH earns beneath a certain weekly amount - last time I looked into it it was £79 but it'll be a bit more now (only a few quid more), and it depends on your son's own entitlement to benefits (not the amounts but the type - it's a gateway thing). Savings and property aren't considered though I don't think. You can also check out any possible eligibility for Carer's Direct Payments and maybe Carer's vouchers - these are via you Local Authority's Social Services dept if you've had an assessment of your own needs as carer's as well as your son's own assessments.

    Sorry - not detailed as no expert but HTH a bit

    Good Luck

    Piggy
  • peterg1965peterg1965 Forumite
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    donnalove wrote: »
    sorry to ask this but if your son is severly physically disabled why is he only getting middle rate care?, surely he should be on high rate for both.

    Donna, Piggybanker is correct, my son does not need constant care throughout the night, therefore higher rate DLA is not applicable. No carers allowance because,as the OP points out, my wife and I both earn well in excess of the permitted salary allowance. I have contacted CAB but they were not particularly helpful in giving advice on the range of benefits. I am being sent Income Support (+ premiums) and Incapacity Benefit forms and will fill them all out and send them off.

    Thanks.
  • donnalovedonnalove Forumite
    574 Posts
    peterg do you ever have to see to your son through the night? as it doesn't have to be constant, i have a friend with a severly disabled son both mentally and physically and she gets high rate of both but doesn't spend everynight with him. she only has to get up to him occaisionally.
  • suelees1suelees1 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Once 16 he should get Incapacity Benefit under the Incapacity in Youth rules. This is paid to those over 16 but under 20 (25 in some cases) even though they don't have sufficient or even any National Insurance Contributions. There is a waiting period of 196 days before it is paid and he needs to have a doctors certificate for the whole period. If I remegber rightly if he gets a sick note for the 196 days prior to his 16th birthday he should get this straight away. I don't have my work books here and so this is not a definitive answer. Oh, and there are also some restrictions about full time education. The last time I checked there was a lot of info about it on the DWP website. Just type in Incapacity in Youth in the search engine. You've already started the ball rolling and the JCP will look at entitlement to either IB or IS if he doesn't have entitlement for whatever reason.
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  • mclaren_2mclaren_2 Forumite
    2K Posts
    Peter, are you claiming Carer's Allowance for your son? :)
    the OP can't get CA because of the income coming in is more than £78 per week.

    The only benifits availible are IS, and premiems. DLA should be on HRC/HRM if your son needs your care all around the clock. It will be on MRC/HRM if he needs care most of the day but not all.

    You might want to ask for an assessment and call the DWP and ask for a review as his needs hae changed.
    Never do things tomorow when you can do them today.
  • peterg1965peterg1965 Forumite
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    Thanks all. I will persue the IS/IB claim through the Job Centre Plus. There is no need for a review of DLA, my son has no more care needs at night than his fully able brother and sister. He has an indefinate award of DLA for MRC and HRM. I am no benefits scrounger, in case people are judging me as such, as a higher rate tax payer with an annual tax bill in excess of £20K, I pay my way! My thoughts are for my son and his future and making it as comfortable as possible for him. I think it is the mark of a truly civilised modern welfare system that disabled people are looked after above and beyond any other group, it is a shame that the UK system is so embroiled in red tape. I have been very disappointed at the amount of effort it takes to get any kind of support, financial or otherwise, to care for my son. Getting a Disability Facilities Grant has been remarkably difficult and involved letters to local authorites and my MP. Where does the money get spent??? That's probably the subject of a new thread!
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