Disability Benefits

Living with long-term conditions like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis may well have an impact on your financial situation.

You could be entitled to benefits to help you support yourself. Read on for information on some of the key benefits, and to find out how to access help with applications via our Information Service.

I am indebted to Crohn’s & Colitis UK for all the valuable information and support it provides. It has helped us to understand the many-sided problems associated with IBD-many of which are not disease related

The benefits system is complex and changes often. Citizen’s Advice website has up-to-date information: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

To find out what benefits you (and your family) may be entitled to, you can complete an anonymous benefits check on the Citizen's Advice website. You need to do this according to the UK country you are based in:

England: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/benefits-introduction/what-benefits-can-i-get/

Northern Ireland: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/nireland/benefits/benefits-introduction/what-benefits-can-i-get/

Scotland: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/benefits/benefits-introduction/

Wales: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/benefits/benefits-introduction/what-benefits-can-i-get/

Benefits for people with IBD

There are a number of benefits that you may be entitled to and we suggest that you seek specialist advice from Citizen’s Advice in your area: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Below are a few of the key benefits to consider. 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

  • For people aged 16 – 64 who have had a disability or long-term health condition for at least three months, which is likely to continue for at least nine months after your claim.
  • Points system assesses how your condition affects your ability to cope with daily life and mobility.
  • If awarded, there is a daily living component and a mobility component. Each has two rates; standard and enhanced.
  • Not affected by income or savings, not taxable and you can get it whether in work or not.
  • Claiming Personal Independence Payment can guide you through the process of applying for PIP.

Attendance Allowance (AA)

  • For people aged 65 and over who have a health condition which has lasted at least six months.
  • Entitlement is based on care needs resulting from how your health affects your everyday life.
  • Not affected by any income or savings you have; payable alongside any other benefits (except Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment). You do not have to have paid national insurance contributions.
  • Citizens Advice and Age UK have information about Attendance Allowance and the process of applying for AA.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

  • For adults aged 16 to 64
  • Starting from April 2013, this benefit is now being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP). All new claimants must now apply for PIP.
  • People who are already in receipt of DLA will be invited to apply for PIP. To find out more use the PIP checker: www.gov.uk/pip-checker
  • Some people who currently qualify for DLA will not quality for PIP, and some who do not qualify for DLA will be able to qualify for PIP.

Disability Living Allowance for Children

  • For children aged under 16 who have a health condition or a disability and need help with personal care/supervision or help with getting around outdoors because of this.
  • Designed to meet additional expenses of having a child with Crohn’s or Colitis (eg, higher heating bills, special diets, taxi fares, etc).
  • Claiming DLA - Children under 16 can help parents go through the process of applying for DLA.
  • Some adults may also still be getting DLA if they claimed before 10 June 2013 but will be invited to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP). To find out when this will affect you, use the PIP checker: www.gov.uk/pip-checker

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Payable to people unable to work because of ill health or disability.
  • Requires a medical certificate (‘fit note’) from your GP to make a claim.
  • You will be required to fill out a medical questionnaire, attend a medical assessment and a work-focused interview.
  • This is intended to determine your capability to work. It is possible to challenge the decision.

Further information: www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

Help with applications

Our Information Service can answer general questions about the benefits mentioned above. For more specialised support we suggest you contact Citizen's Advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

If you would like paper copies of our guides (Claiming DLA - Children under 16 and Claiming Personal Independence Payment) please contact Information Service

We also have access to trained volunteers who can help you with PIP and DLA for Children over the telephone. They are able to help you to think about whether you might be eligible and can support you with completing an application form and asking for a mandatory reconsideration if you aren’t successful. A detailed and well-supported application can considerably improve your chances of success. Telephone appointments with these volunteers can be made by calling the Information Service.

0300 222 5700 or info@crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

The Information Service is open from 9am-5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, and 9am-1pm on Thursday, except English bank holidays. Outside these hours, an answerphone service is available.

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