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 key benefits, and to find out how to access help with applications via our Information Service.

I am indebted to Crohn’s and 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. The government’s Gov.uk website has up-to-date information: www.gov.uk/browse/benefits

To find out what benefits you (and your family) may be entitled to, you can complete an anonymous assessment: www.gov.uk/benefits-adviser

Benefits for people with IBD

There are five key benefits to consider. Paper copies of all guides cited are available from our Information Service.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

  • For people aged 16 – 64 to help them meet the extra costs of having a long-term health condition or disability.
  • 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 Payments). You do not have to have paid national insurance contributions.
  • Claiming Attendance Allowance can help you through 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 Payments (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 benefits. Our trained Disability Benefit Service volunteers can help you to think about whether you might be eligible for disability benefit, 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. Appointments for the Disability Benefit Service 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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