The cost of living crisis is making it even harder for many of our families to keep on top of finances. According to Contact families with disabled children will be amongst the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis with 72% of disabled households being plunged into debt by the crisis. Here are some links and tips that may help you find financial support or make some financial savings.
Budgeting Loan: You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on certain benefits for 6 months. Click here for more information.
Cost of Living Payments: You may be eligible to get up to 5 cost of living payments if you are getting certain benefits of tax credits. Find out more at gov.uk. This includes those who are claiming Disability Living Allowance for Children, most people were paid the Disability Cost of Living Payment between 20th September 2022 and October 2022. The 2023 Disability Cost of living payment is expected to be paid
Most people were paid the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment between 20 September 2022 and the beginning of October 2022. The 2023 £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment is expected to be paid during summer 2023.
Disability Living Allowance: Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a non-means-tested benefit that may help with the extra costs of looking after a child with additional needs. The DLA rate depends on the level of help the child needs. You do not need a diagnosis for your child to apply for DLA. To learn more, visit https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/overview
Click here for the Contact charity DLA guide
Click here for the Cerebra DLA guide
Grants: find out about a range of grants and funds for families of disabled children. Click here for more information.
Free School Meals: Check here for eligibility for free school meals.
Winter Fuel Payment: if you were born before 26 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. Find out more here.
See more about benefits for families with autistic children and see your Local Authority Website for more information on benefits:
Discounts on Days Out
Bristol Pink Card
You can get a pink card from Bristol City Council by adding your child to the Disabled Child Register. It can be used as proof of disability and to get a carer’s discount at many local attractions. You do not need a diagnosis to get a Pink Card, and it generally arrives within a week. Click here to apply.
South Glos Network Card
The Network is for disabled children/young people who live in South Gloucestershire. The details on it can only be accessed by authorised council staff and NHS South Gloucestershire staff to send out relevant information to families, to plan appropriate services and consult with parents and disabled children/young people. Signing up to the network is voluntary but it enables you to receive mail outs such as details of holiday activities, play schemes and information about service developments. Click here to learn more
BaNES Rainbow Resource Card
Similar to the Bristol and South Glos pink card schemes, the Rainbow Resource card may act as proof of your child’s disability and can gain you free carer access to many attractions. Click here to get your card.
Support to manage / avoid debt
- National Debtline
- Step Change Debt Charity.
- Money Saving Expert.
- Citizens Advice, help to pay your bills
- The Money Advisor Network
Speak to your utility services they will have tips for saving money, avoiding debt and help to pay. Providers can offer solutions to help reduce your bills based on your financial situation. For example see help available from Wessex Water.
Compare Appliance Energy Costs: use the Go Compare Energy cost calculator to compare energy costs of common household appliances. Click here for more information.
Energy saving tips: visit the Energy Savings Trust for help to save money on your energy bills. Click here for the Energy Savings Trust.
Priority Services: if you or someone in your household needs extra support – for medical reasons or otherwise – there’s is help available from notice about planned power cuts, help to read your water bill to help to plan work around your needs:
Social Tariffs: cheaper broadband and phone packages. Click here to find out more at Ofcom.