Opsis

Working with blind and partially sighted people

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Disability related benefits
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Carer’s Allowance
Income replacement benefits
Income Support and income based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
Incapacity Benefit
Work related benefits
Working Tax Credit
Other benefits
Child Tax Credit
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
Health benefits

Social Security Benefits are an important source of income for those who are entitled to them. Therefore it is important to know what your entitlements are so you are not missing out on any payments.

Broadly, benefits fall into three categories; Disability related benefits; Income replacement benefits; and Work related benefits. There are, of course, other benefits that do not fall into these categories and could be relevant to you.

Below is a list of benefits that may be appropriate to you, along with a brief description. We recommend you contact a Welfare Rights Adviser to discuss your situation.

Disability related benefits

These are benefits that relate specifically to your disability or the disability of your partner or someone in your family.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
DLA is for people who are under 65 and who have care needs or mobility problems. DLA is not based on your income, you do not have to pay tax on it, and it can be paid on top of any other benefits you get or income you have. You can get DLA if you are in work, out of work, or in full-time education. Most visually impaired people will get both the care component and the mobility component. Children can receive DLA, although it might be slightly more difficult to claim.

DLA is paid at several different rates depending on the frequency and extent of needs that you identify. Getting DLA makes it easier to get certain premiums for other benefits like Income Support and Tax Credits.

Carer’s Allowance
If you are looking after a disabled person who is getting the middle or higher rate care component of DLA, you may be able to get Carer’s Allowance for yourself. You must be providing care for at least 35 hours a week. If you are claiming another benefit, earning over £82 a week (after expenses), or in full-time education, you may not get Carers Allowance. Claiming Carer’s Allowance can sometimes disrupt your other social security benefits, so you should seek advice from a welfare rights adviser before claiming.

Income replacement benefits
If you are not working you should be entitled to one of the following benefits. You can claim these benefits while you are out of work and also might be able to get them while you study.

Income Support and income based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
Income Support and income-based JSA are for people who are under 60. They are both based on your income and savings. Income based JSA is for people who are looking for work, and Income Support is for people who cannot work or who do not have to look for work. You can get other allowances, known as ‘premiums’, if you have a disability. Students with disabilities in full-time education and 16 – 17 year olds with disabilities who are still at school may be able to get Income Support.

If you get Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance you will be ’passported’ to other connected benefits like Council Tax Benefit, Legal Aid, and Community Care Grants.

Incapacity Benefit
Incapacity Benefit is a benefit for people who can no longer work because they are sick or disabled. Incapacity Benefit is based on your national insurance contribution record. If you are under 25 and on a full-time course or work-based training, you may also qualify.

Work related benefits
These benefits are paid while you are in work. They are meant to help people into work and to stay in work. They are based on your circumstances and how much you get paid.

Working Tax Credit
You should claim Working Tax Credit if you work and are on a low wage. Working Tax Credit is based on your income and you can get an extra allowance for being a disabled Worker.

Other benefits
These are benefits that do not fit neatly into the above categories but could be relevant to your situation.

Child Tax Credit
If you have children under the age of 19 you can claim Child Tax Credit. It is based on your income and you can get an extra allowance if any of your children have a disability.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
If you are on a low income you can claim Housing Benefit if you pay rent to a landlord and Council Tax Benefit if you are responsible for paying Council Tax. Both these benefits are based on your income and savings. You can get other allowances, known as ‘premiums’, if you have a disability or have a child with a disability.

Health benefits
If you are on a low income, you may not have to pay charges for prescriptions, dental treatment, sight tests, glasses and fares to hospital. If you are not on a low income, you may not have to pay these charges in certain situations. For example, if you are aged 60 or over, or registered as blind or partially sighted, you will get free sight tests. If you have a disability which prevents you from leaving home without the help of another person, you can get free prescriptions. For general information about help with health costs, ask your local social security office for leaflet HC11 ‘Are you entitled to help with health costs?’.

 

We would like to thank our strategic partner Latest Formal Wear UK (Deemas Fashion) for supporting and sponsoring Opsis for our upcoming events. Deemas Fashion also planning to arrange a fashion show for Blinds and Partially Sighted girls and guys.