Money Advice For Social Justice
Illness is always costly. It is far more difficult for someone who is ill to manage on the same income as someone who is fit and well, yet it often happens that a person who is ill has to manage on a much lower income. In addition, because of the range and complexity of benefits available, people find it difficult to work their way through and, as a result, their weekly income loss can be quite substantial.
Our Welfare Rights Advisers are here to help with the financial and practical issues faced by cancer patients, their carers and families. Your named adviser will assist you at home, at a hospice, in hospital, at the Centre or on the telephone.
Our specialist Welfare Rights service provides free information, advice and support to cancer patients and their families in the Bradford & Airedale district and surrounding areas.
If you require help please contact the centre on Tel: 01274 776688 to make a referral.
Below you will find further information on the issues that the Welfare Rights team cover:
The following list highlights just a few of the many benefits/issues our Welfare Rights Team can offer advice and help with.
Attendance Allowance is payable on top of any other benefit or income if you are 65 and over and need attention and/or have supervision needs throughout the day and/or throughout the night or qualify under the special rules for the terminally ill. This Allowance is not means-tested. An award of this Allowance may passport the recipient to eligibility for other benefits.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) (replaced Disability Living Allowance from April 2013) are payable on top of any other benefit or income. PIP is not means-tested
There are two components to PIP;
Daily Living Component takes into consideration the amount of help the claimant needs to complete daily tasks such as;
- preparing food
- taking nutrition
- managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
- washing and bathing
- managing toilet needs or incontinence
- dressing and undressing
- communicating verbally
- reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
- engaging with other people face to face
- making budgeting decisions
Mobility Component takes into consideration the amount of help the claimant needs to:
- plan and follow a journey
- move around
Eligibility is dependent upon the claimant’s ability to carry out the above activities safely and repeatedly. Aids and adaptations ‘normally worn or used’ or those which a claimant could reasonably be expected to wear or use are taken into account.
There are special rules for terminally ill claimants.
Personal Independence Payments are not means-tested. An award of this Allowance may passport the recipient to eligibility for other benefits.
An award of the enhanced rate of PIP Mobility component qualifies the claimant to Road Tax Exemption.
Carers Allowance If you are caring for someone who is receiving Attendance Allowance or the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or higher rate or Daily Living Component of Personal Independence Payments (either rate) you may qualify for Carer’s Allowance, there are certain qualifying criteria, please check with our Welfare Rights Team.
Employment & Support Allowance For people of working age who are unable to work due to illness or a disability. There are certain qualifying criteria, please check with our Welfare Rights Team.
Income Support If you are under pension age and have caring responsibilities it may be possible to claim. Please check eligibility with our Welfare Rights Team.
Industrial Injuries Compensation/Disablement Benefit For employees who have become ill or disabled as a result of a prescribed industrial disease or an accident at work.
Please speak to our Welfare Rights Team.
Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit consisting of two parts. The qualifying age of both men and women, is linked to the state pension age for women, which is gradually being increased
• Guarantee Credit – In line with women’s state pension age.
• Savings Credit – For people aged 65 or over (if you reach State Pension age on or after 6th April 2016 Savings Credit can no longer be claimed)
Please contact our Welfare Rights Team to discuss eligibility.
Tax Credits – Child Tax Credit is a means-tested payment to support families with children. You do not have to be working to claim.
Working Tax Credit is a means-tested payment to top up the earnings of working people on low income, including those who do not have children.
If you become ill you may continue to be treated as being in paid work for 28 weeks and you should therefore check your entitlement to Working Tax Credit.
Patients are exempt from prescription charges if they are undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer or the effects of cancer treatment. Ask your doctor to complete form FP92A.
You also qualify for free prescriptions if:
- you are 60 or over
- you are under 16
- you are aged 16 – 19 and still in full-time education
- you or your partner get Income Support, income-based Job Seekers Allowance, the income related element of Employment and Support Allowance and certain recipients of Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit/Pension Credit
- you are pregnant or have had a baby during the last 12 months
- you get a War or MOD Disablement Pension and need prescriptions for your war disability.
You may also qualify for free prescriptions if:
- your weekly income is low enough (claim on Form HC1), or
- you suffer long-term from one of the following conditions:
– a permanent fistula like caecotomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy needing continuous dressing or an appliance
– epilepsy requiring continuous anti-convulsive therapy
– diabetes mellitus but not if treatment is only by diet
– diabetes insipidus or other kinds of hypopituitarism
– hypoadrenalism (including Addison’s disease)
– myasthenia gravis
– you have a long-term physical disability which prevents you from leaving home without the help of another person. Temporary disabilities do not count even if they last for several months.
Ask your doctor to complete form FP92A
If you need a lot of prescriptions but can’t get them free it’s worth considering buying a pre-payment certificate for three months or a year.
A widow or widower can only claim bereavement benefits if s/he was legally married. A civil partner can claim if s/he has correctly registered her/his civil partnership.
Bereavement Payment is a one off lump sum payment paid to a woman or man who has been widowed or whose civil partner has died.
- the deceased must have met the national insurance contribution conditions, and
- the person claiming must be below state pension age when his/her husband, wife or civil partner dies, or
- the person claiming was over pension age and his/her husband, wife or civil partner was not entitled to a category A pension when s/he died.
Widowed Parents Allowance is a weekly benefit paid to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner with children. A widow or widower can get the allowance if:
- s/he has a child or she is a woman expecting her late husband’s baby, and
- the deceased met the National Insurance contribution conditions, and
- s/he was under pensionable age at the date of the spouse’s death.
A surviving civil partner can get the allowance if:
- the deceased met the National Insurance contribution conditions, and
- s/he was under pension age at the date of civil partner’s death, and
- s/he has a child or she is a woman living with the deceased civil partner immediately before the death and is pregnant as a result of fertility treatment.
Bereavement Allowance is a weekly benefit paid for up to 52 weeks from the date of death to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner provided the person claiming the Allowance is aged 45 or over (but below pension age) when the death occurred and the deceased met the National Insurance contribution conditions.
In addition to this Allowance, you may also be eligible for a Bereavement Payment.
(this is different to the Bereavement Payment explained above).
A Funeral Payment from the Social Fund is to help with the cost of a funeral for those in receipt of certain qualifying benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit
- Certain recipients of Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Pension Credit
- The income related element of Employment and Support Allowance.
If the claimant is not in receipt of one of the above when the funeral takes place but claims and is entitled to one of them within 3 months, they may qualify for a funeral payment. They must show that they made the arrangements for the funeral and that it was reasonable for them to take responsibility for it.
The Department for Work and Pensions will first check if there is any money from the estate of the person who has died to contribute to the cost of the funeral, e.g.
- money in the bank/building society/post office
- money from insurance policies
- money from a burial club
- contributions towards the cost from relatives/charities.
The amount of savings which the claimant or partner has will not affect the amount of a Social Fund Payment.
It is very important to remember that a Social Fund payment is unlikely to cover the full cost of the funeral. The rules are very clearly set out explaining what the payment will cover in the case of a burial and in the case of cremation. It is, therefore, advisable to contact the Department for Work and Pensions to find out exactly what expenses they will cover.
You can claim a funeral payment from the Social Fund only up to three months after the date of the funeral.
If you require guidance regarding personal pensions, mortgages, insurance, etc, we have a member of staff who is happy to give guidance.
Our Welfare Rights Team offer basic employment advice and can refer/signpost to organisations who offer a more complex service if required.
Our Welfare Rights Team offer basic debt advice and can refer/signpost to organisations who offer more complex debt advice.
Council Tax Reduction Help with Council Tax for people receiving Income Support, Pensions Guarantee Credit, income-based Job Seekers Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance. Help on the grounds of low income. The maximum rebate on a bill is now 75% for people under pensionable age.
Housing Benefit Help with rent for people receiving Income Support, Pension Guarantee Credit, income-based Job Seekers Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance. Help on the grounds of low income.
Discretionary Housing Payments Possible help towards ‘the bedroom tax’. Ask our Welfare Rights Advisers.
Blue Badge Scheme Parking concessions to help people with severe mobility problems.
Aids & Adaptions Our Welfare Rights Team can signpost to organisations who give advice on aids and adaptations to help with everyday living.
Our Welfare Rights Team are happy to assist with Appeals providing the original claim has been done through our Organisation.