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  • Writer's pictureSEN World | the special needs experts

UK What benefits are available to me as a parent of a child with SEND?

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Over the next few blogs we will be looking at what benefits are available to parents in the UK

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new system that replaces the following benefits.

Income Support


Jobseeker’s Allowance

Income-related Employment

Support Allowance

If you are on a low income and you are not already claiming the above, Housing Benefit or tax credits, you could consider claiming Universal Credit (UC). This is a benefit which will replace those benefits and so if you claim it, they will usually stop. You could end up worse off, so always seek advice. However, if you are not claiming these benefits, UC may be worth claiming. It can include extra amounts for a disabled child who is on DLA or PIP, called a disabled child element.

Over 16s who are not working and would have difficulty working because of illness or disability can claim Universal Credit themselves.

However, you can’t claim Child Benefit, or a child element or disabled child element in Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit, in respect of a young person at the same time as they claim UC, so you may need advice about which to claim, or you can research the amounts involved. To understand more of what your child may be entitled to try the online calculator Turn2Us. If your child claims UC, you can still be their appointee for the benefit, if that is necessary (that means you would be responsible for making the claim and reporting all changes).

If your child claims UC they will need to submit a medical certificate (commonly referred to a 'fit note'), they will be required to attend a fitness for work test, at a DWP location. This can be a distressing event for your child and if extra support is required make sure to phone the centre before the appointment. They will be unable to assist with physical support between the transport option and centre.

When your child first claims UC, they will need to submit a medical certificate (evidence that they are not fit for work) and be referred to a work capability assessment. If they are found to have limited capability for work or limited capability for work-related activity they can continue to get UC whilst under 18. If they are found capable of work, the decision can be challenged.

Continuing to claim for your child could be worth more money overall than your child claiming UC, always get advice.

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