Financial support for those with SEND
If your child has special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND) you may be entitled to some extra financial support. Some sources of support are only available to those with SEND.
Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is provided by the government to help with the additional costs faced by disabled children. It is one of the main sources of financial support.
Your child may qualify for DLA if they have a physical disability and/or SEN, and require more help or supervision, than other children of the same age.
Some two-year-olds can get free childcare and education. This includes two-year-olds who are in receipt of disability living allowance. It also includes families on some income-based benefits, including working families on low incomes. Click here to find out more.
For children over the age of 16, DLA has been replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
There are two parts to DLA – care and mobility.
Usually, you can claim for the care component when your child is aged three months and for the mobility component when they are three years old, although in some circumstances you can claim earlier.
When completing your application, it is important to include as much detail as possible to ensure you receive the right amount.
Current Weekly DLA amounts are (January 2023):
- Care component: Lowest: £24.45 – Middle: £61.85 – Highest: £92.40
- Mobility component: Lower: £24.45 – Higher: £64.50
For more information and to find out how to apply, click here.
The charity Cerebra have created a video to help parent carers apply for DLA which you can watch below.
Disabled child element of Child Tax Credit
If you are already claiming DLA for your child, you may also be able to claim the disabled child element of Child Tax Credit.
This is made up of 2 parts:
- The disabled child element (£3,545 per year) – for each child in the family claiming DLA or who is registered blind;
- The severely disabled child element (an additional £1,430 per year) – for each child in the family claiming the highest rate care part of DLA.
Click here for further information about claiming Child Tax Credit.
Tax Free Childcare is a government scheme to support working parents with childcare costs.
With tax-free childcare, you set up an account on the Childcare Choices website and for every £8 you pay in, the government will pay in an extra £2 (so the government pay you back the tax on your earnings). With this scheme you can get up to £4,000 for a disabled child towards your childcare costs.
If your child is on the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate you might be able to get Carers Allowance. It is one of the main benefits for carers.
Carers allowance is not means tested so it doesn’t matter what savings you have but you can only get carers allowance if your earnings after deductions are no more than £132 per week.
30 hours free childcare
For working families with children aged three and four, or you’re unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.
You can also use the childcare calculator to find out what help you could be entitled to and to help you decide what options suit your family best.