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The benefits help available

Having arthritis often means extra expense. You may be able to get state benefits to help with the extra costs of having arthritis or if you’re unable to work. It’s worth checking that you’re claiming everything that you are entitled to.

Update: The Welfare Reform Act 2012 is gradually being applied by a series of statutory instruments which affect the whole benefits system.

Personal Independence Payment

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) started replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from 8 April 2013 for people aged16-64 with a disability/health condition. The change applies throughout the United Kingdom. The amount you receive depends on how your disability affects you. Most people currently in receipt of DLA will not be affected until 2015 or later. PIP is not a means-tested benefit and hence not dependent on income or savings.

You can only make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you’re claiming for a child under 16 - this is known as DLA for Children. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a non-means tested benefit for children with an illness or disability who have problems getting around, or need help with personal care, or both of these. Use the checklist available here to see if you are eligible to claim.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a benefit for people aged 65 or over with an illness or a disability who need help with personal care. Find out how to claim AA

Access to Work

Access to Work provides practical advice and grants to help overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability.

Carerís Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a weekly taxable benefit paid if you are aged 16 or over and regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a severely disabled person.

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) aims to provide income and help for returning to work for people who cannot work due to sickness or disability. Find out how to claim Employment and Support Allowance

Income Support

Income Support (IS) provides a basic income for people who may be too ill to work, but not have enough NI contributions to get Employment and Support Allowance.

Jobseekerís Allowance

Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) is for people who are unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week, who are available for – and actively seeking – work.

Council Tax Reduction

If you are on a low income and paying council tax you can claim Council Tax reduction (sometimes called council tax support) via your local council.

Help with health costs

If you or your partner is on Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can get help with your health costs. These include free NHS prescriptions, free NHS sight tests, and repayment of necessary travel costs to and from hospital for NHS treatment.

Housing Benefit

If you are on a low income and paying rent, you can claim Housing Benefit. It will be affected by the ‘benefit cap’.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people who reach state pension age. It made up of Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. The qualifying age from which you can get the Guarantee Credit is gradually increasing from 60 to 66 between April 2010 and October 2020. 

Budgeting Loans

The Social Fund makes payments called budgeting Loans in England, Wales and Scotland. (In Northern Ireland, you can still apply for crisis loans) to people for an emergency or disaster, such as funeral payments, cold weather payments and winter fuel payments.

Tax Credits

Child Tax Credit supports people who are responsible for children under 16 whether they are in work or not.

Working Tax Credit is a means-tested payment for those in low-paid work. It supports families with children and workers with a disability.

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