Some of the financial assistance you can claim are:
DLA - Disability Living Allowance - this is NOT a means tested benefit. You should phone for an application form ASAP after diagnosis as they can only back date it to the stamped date of the form request. You then have about 2 months to fill it in – it’s a long and tedious form but worth doing. Remember that for every question you need to be thinking about what your child is like on a bad day.
A blue badge for parking – contact the local council for a form, find out who makes the decisions and phone them – you’ll wait for weeks otherwise, explain the situation and that the you simply cannot afford to pay for parking – also explain that you’re waiting for a decision on DLA (if you get higher rate DLA you are automatically entitled to a badge, if your child hasn’t got it yet get a letter from the GP)
Depending on the families level of income you or your partner may be entitled to Carers Allowance – about £40 a week at most but worth looking into, this one is a means tested benefit.
If you are struggling with your ill child & the caring for other children at home too, do get in touch with Social Services and ask for some help for at home. If you are in the Midlands you may be able to get help in terms of nursing care for your child through Newlife – they have a fantastic helpline too.
You may be able to get money off your gas and electricity bills but this depends on the supplier – if your child gets DLA then you should ring and tell them and hopefully you will be put onto a special tariff – not guaranteed though as some companies don’t!
The Family Fund may also be able to assist if there is anything you need – washing machine, equipment for your child and so on.
There are many useful leaflets available from CLIC Sargent - A Guide to Flexible working and parental leave, CLIC Sargent Care Grants (a £200 grant at any time within the first 3 months of diagnosis, £300 for families in exceptional financial circumstances) CLIC Sargent Social Workers and CLIC Sargent Family Support - which you can order through the CLIC Sargent website. CLIC Sargent also run a helpline – 0800 197 0068 which is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.
I have posted links below to some of the places where help may be available:
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