Benefits are payments from the government to people who are on low income, out of work, have children, are pregnant, sick or disabled, have been bereaved or are a carer.

Many people with a disability can access money and benefits to help them be independent.

Once you turn 18, you are considered an adult and you will need to apply for your own benefits. As you prepare to turn 18, it is important to check what benefits you will be entitled to and that the benefits will be registered in your name. It is also important that you get the right support to claim the benefits you are entitled to.

There are different benefits you may be able to claim. Some of these benefits include the following. 

  • Carer’s Allowance – Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. If someone is looking after another person for 35 hours a week or more, they may be eligible. More information is available on the section on Carer’s Allowance on the government website or on a Carers UK factsheet.

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – you can claim Disability Living Allowance if you are under 16, disabled and need extra help to look after yourself or have difficulty walking or getting around. More information about Disability Living Allowance is available on the government website or on the Disability Rights UK website.

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – a benefit for people who need help taking part in everyday life or who find it difficult to get around. PIP replaces Disability Living Allowance for people aged over 16. More information about Personal Independence Payment is available on the government website or on the Disability Rights UK website.

  • Universal Credit – Universal Credit is a new benefit introduced by the government. Universal Credit replaces several older benefits. With Universal Credit people have one monthly payment to cover their housing and living costs. People aged 18 or over (or aged 16 or 17 in some cases) might be able to make a claim. More information about Universal Credit is available on the government website or on the Disability Rights UK website.

  • Access to Work benefits – If you are disabled or have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job, your employer must make certain changes called ‘reasonable adjustments’. If the help required at work is not covered by the employer making reasonable adjustments, it may be possible to get help from Access to Work benefits. If you qualify, you will be offered support based on your needs, which may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace.

  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. ESA gives you money to help with living costs if you are unable to work or support you to get back into work if you can. You can apply for ESA if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed.

  • Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) – Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are grants to help with any extra essential costs you may have as a direct result of your disability while studying at university. It covers some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.


Related links

Mencap - money and benefits

Citizens Advice Leicestershire - Carers and disability benefits

Universal Credits