We all know that parenting children with disabilities or SEN is more costly for whatever reason!
That’s why I wanted to share some great resources designed to help such families save money and lessen the burden.
Help with the everyday cost of living
If your child is entitled to any benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) be sure to claim them as your child’s appropriate adult.
Filling out DLA forms can seem a daunting process but there is help out there. Many online sites have developed detailed guides to help you fill in the form to the best of your ability.
Once your child’s DLA application has been approved, fill out a Carers Allowance form (better still do it at the same time as the DLA form) This isn’t a great deal of money but does help to lessen the burden especially if you are caring full time and are not in the position to work.
Save Money On Days Out
Most major theme parks and attractions do offer special rates for those with a disability and their carer. I would suggest visiting your planed attraction online. All will need to have easy access to their policies relating to disability, access and pricing. Most of the large parks also provide special access passes so those who find it difficult to queue can use the rides exist. Note… Each park has its own policies but most will require you to bring a certain amount of identification as well as proof of disability.
Financial Support Towards Days Out & Holiday’s
The Happy Days Charity funds and organises holidays, residential trips, days out and theatre trips for children and young people aged 3 to 17 years with learning difficulties, physical or mental disabilities.
Individuals can apply for help with the cost of days out and theatre trips, while families can apply for funding towards a one week UK family holiday (though a supporting letter from a professional is needed).
Another charity that can provide assistance to families in need of a break are the “Family Holiday Association” who helps disadvantaged children and their families with family UK breaks. Applications must be made by a welfare agent exp… Social worker etc.
Below is a charity who have helped us fund days out to their attractions, such as Lego Land and Chessington. They have done this by providing us with complementary family tickets. Note… there was some talk last year of pending changes to the way the charity processed applications form families of autistic children so you should refer to their website for full details….
Merlin’s Magic Wand is a worldwide charity for children, aiming to provide magical experiences for those who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged.
The charity has been created by the Merlin Entertainments Group, Merlin’s Magic Wand is a UK charitable trust, run by a Board of Trustees. The board manages the funds and makes awards to good causes in the countries in which Merlin operates. Find out who is eligible and how to apply by visiting their website.
Its also worth noting that Scope have a special inclusion service designed to help children and young people with disabilities access leisure activities and facilities within their own communities.
Save Money On Travel Costs.
Earlier in the week I spoke about the disabled persons railcard which enables the card holder and carer upto 30% each of their travel. There is a yearly fee of around £20 but its worth it as you can save a fortune. I also highlighted how those claiming DLA who receive the high care rate and live in london can normally apply for a disabled persons pass (which enables the card holder free travel in london) You should check with the local authority or DWP about accessing this service. Those who receive the mobility part at the higher rate are also entitled to a blue badge which could make parking at hospitals etc a whole lot cheaper and easier. If the person in receipt of the benefit is a minor the child’s carer is able to use the badge on the family car.
Those in receipt of mobility may also be given the option of a car provided for their use by a car dealer on behalf of the DLA. This means a brand new car is provided to the family but the cost is taken from the mobility part of their DLA and they will receive no or very little cash payment (but will have the car for as long as they are in receipt of the benefit with the option of upgrades).
Financial assistance for home improvements and mobility aids.
That Act Foundation gives grants to individuals and charities based in the UK. These grants are designed to enhance the quality of life specifically for those with physical and/or learning disabilities.
Grants can be provided for building (modifications to the home)
Equipment (mobility aids etc…)
Financial assistance towards respite registered breaks.
The local authority/council can provide help and assistance in way of a disabled facilities grant. This is designed to provide financial assistance to enable families to make adaptions to the home as to allow the child with a disability to continue living there. Note: for those under the age of 19 years this is not means tested.
The Variety Club is a really great charity who provide grants and assistance to provide families with vital daily items that often go unconsidered yet cost thousands of pounds every year. These include things like bath mats, toilet seats, car seats and more.
Family Fund Is another fabulous charity that provide families of disabled children grants and vouchers for essential items such as appliances and more. They can even supply families with vouchers towards holidays within the UK and aboard, as well as some of the cost towards driving lessons to make live that little bit more easier.
There are some fantastic charities out there, set up to provide families parenting a child with a disability advice and in some cases financial support. Its just finding them that seems to be the problem for some. Those listed above are just a handful, there are many others available to help and you may be able to find the right service for you by visiting the one of these online directories…
Living Made Easy For Children