Contact a Family is delighted to announce that it has been awarded Big Lottery funding to help the charity increase and improve its work challenging the financial disadvantages faced by the families of disabled children over the next three years.
The new project made possible by the Big Lottery will feature a specialist team of benefit advisers offering detailed one to one advice to parents in England via the charity’s free Helpline and on-line services.
Contact a Family will also use the funding to offer all parents of disabled children who use the new service, a comprehensive benefits ‘check-up’ and help for those who are missing out to maximise their incomes.
Anne Brook, Head of Advice & Information at Contact a Family says: “Huge changes are happening to the benefits system and this has left many families with disabled children worried and confused. The Big Lottery money means the charity’s expert advisors will now be able to offer more detailed advice than ever before on the financial support available to them, both online and through our helpline.
“Thanks to this new funding we will be able to provide vitally needed free, high quality and up to date advice for parents needing intensive support with benefit issues. We hope that ultimately this will help reduce any worry and confusion about benefit changes and increase the chances of families with disabled children getting what they are entitled to – more important than ever in the current economic climate.”
The charity’s announcement comes as it publishes the latest in its range of benefits guides for families with disabled children: Personal Independence Payment and other benefits at 16.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for those aged 16 plus on the 10th June. Initially PIP will only apply to those making a brand new claim. Then, from October 2013 DLA claimants whose existing award ends, or who report a change of circumstances, or who turn 16 will be re-assessed under the PIP system.
At first glance the new PIP may seem very similar to DLA. Like DLA it is not means tested and has two components – a mobility component and a daily living component which considers the need for care and assistance. However, PIP uses entirely new rules to decide whether you qualify for the benefit. There will also be a new way of assessing claims, normally involving a face-to-face meeting with a health professional.
Families with disabled children worried about benefit and welfare issues or to get a copy of Personal Independence Payment and other benefits at 16, or any of the charity’s other helpful guides, please get in touch with Contact a Family’s team of experts on freephone 0808 808 3555, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cafamily.org.uk