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Benefits for people who are sick or disabled

What help is available

If you are sick or disabled, there are a number of different benefits and tax credits you may be able to claim.

Remember that you may be able to get other benefits as well, depending on your circumstances. You may be able to get benefits for being on a low income like Housing Benefit or benefits because you have children. You may also be able to claim Council Tax Reduction to help with your council tax.

Even if you cannot claim any benefits, you may be able to get national insurance credits if you are unable to work or you are a carer.

For more information about National insurance credits, see National insurance - contributions and benefits.

If you are disabled, information about benefits and tax credits must be available in a way that is accessible to you. For example, information must be available in large print or in Braille.

Also, if you are disabled, you may be entitled to other help apart from benefits and tax credits. For example, you might get cheaper public transport, parking concessions and practical help with care from your local council. You also have the right not to be discriminated against at work or when you receive goods or services.

For more information about what help you can get from the council if you're disabled, see Community care.

For more information about transport and parking concessions, see Transport options for disabled people.

For more information about discrimination, see Disability discrimination.

For more information about your rights if you're disabled, you should get in touch with your local authority or consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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Disability benefits helplines

Disability Living Allowance

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provide a Disability Living Allowance Helpline. The helpline can arrange help filling out claim forms over the phone when you are applying for Disability Living Allowance.

You can contact the Helpline on:

Tel: 08457 123 456
Textphone: 08457 224 433

You can also use the RNID Typetalk service.

The Helpline is open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday.

Attendance Allowance

For queries and information about Attendance Allowance, contact the Attendance Allowance Service Centre, also run by the DWP. The helpline can arrange help filling out claim forms over the phone when you are applying for Attendance Allowance.

You can contact the Service Centre on:

Tel: 0345 605 6055 (if you are calling from a mobile phone)
Tel: 0845 605 6055 (if you are calling from a landline)
Textphone: 0845 604 5312.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

There is a separate Helpline for information about Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is the Personal Independence Payment Helpline. The helpline number is:-

Tel: 0845 850 3322
Textphone: 0845 601 6677

The Helpline is open 8.00am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday

Carer's Allowance

If you want information about Carer's Allowance, you can ring the Carer's Allowance Unit on:-

Tel: 0345 608 4321 (Monday to Thursday from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm; Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm)
Textphone: 0345 604 5312

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Working Tax Credit

You may be able to claim Working Tax Credit if you are disabled and work at least 16 hours a week. Working Tax Credit is paid by the HM Revenue and Customs, and depends on your income. It is paid in addition to benefits for the extra costs of disability such as Personal Independence Payment. However, Working Tax Credit may affect other income related benefits you get, for example, Housing Benefit.

For information about Working Tax Credit, see Benefits and tax credits for people in work.

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Benefits for people who cannot work

If you cannot work because you are sick or disabled, whether temporarily or permanently, you may be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Usually, SSP is paid for the first 28 weeks of sickness if you work for an employer. Otherwise, you should claim ESA. Some people get Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance, but you cannot usually make a new claim for these benefits. This is because they have been abolished for new claims unless the claim can be linked to an earlier period of entitlement.

In some cases, you can get Income Support on top of SSP, depending on your circumstances and income.

SSP and ESA are intended to provide an income in place of your earnings when you cannot work. If you are able to do some work, you will not usually be able to claim these benefits. However, you may be able to do some work if your earnings are not more than a set limit. You can also do voluntary work or approved work on an unpaid trial basis. You must get the agreement of the Department for Work and Pensions for any work you do when you are getting these benefits.

If you want to do any work while claiming benefit because you have limited capacity for work, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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Statutory Sick Pay

Your employer pays Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first 28 weeks that you are off sick. It is treated like earnings for the purposes of income tax and forms part of your taxable income.

Who can get Statutory Sick Pay

To get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), you must be unable to work because you are sick or disabled. You must earn at least £111 a week. If you don't earn this amount, or if you're self-employed, you cannot get SSP. You should claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). instead.

Part-time workers, workers on a fixed-term contract and agency workers all qualify for SSP.

For more information about the rights of agency workers, see Agency workers' rights.

If you were getting ESA within the last twelve weeks, you do not get SSP. Your employer should tell you if you are not entitled to SSP by giving you form SSP1, or their own version of it. You can then reclaim ESA instead.

If you are off sick and you are not sure whether you can get Statutory Sick Pay, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

How much is Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid at a fixed rate of £87.55 a week. If you get contractual sick pay you may get more sick pay than this but it will depend on what your contract of employment says.

For more information about SSP and contractual sick pay, see Off work because of sickness.

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Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is for people who:

  • can't work because of sickness or disability, and
  • aren't getting Statutory Sick Pay.

For more information about Employment and Support Allowance, see Employment and Support Allowance.

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Incapacity Benefit

You can't normally make a new claim for Incapacity Benefit after 27 October 2008. You will normally have to claim Employment and Support Allowance instead. However, in some unusual circumstances, you might still be able to make a new claim for Incapacity Benefit if you are getting Income Support on grounds of disability. The normal conditions for getting Incapacity Benefit would still apply.

Incapacity Benefit is paid at different rates, depending on how long someone has been getting it. Lower rate short-term Incapacity Benefit is paid for the first 196 days of sickness and is not taxable. Higher rate short-term Incapacity Benefit is paid for the next six months and long-term Incapacity Benefit is paid after a year. You can get extra money if you have dependants.

You may get less than the full rate of Incapacity Benefit if you are getting an occupational or personal pension or money from an insurance policy for physical or mental illness. If you carry on getting Incapacity Benefit once you reach state pension age, the rate you get may also be reduced.

Both higher rate short-term Incapacity Benefit and long-term Incapacity Benefit are taxable.

If you have problems with Incapacity Benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a CAB. To search for details of your nearest CAB, click on nearest CAB.

How is Incapacity Benefit paid

Incapacity Benefit is usually paid directly into your bank, building society or Post Office card account. If you cannot open or manage an account, you can be paid by Simple Payment. The DWP will give you a Simple Payment card which you can use to collect your benefit at a PayPoint outlet displaying the Simple Payment sign.

For more information about payment of benefits, see Payment of benefits and tax credits.

Civil penalties for causing an overpayment

In some cases, you may have to pay a civil penalty if you do something which causes an overpayment. This can happen if, for example, you give wrong information or you keep quiet about something, and as a result you get more Incapacity Benefit than you're supposed to be getting. You can only be asked to pay this penalty if you haven't committed fraud. If you have committed fraud, different rules apply. You can appeal against a decision to impose a civil penalty.

Incapacity Benefit, change of circumstances and fraud

You may commit a benefit fraud if you give incorrect or misleading information, or fail to report a change of circumstances, that could affect your Incapacity Benefit. Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment, that will have to be repaid. Your circumstances can be checked at any time while you are claiming. Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and you can be prosecuted or asked to pay a penalty. If you are being investigated for benefit fraud, your benefit will be suspended. If you committed fraud, your benefit can be reduced or stopped in the future.

For more information on what to do if you are asked to attend an interview under caution, see Problems with benefits and tax credits.

If you are worried about whether you might be suspected of fraud, you are under investigation or you have been convicted, or if you have been asked to repay an overpayment of benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Discrimination

It's against the law for you to be treated unfairly because of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or childbirth, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation when benefits or tax credits are paid to you. Also, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and most local authorities have policies which say they will not discriminate against you because of other things, for example, if you have caring responsibilities. If you feel that you've been discriminated against when you are paid benefits or tax credits, you can make a complaint about this.

For more about discrimination, see our Discrimination pages.

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Severe Disablement Allowance

You cannot get Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) if you are making a new claim because this benefit was abolished in April 2001. If you are already getting Severe Disablement Allowance, you can carry on getting it.

However, the DWP will reassess your claim at some point to work out whether to convert your Severe Disablement Allowance into Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). You will have to meet the conditions for ESA.

If you are incapable of work and you would previously have claimed SDA, you may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

SDA is not taxable. You can get it as long as you are incapable of work and if you go into hospital.

If you receive SDA or used to receive it and need information or help, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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Benefits for the extra costs of disability

Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) are benefits to help you pay for the extra costs of having a disability, such as personal care and transport. However, you can choose how to spend the money.

PIP is for people aged 16-64 (in England, Wales and Scotland), DLA is for people under 16 (under 65 in Northern Ireland), and AA is for people aged 65 or over. Some people over 16 are still getting DLA, but this is gradually being replaced by PIP for people aged 16 to 64.

You can get PIP, DLA or AA whether or not you are working, and they are not affected by any work you do. The benefits do not reduce any income-related benefits you get and may even increase the amount you can claim.

Remember that you may also be able to claim benefits because you cannot work - see under Benefits for people who cannot work, and means-tested benefits if you are on a low income. If you work, you may be able to claim Working Tax Credit.

For more information about Working Tax Credit, go to Benefits and tax credits for people in work.

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Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16-64 with a long term health condition or disability. It is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people in that age group. It will be introduced later in Northern Ireland.

You cannot get PIP at the same time as DLA.

More about Personal Independence Payment.

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Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is gradually being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

From 10 June 2013, in England, Wales and Scotland, you cannot make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance unless you are under 16. So the information below applies only to:

What is Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit for disabled people under 65. To get DLA, you must have personal care needs or difficulty with walking (also called mobility) because of either a physical or mental disability. DLA has two parts, the care component and the mobility component. The care component is paid at three rates depending on how often and how much you need care. The mobility component is paid at two rates, depending on how much difficulty you have with walking. Depending on your needs, you may get one component of DLA, or both together.

Who can get Disability Living Allowance

You can get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if:

  • you claim before you are 65, and
  • you have had care needs or mobility needs for at least three months, and
  • you are likely to have these needs for at least another six months.

From 10 June 2013, you can't make a new claim for DLA in England, Wales and Scotland if you're 16 or over. You may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead. If you are already getting DLA, you may be able to renew your claim, but in some cases, the DWP will require you to claim PIP instead.

If you are already getting DLA when you reach 65, you can continue to get it as long as you still have care or mobility needs or until the DWP asks you to claim PIP instead. The DWP will only ask you to claim PIP instead if you were under 65 on 8 April 2013.

If you are terminally ill and not expected to live for more than another six months, there are special rules for claiming DLA.

There are also special rules for children under the age of 16.

You will not usually be able to get DLA if you have been in hospital for more than four weeks, or more than 12 weeks for a child under 16. If you move into a care home and your local council is helping you with your fees, the care component of DLA will stop after four weeks, but you can usually continue to get the mobility component.

To get DLA, you must have lived in the UK for two years in the last three years. However, this rule doesn't apply to people who are terminally ill. The rule also doesn't apply to members of the armed forces serving abroad or to certain EEA or Swiss nationals living in the UK. You must be living in the UK when you make a claim for DLA and the UK must be your 'habitual' (normal) place of residence. You must not have any immigration controls on your stay here that would stop you getting the benefit.

It may be possible to carrying on getting the care component of DLA if you move to another EEA country or Switzerland. You may also be able to claim for the first time if you’re living in one of these countries.

You can get DLA whether or not you work. It isn't usually affected by any savings or income you may have.

There is more information about Disability Living Allowance' on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.

If you are not sure if you can get DLA, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, click on nearest CAB.  

If you are terminally ill

If you have a progressive disease and are not reasonably expected to live for more than another six months, there are special rules about claiming DLA.

If you are applying for either the care component or the mobility component, you don't have to wait until you have needed help for three months. You will automatically be entitled to the highest rate care component without having to show that you need care. You will still have to show that you have mobility needs in order to get the mobility component.

You don't have to wait until you have lived in the UK for two years out of the last three before you can make a claim.

You can get the care component for a terminally ill child of any age – you don't have to wait until they are three months old.

Care needs

You have care needs if:

  • you need help with things like eating, washing, getting dressed, going to the toilet or communicating your needs
  • you need someone to supervise you to stop you being a danger to yourself or others
  • you need someone with you when you are on dialysis. You must need to have dialysis at least twice a week. If you're an out-patient, you will only get DLA if no member of the hospital staff helps you with or supervises the treatment
  • you need someone with you to help you lead a normal social life.

You do not actually have to be getting help for your care needs to qualify for DLA. As long as you have a care need, it does not matter whether you are actually getting care.

The care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is paid at three different rates. You get the lower rate if you need help with cooking a main meal or care for a significant part of the day. You get the middle rate if you need frequent care throughout the day or night, or continual supervision throughout the day or night. You can also get the middle rate if you need someone with you while you're on dialysis. You get the higher rate if you need frequent care or supervision throughout the day and night, or if you are terminally ill.

There are slightly different rules if you are claiming the care component for a child under the age of 16.

Care component - rates

Care componentWeekly rates from 8 April 2013Weekly rates from 7 April 2014
Higher rate£79.15£81.30
Middle rate£53.00£54.45
Lower rate£21.00£21.55

If you want to know more about how to qualify for the care component of DLA, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Mobility needs

The mobility component of DLA is paid at two different rates.

You get the lower rate if you cannot walk outdoors on an unfamiliar route without guidance or supervision from another person for most of the time. This could be because of either a physical or mental disability.

Some examples of when you might be entitled to the lower rate of the mobility component include if you:

  • have mental health problems which affect your ability to walk
  • have learning difficulties and have only learned familiar routes
  • have dementia
  • are blind or partially sighted. However, you will qualify for the higher rate mobility component of DLA if you have a severe visual impairment.
  • are deaf and have not learned how to cope safely with traffic
  • have epilepsy
  • have panic attacks - but this must be a symptom of a mental disability
  • suffer from phobias, obsessive behaviour or have no sense of danger - but this must be a symptom of a mental disability
  • have severe agoraphobia, that is, a fear of being outside.

You get the higher rate mobility component if you're unable or virtually unable to walk because of pain, the effect on your health or the limitations on your walking. You can only get the higher rate if:

  • your difficulties with walking are caused by a physical disability, or
  • you have severe learning difficulties or severe behavioural problems and you qualify for the higher rate care component.

If you are blind and deaf and you use a guide dog, you will still qualify for the DLA mobility component if you can show that you would need help from another person if you didn't have the dog, or if you were using a new route unfamiliar to the dog.

You will qualify for the higher rate mobility component of DLA if you have a severe visual impairment.

You do not actually have to be receiving help with your mobility needs to get the mobility component of DLA, as long as you can show that you need it.

There are special rules if you are claiming the mobility component for a child under the age of 16.

Mobility component - rates

Mobility componentWeekly rate from 8 April 2013Weekly rates from 7 April 2014
Higher rate£55.25£56.75
Lower rate£21.00£21.55

If you want to know more about how to qualify for the mobility component of DLA, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Disability Living Allowance for children

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) can be paid for children under 16, but there are extra conditions about their care and mobility needs.

To get the care component of DLA, a child must meet the same conditions as an adult, but they must also show that they need a lot more care or supervision than other children of the same age. For example, a child aged under 16 cannot get the DLA care component just because they are unable to cook a main meal for themselves.

You can make a claim for the care component of DLA as soon as a child is born, but you won't be paid any benefit until the child is three months old. The extra conditions no longer apply when the child reaches the age of 16.

If the child is terminally ill, special rules apply.

Children under 16 can't get the mobility component of DLA until they are three, for the higher rate, or five, for the lower rate. To get the lower rate, they must also need more help or supervision than other children of the same age. This extra condition no longer applies, once the child reaches the age of 16.

Children under 16 can't make a claim for DLA in their own right - another person, authorised by the Department for Work and Pensions, must make the claim on their behalf. This person is called an appointee and will usually be the child’s parent or guardian.

If you are a disabled young person under 16 or you are responsible for a disabled child and need to claim DLA on their behalf, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

How to apply for Disability Living Allowance

You can only make a new claim for DLA if you're under 16 or you live in Northern Ireland. There are several ways of claiming DLA.

The Disability Living Allowance Helpline

You can claim DLA by phoning the Disability Living Allowance Helpline and asking them to send you a claim form. They can send you the claim pack in an alternative format if needed - for example, Braille. They can also arrange for someone to help you fill out the form if required. 

If you request a form from the Helpline, the date of request will be treated as your date of claim from which DLA can be paid, as long as the form you receive is returned within six weeks of that date. If you delay making a claim, you may lose out on benefit.

Downloading a form from the GOV.UK website

In England, Wales and Scotland, you can download a claim form from the GOV.UK website to print off and fill in on paper. Or you can complete a claim form on your computer, then print it off and sign it. Go to www.gov.uk.

In Northern Ireland you can download a form from the nidirect website www.nidirect.gov.uk. You cannot complete a claim form and then print it off in Northern Ireland.

For help completing the form, contact the Disability Living Allowance Helpline.

You cannot get DLA for any period before you make your claim.

You will have to provide your national insurance number and proof that it belongs to you. If you think you have a national insurance number but you do not know what it is, you should provide information to help the office find it. If you do not have a national insurance number, you will have to apply for one.

If you need more time to return all the information needed, you should let the office dealing with your claim know.

The claim form for DLA is long and you can get help completing it. You can use the forms completion service offered by the Disability Living Allowance Helpline. Alternatively, you could consult an adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

After the DWP receives your form, you may need to have a medical examination. For more information about medical examinations when you claim DLA, go to the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.

In Northern Ireland go to the nidirect website at www.nidirect.gov.uk.

You may need help to claim or collect benefits.

Once you have made your claim, you can get advice on Disability Living Allowance from the Disability Living Allowance Helpline who should have access to your records.

In Northern Ireland you can contact the Disability and Carers Service. The contact details are:

Tel: 028 9090 6182
Textphone: 0800 243 787
E-mail: DCS.IncomingPostTeamDHC2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

It will usually take around 39 working days to deal with a new claim, unless the claim is made under the special rules, in which case it will be dealt with much more quickly.

How is Disability Living Allowance paid

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is usually paid directly into your bank, building society or Post Office card account. If you cannot open or manage an account, you can be paid by Simple Payment. The DWP will give you a Simple Payment card which you can use to collect your benefit at a PayPoint outlet displaying the Simple Payment sign.

For more information about payment of benefits, see Payment of benefits and tax credits.

DLA is paid as long as you have care or mobility needs. It may be awarded for an indefinite period or a fixed period. However, the benefit is affected if you go into hospital, and for the care component if you go into a care home or other residential accommodation that is state funded.

Civil penalties for causing an overpayment

In some cases, you may have to pay a civil penalty if you do something which causes an overpayment. This can happen if, for example, you give wrong information or you keep quiet about something, and as a result you get more Disability Living Allowance than you're supposed to be getting. You can only be asked to pay this penalty if you haven't committed fraud. If you have committed fraud, different rules apply. You can appeal against a decision to impose a civil penalty.

Disability Living Allowance, change of circumstances and fraud

You may commit a benefit fraud if you give incorrect or misleading information, or fail to report a change of circumstances that could affect your Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment that will have to be repaid. Your circumstances can be checked at any time while you are claiming. Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and you can be prosecuted or asked to pay a penalty. If you are being investigated for benefit fraud, your benefit may be suspended.

For more information on what to do if you are asked to attend an interview under caution, see Problems with benefits and tax credits.

If your circumstances change so that you think you might be entitled to a higher or lower component of DLA or you think you might be entitled to more than one component when you have just been receiving one, you should tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as soon as possible. From 28 October 2013 in some parts of England and in Wales, if you're 16 or over and you report a change that might affect the rate of DLA that you get, the DWP will invite you to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead. Once they have asked you to claim PIP, your DLA will eventually end whether you claim PIP or not.

► More about when and where you'll be reassessed for PIP if you're getting DLA

If you are worried about whether you might be suspected of fraud, you are under investigation or you have been convicted, or if you have been asked to repay an overpayment of benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Problems with Disability Living Allowance

If you are refused Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or get less than you think you should, you can challenge the decision. You should do this within one month of the decision.

If you are thinking of asking for a decision to be looked at again or of appealing against it, you should get expert advice. This is because there might be a risk that your Disability Living Allowance could be reduced or even stopped. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau should be able to help. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

I am a wheelchair user and I claim Disability Living Allowance. They were investigating me for fraud and came to my house to interview me. They did not ask me any questions face-to-face and addressed all their questions to my support worker. It turned out OK for me – they did not continue with the fraud investigation but I still felt humiliated. Can I complain?

Yes, you can complain if you are not treated politely because of your disability. An experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau, could help you with your complaint.

If you are not happy with the standard of service you have received from the benefits office, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland or any of the helplines, you can complain. This might be because of delays, errors, rudeness or difficulties in making contact. You can complain whether or not you also want to challenge a decision.

Discrimination

It's against the law for you to be treated unfairly because of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or childbirth, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation when benefits or tax credits are paid to you. Also, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and most local authorities have policies which say they will not discriminate against you because of other things, for example, if you have caring responsibilities. If you feel that you've been discriminated against when you are paid benefits or tax credits, you can make a complaint about this.

For more about discrimination, see our Discrimination pages.

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Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a benefit for people with care needs who:

  • are 65 or over, and
  • do not get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

AA does not include a mobility component. However, if you are already getting a DLA or PIP mobility component when you become 65, you can carry on getting it. You can't make a new claim for DLA or PIP mobility component after the age of 65.

Who can get Attendance Allowance

You can get Attendance Allowance (AA) if you are disabled, you have care needs and you are 65 or over. You must not be living permanently in hospital or accommodation funded by a local authority, for example, a local authority care home. To get AA, you must have lived in the UK for two years in the last three years. However, this rule doesn't apply to people who are terminally ill. The rule also doesn't apply to members of the armed forces serving abroad or to certain EEA or Swiss nationals living in the UK. You must be living in the UK when you make a claim for AA and the UK must be your 'habitual' (normal) place of residence. You must not have any immigration controls on your stay here that would stop you getting the benefit.

You may be able to get AA if you move to another EEA member state or Switzerland or if you are already living in one of these countries.

Attendance Allowance - care needs

To get Attendance Allowance (AA) you have to have had care needs for at least six months (unless you are terminally ill).

You have care needs if you need help with your ‘bodily functions’, for example, washing, getting dressed and going to the toilet. This help can include attention, which allows you to take part in social activities. You also have care needs if you need supervision to stop you from being a danger to yourself or others. If you are terminally ill, you are automatically treated as having care needs.

You do not actually have to be receiving help for your care needs. As long as you have the needs, it does not matter whether you are getting or planning to get care.

If you are not sure whether your care needs will qualify for AA, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

How much is Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is paid at two rates, a higher rate and a lower rate. You get the lower rate of AA if you need frequent care throughout the day or night. You get the higher rate if you need frequent care throughout the day and night or if you are terminally ill.

For the current rates of AA, go to the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.

If you want to know more about which rate of AA you will get, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

How to apply for Attendance Allowance

You can claim Attendance Allowance (AA) by phoning the Attendance Allowance Service Centre. The helpline can send you a claim pack or arrange for you to have help completing a claim form over the phone.

You can also get a copy of the form from GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk, or, in Northern Ireland, the nidirect website at www.nidirect.gov.uk.

You cannot get AA for any period before you make your claim. The date of your claim is the date you first get in touch with the Department for Work and Pensions or the Social Security Agency and tell them you want to apply for AA. You have to return the claim form and all the information they need within the time required. If you need more time to return everything, you should get in touch with the office.

You may need help to claim or collect benefits.

You will have to provide your national insurance number and proof that it belongs to you. If you think you have a national insurance number but you do not know what it is, you should provide information to help the office find it. If you do not have a national insurance number, you will have to apply for one.

After the Department for Work and Pensions receive the form, you may have to have a medical examination.

The claim form for AA is long and you can get help completing it. You can use the forms completion service offered through the Attendance Allowance Service Centre helpline. Alternatively, you could consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

How is Attendance Allowance paid

Attendance Allowance (AA) is usually paid directly into your bank, building society or Post Office card account. If you cannot open or manage an account, you can be paid by Simple Payment. The DWP will give you a Simple Payment card which you can use to collect your benefit at a PayPoint outlet displaying the Simple Payment sign.

For more information about payment of benefits, see Payment of benefits and tax credits.

AA is paid as long as you have care needs. It may be awarded for an indefinite period or a fixed period. However, the benefit will stop after 28 days if you go into hospital, or a care home or other residential accommodation that is state funded.

Civil penalties for causing an overpayment

In some cases, you may have to pay a civil penalty if you do something which causes an overpayment. This can happen if, for example, you give wrong information or you keep quiet about something, and as a result you get more Attendance Allowance than you're supposed to be getting. You can only be asked to pay this penalty if you haven't committed fraud. If you have committed fraud, different rules apply. You can appeal against a decision to impose a civil penalty.

Attendance Allowance, change of circumstances and fraud

You may commit a benefit fraud if you give incorrect or misleading information, or fail to report a change of circumstances that could affect your Attendance Allowance (AA). Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment that will have to be repaid. Your circumstances can be checked at any time while you are claiming. Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and you can be prosecuted or asked to pay a penalty. If you are being investigated for benefit fraud, your benefit may be suspended.

For more information on what to do if you are asked to attend an interview under caution, see Problems with benefits and tax credits.

If your circumstances change so that you think you might be entitled to a higher or lower component of AA, or you think you might be entitled to more than one component when you have just been receiving one, you should tell the Department for Work and Pensions as soon as possible.

If you are worried about whether you might be suspected of fraud, you are under investigation or you have been convicted, or if you have been asked to repay an overpayment of benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Problems with Attendance Allowance

If you are refused Attendance Allowance (AA), or get less than you think you should, you can challenge the decision. You should do this within one month of the decision.

If you are thinking of asking for a decision to be looked at again or of appealing against it, you should get expert advice. This is because there might be a risk that your Attendance Allowance could be reduced or even stopped. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau should be able to help. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

If you are not happy with the standard of service you have received from the benefits office, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland or any of the helplines, you can complain. This might be because of delays, errors, rudeness or difficulties in making contact. You can complain whether or not you also want to challenge a decision.

Discrimination

It's against the law for you to be treated unfairly because of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or childbirth, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation when benefits or tax credits are paid to you. Also, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and most local authorities have policies which say they will not discriminate against you because of other things, for example, if you have caring responsibilities. If you feel that you've been discriminated against when you are paid benefits or tax credits, you can make a complaint about this.

For more about discrimination, see our Discrimination pages.

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Benefits for accidents at work and industrial diseases

You may be able to get benefits for industrial injury if you have an accident at work or you have certain diseases that have been caused by your work. You can only get these benefits if your disability or disease was caused by work for an employer or if you were taking part in certain government-approved training schemes - not if you were self-employed.

Industrial injuries Disablement Benefit is the main industrial injuries benefit. There are other allowances that you may get at the same time as, or instead of, Disablement Benefit, for example, Reduced Earnings Allowance, Retirement Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance.

You can also get benefit for the extra costs of disability at the same time as Disablement Benefit. This means you may be able to get Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance. You may also be able to claim benefit because you are unable to work. Help is also available if you are on a low income.

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Disablement Benefit

What is Disablement Benefit

Disablement benefit is for people who are disabled because of an accident at work, or who have certain diseases caused by their work. Only industrial diseases qualify, for example, diseases caused by chemicals you have worked with or hearing loss caused by your work. You can get a list of the diseases from your local benefits office.

Who can get Disablement Benefit

You can get Disablement Benefit if you were a paid employee, or a trainee on certain government-approved training schemes, at the time that you had your accident at work or contracted the industrial disease. You must also be disabled because of the accident or disease. An assessment will be made on how your disability affects you. The Department for Work and Pensions state the extent of your disablement as a percentage and you must usually be assessed as having at least 14% disablement to get benefit, although there are exceptions to this.

An examining doctor or other medical professional will assess you after you make your claim. Depending on the assessment, you can be paid Disablement Benefit for a fixed period or for life. The amount depends on your percentage disablement and your age.

You do not have to have paid national insurance contributions to receive Disablement Benefit. You can get it whether or not you have time off work. If you go into hospital, your disablement benefit will not be affected.

How much is Disablement Benefit

For the current rates of Disablement Benefit, go to the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk.

How to apply for Disablement Benefit

There are different claim forms for Disablement Benefit, depending on whether the disability was caused by an accident or whether you are claiming because you have a particular industrial disease. You should ask at the local benefit office for the right form.

In England, Wales and Scotland, you can make a claim for Disablement Benefit by phoning your nearest Industrial Injuries Benefit Centre. You can find the telephone numbers of the centres on GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk. There is also a Welsh language line number which is: 0845 600 3018.

In Northern Ireland, contact the Industrial Injuries Branch for a claim form. Phone: 028 9033 6000. You can also download a form from the nidirect website at www.nidirect.gov.uk.

You may also want to claim extra allowances or alternative payments when you make your claim. Even if you cannot get benefit (for example, because your disablement assessment would not be high enough), you should apply for a declaration that you have had an industrial accident, in case you want to claim again later.

Claims for industrial Disablement Benefit and extra allowances can be complicated and you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

You cannot get any benefit until 90 days after the accident or 90 days after the disease started, unless you have the industrial disease mesothelioma. The 90 days do not include Sundays.

There is no time limit for claiming Disablement Benefit. You can still claim if your accident happened or disease started some years ago. You can also claim again after being refused on an earlier claim, because your disease or the effects of your accident have got worse and you are more disabled. If you were entitled before you make your claim, you can ask for benefit to be paid for an earlier period of up to three months. You should ask for this on your claim form. You cannot ask for Disablement Benefit to be backdated in this way if you are claiming for loss of hearing.

When you claim Disablement Benefit, you have to provide your national insurance number and evidence to show it belongs to you. If you do not know your national insurance number but you think you have one, you should provide enough information for the office to find your number. If you do not have a national insurance number, you will have to apply for one.

Civil penalties for causing an overpayment

In some cases, you may have to pay a civil penalty if you do something which causes an overpayment. This can happen if, for example, you give wrong information or you keep quiet about something, and as a result you get more Disablement Benefit than you're supposed to be getting. You can only be asked to pay this penalty if you haven't committed fraud. If you have committed fraud, different rules apply. You can appeal against a decision to impose a civil penalty.

Disablement Benefit, change of circumstances and fraud

If your circumstances change so that you are more disabled and you think you may be able to get more benefit, you should tell the Department for Work and Pensions as soon as possible. You should also tell them if your condition improves. If you do not report a change of circumstances that could affect your benefit, or you give incorrect or misleading information, you may be committing a benefit fraud. Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment that will have to be repaid. Your circumstances can be checked at any time while you are claiming Disablement Benefit. Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and you can be prosecuted or asked to pay a penalty. If you are being investigated for benefit fraud, your benefit may be suspended. If you are convicted of benefit fraud more than once, your benefit can be reduced or stopped in the future.

For more information on what to do if you are asked to attend an interview under caution, see Problems with benefits and tax credits.

If you are worried about whether you might be suspected of fraud, you are under investigation or you have been convicted, or if you have been asked to repay an overpayment of benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

How is Disablement Benefit paid

Disablement Benefit is usually paid directly into your bank, building society or Post Office card account. If you cannot open or manage an account, you can be paid by Simple Payment. The DWP will give you a Simple Payment card which you can use to collect your benefit at a PayPoint outlet displaying the Simple Payment sign.

For more information about payment of benefits, see Payments of benefits and tax credits.

Allowances paid with or instead of Disablement Benefit

There are other industrial injuries benefits that can be paid with or instead of Disablement Benefit.

Reduced Earnings Allowance

Reduced Earnings Allowance is a benefit that you can get if your earnings are reduced because of your accident or disease, or if you cannot work at all. However, you can only get Reduced Earnings Allowance for accidents that happened, or diseases that started, before 1 October 1990. You may be entitled to Reduced Earnings Allowance but not Disablement Benefit, or you may be entitled to get them both together.

The amount depends on how much your earnings have been reduced, but there is a maximum amount that can be paid each week.

For the current maximum rate of Reduced Earnings Allowance, go to the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk.

You do not have to have paid national insurance contributions to get Reduced Earnings Allowance. If you go into hospital, your Reduced Earnings Allowance is not affected.

Retirement Allowance

Retirement Allowance is for people who have been getting Reduced Earnings Allowance and who stop working after they reach state pension age. You get Retirement Allowance at 25% of the rate of your reduced earnings allowance when you stopped work. There is a maximum amount that can be paid each week. Retirement Allowance is not affected if you go into hospital.

You do not make a claim for Retirement Allowance because you only get it if you have been getting Reduced Earnings Allowance.

For the current rates of Disablement Benefit go to the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.

Constant Attendance Allowance

Constant Attendance Allowance is paid with Disablement Benefit if you need care and attention because of your disability and you have a 100% disablement assessment. There are four rates of benefit. The amount you get depends on what care you need and how often you need it. You do not have to be receiving care to get Constant Attendance Allowance, you just have to show that you have care needs. You must be likely to have these needs for at least six months.

The benefits office will automatically assess you for Constant Attendance Allowance if you are assessed as having 100% disablement when you claim Disablement Benefit. If your disablement gets worse after you have claimed Disablement Benefit, you can ask about claiming Constant Attendance Allowance then.

If you go into hospital, Constant Attendance Allowance will stop after four weeks.

For the current rates of Constant Attendance Allowance go to the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk.

Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance

Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance is paid with Constant Attendance Allowance. You only get this if you are getting Constant Attendance Allowance at one of the two higher rates, and your care needs are likely to be permanent.

If you go into hospital, your Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance is not affected.

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Benefits for people injured in the Armed Forces

If you are injured while serving in the Armed Forces, you may be entitled to financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. This provides help for injuries, illnesses or deaths caused by service in the Armed Forces on or after 6 April 2005. If the period of service which caused your illness or disability was before this date, you can get help from the War Pension scheme. Both schemes are run by Veterans UK, which is part of the Ministry of Defence.

You do not have to have fought in a war or seen active service to get financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, as long as you are injured or disabled because of serving in the Armed Forces.

You may get weekly payments or a lump sum depending on which scheme covers you and whether your earnings are likely to be reduced because of your condition. The amount you get will depend on how severely you have been hurt or disabled and how your earnings are affected. Under the War Pension scheme you can also get extra allowances, for example, if you have care needs or mobility problems. You cannot get these under the compensation scheme, but you may be able to get Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance (in Northern Ireland) or Attendance Allowance instead.

From 8 April 2013, if you have been awarded a Guaranteed Income Payment of 50% or more under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, you will be eligible to claim an Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) instead of Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance.

If you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner and your partner died as a result of service in the Armed Forces, or was getting a war pension or help from the compensation scheme when they died, you may also be able to get financial help from the scheme.

For more information on the war pension scheme and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, see Healthcare for people injured in the Armed Forces and veterans.

For more information on benefits and other financial assistance available for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families, see Benefits and concessions for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

If you want to claim a War Pension or help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, you should get in touch with Veterans UK. You can contact them at:

Helpline: 0808 1914218
Textphone: 0800 169 34 58

You can find more information about the War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation schemes on the Veterans UK website at: www.veterans-uk.info, or email: veterans-uk@mod.uk.

You can also get advice from veterans’ organisations, for example, the Royal British Legion. You can get advice by contacting them at:

Legionline: 08457 725 725
Email: via the website www.britishlegion.org.uk.
Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk.

You can also get advice about a War Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme by consulting an experienced adviser, for example at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click on nearest CAB.

For more information about the help you can get if you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, see Benefits and bereavement.

Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

From 8 April 2013, if you have been seriously injured as a result of military service since April 2005, you may be entitled to financial support through an Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP). If you have been awarded a Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation scheme or 50% or more, you will be eligible to claim an AFIP.

You can find more information about AFIP on the Veterans UK website at www.veterans-uk.info.

If you were injured before April 2005, and you are covered by the War Pensions Scheme, you may be able to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Attendance Allowance or, in Northern Ireland, Disability Living Allowance instead.

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Benefits for carers

Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people who are giving regular and substantial care to disabled people in their own homes. Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit and forms part of your taxable income.

Who can get Carer’s Allowance

You can get Carer’s Allowance if you meet all the following conditions:

  • you are aged 16 or over and not in full time education
  • you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person who gets one of the following benefits: Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, the middle or higher rate for personal care of Disability Living Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (either rate) or Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • you don't earn more than £102 a week after deductions such as tax and national insurance
  • you are in Great Britain when you claim - there are some exceptions, for example, for members and family members of the Armed Forces
  • you have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years
  • you are·habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • you are not subject to·immigration control that would stop you getting benefit.

There are some exceptions to these conditions if you're living in another EEA country.

In some cases, you may meet the conditions for both Carer's Allowance and another benefit, such as Retirement Pension or contributory Employment And Support Allowance.

If your Carer's Allowance is either the same as or less than the other benefit, you will get the other benefit rather than Carer's Allowance.

However, if the other benefit is less than your Carer's Allowance, you will get the other benefit and the balance of your Carer's Allowance on top.

The rules about this are complicated and you may need to get advice.

If in doubt, you should always make a claim for Carer's Allowance as this might also allow you to get extra amounts in other benefits such as the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit, Housing Benefit.

Always check with the person you are caring for before you make a claim for Carer's Allowance as they may lose some of the benefit they get, such as a severe disability addition, if you make a claim.

You do not have to have paid any national insurance contributions to get carer’s allowance.

You may be able to get Carer's Allowance if you and the person you are caring for move to another EEA member state or Switzerland or if you’re already living in one of these countries.

How much is Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is paid at a standard rate for the person making the claim.

If you made your claim before 6 April 2010, you may also be able to get extra benefit for your partner or someone who looks after your children. This includes partners who are living together as well as those who are married or in a civil partnership. It includes lesbian, gay or heterosexual partners.

You can only get the extra benefit if the person you are claiming for has earnings below a certain amount and does not get certain benefits in their own right which are worth more than the extra Carer’s Allowance.

If you made your claim after 6 April 2010, you can no longer get the extra benefit for your partner.

For the current rates of Carer's Allowance, go to the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk.

How to claim Carer's Allowance

You can claim Carer's Allowance in a number of ways. These include:

  • in England, Wales and Scotland, online at: www.gov.uk. In Northern Ireland the form can be downloaded from the nidirect website at www.nidirect.gov.uk
  • in England, Wales and Scotland, by phoning the Carer's Allowance Unit on 0345 608 4321 or by textphone on 0345 604 5312. In Northern Ireland, by phoning 0800 220 674 or textphone 0800 243 787.
  • by filling in a claim form in leaflet DS700 (or the form in leaflet DS700 SP if you get State Retirement Pension). You can get the leaflets from local benefit offices.

You can find out more about making a claim for Carer's Allowance from the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk  or in Northern Ireland from the nidirect website at www.nidirect.gov.uk.

If you were entitled before you make your claim, you can ask for benefit to be paid for an earlier period of up to three months. You should ask for this on your claim form. You do not have to give a reason why you are claiming late.

You will have to provide your national insurance number and evidence to show it belongs to you. If you not know your national insurance number, but you think you have one, you should provide evidence to help the office to find it. If you do not have a national insurance number, you will have to apply for one.

Your partner may have to attend an interview with a personal adviser as a condition of you getting Carer's Allowance.

Civil penalties for causing an overpayment

In some cases, you may have to pay a civil penalty if you do something which causes an overpayment. This can happen if, for example, you give wrong information or you keep quiet about something, and as a result you get more Carer's Allowance than you're supposed to be getting. You can only be asked to pay this penalty if you haven't committed fraud. If you have committed fraud, different rules apply. You can appeal against a decision to impose a civil penalty.

Carer's Allowance, change of circumstances and fraud

You may commit a benefit fraud if you give incorrect or misleading information, or fail to report a change of circumstances which could affect your Carer’s Allowance, for example, you stop caring for the disabled person for as many hours each week. Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment that will have to be repaid.

Your circumstances can be checked at any time while you are claiming and fraud officers can also get information about you from other government agencies and from your employer, bank or utility companies. Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and you can be prosecuted or asked to pay a penalty. If you are being investigated for benefit fraud, your benefit will be suspended. If you committed benefit fraud, your benefit can be reduced or stopped in the future.

For more information on what to do if you are asked to attend an interview under caution, see Problems with benefits and tax credits.

If you are worried about whether you might be suspected of fraud, you are under investigation or you have been convicted, or if you have been asked to repay an overpayment of benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

How is Carer’s Allowance paid

Carer's Allowance is usually paid directly into a bank, building society or Post Office card account. If you cannot open or manage an account, you can be paid by Simple Payment. The DWP will give you a Simple Payment card which you can use to collect your benefit at a PayPoint outlet displaying the Simple Payment sign.

For more information about payment of benefits, see Payments of benefits and tax credits.

Carer’s Allowance is paid as long as you continue caring for a disabled person for at least 35 hours a week and do not earn more than the earnings limit. It can continue regardless of your age although if you are getting certain other benefits, for example, state Retirement Pension, this may affect whether you can get Carer’s Allowance as well.

If the person you are caring for goes into hospital, this may also affect your Carer’s Allowance.

Problems with Carer’s Allowance

If you are refused Carer’s Allowance or you think you are getting the wrong amount of benefit, you can challenge the decision. You should do this within one month of the decision.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received from the local benefits office or the Department for Work and Pensions (Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland), you can complain. This might be because of errors, delays, rudeness or difficulty getting in touch. You can do this whether or not you also want to challenge a decision.

For more information about challenging benefit decisions and about complaining, see Problems with benefits and tax credits.

Other help for carers

There is help, information and support for carers on the Carers Direct hotline and website. Go to: www.nhs.uk/carersdirect, or call 0808 802 0202. The hotline is open 7 days a week and is free from UK landlines.

Discrimination

It's against the law for you to be treated unfairly because of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or childbirth, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation when benefits or tax credits are paid to you. Also, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and most local authorities have policies which say they will not discriminate against you because of other things, for example, if you have caring responsibilities. If you feel that you've been discriminated against when you are paid benefits or tax credits, you can make a complaint about this.

For more about discrimination, see our Discrimination pages.

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If you need help to claim or collect benefits

If you need help to claim or collect your benefits, you can ask for someone else to become your appointee or agent. An appointee can take on the responsibility of claiming and collecting your benefit if you are unable to do this yourself. An agent cannot make a claim for you, but you can arrange for an agent to collect your benefit from a bank, building society or post office if you are unable to get there.

More information about becoming an appointee is on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk. There is also more information about nominating a helper to collect benefits for you at www.gov.uk.

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Benefits abroad

If you are getting a benefit for sickness or disability and you want to know what will happen to your benefit if you go abroad, you can ring one of the disability benefit helplines.

If you move to another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you may be able to carry on getting the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the care component of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Carer's Allowance. Also if you are living in one of these countries, you may be able to claim one of these benefits for the first time. This is called exporting the benefit. If you are interested in doing this, you should contact a member of the exportability team at the Department for Work and Pensions.

You can get more information about claiming these benefits if you are moving or living abroad at www.gov.uk

The website will tell you how to contact the exportability team.

If you have moved within the EEA, getting Attendance Allowance, Carer's Allowance, the daily living component of PIP or the care component of Disability Living Allowance from the UK may be affected if:

  • you can get a sickness benefit from another EEA state or Switzerland
  • you work or have worked in another EEA state or Switzerland
  • you get a pension or invalidity benefit from another EEA state or Switzerland.

EEA countries are the European Union countries and Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.

To find out which countries are in the European Union, go to The European Union.

If you are considering going abroad, you can also consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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