Finance and benefits

4 mins read

Many families with disabled children live close to or below the poverty line. It costs on average three times more to raise a disabled child than a non-disabled child and it can be difficult to combine paid work and caring. 

There are many different sources of financial help and benefits that might be claimed, but families who don’t know about them are not claiming the benefits they are entitled to and are missing out on vital extra income. 

Why families might have problems with finance and benefits 

How can you help families with finance and benefits issues 

There are voluntary groups in most local areas providing specialist support to families claiming benefits. Advising families on financial benefits is complex and should only be carried out by properly trained staff. Before signposting families to organisations for financial advice, first find out what services they offer and to whom. 

For example, can they advise families on eligibility for benefits, help fill in forms, represent families at appeal tribunals, offer outreach services? Look for organisations that adhere to quality standards or display kite marks such as the Community Legal Services Quality mark. 

How Contact can help 

We have lots of information and resources that you can share with families or direct them towards. 

Our helpline 

Benefits advisers on our freephone helpline can make sure parents know about all the different financial help available and give advice on claiming for it. 

Our helpline can also put families in touch with local advice agencies who can help them with one to one help, for example form filling, and with national condition support groups, who often provide families advice on claiming benefits specific to their child’s condition. 

Parent guides 

Our parent guides are free to download or to order in print from our helpline. The following guides might be helpful to parents looking for information: 

For more parent guides on topics such as sources of financial support, children’s services and help with fuel bills, see our full publications list [PDF]

Online information 

We have lots of advice and information on our website that you might want to share with parents, including: