The Government website on disabilities gives comprehensive information on all the disability benefits that are available to disabled people but a few important benefits are listed below. The MS Society also gives a brief outline of all the benefits that may be available to you.

The best bit of advice that they both give is contact an advisory service such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) if you are unsure about your entitlement.

Click here for Fareham CAB or here for Gosport CAB.

Incapacity Benefit

Has now been replaced by Employment Support Allowance(ESA).

Employment Support Allowance

Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is intended for people with a medical condition that prevents them from working. The MS Society have a booklet to help you make a claim. As the Society states it’s a complicated benefit whose claim process feels quite negative. Please do have a look at their booklet as it is very helpful.

The quickest way to apply for Employment and Support Allowance is by phone.
Contact centre numbers
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
You can also post your completed ESA1 form to your local Jobcentre Plus office.
The interactive version of form ESA1 can be filled out on a computer.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

There are no plans to replace DLA for children under 16, otherwise you can no longer claim DLA. It has been replaced by Personal Independence Payments (PIP). If you were aged 65 on or before 8th April 2013, you will continue to receive DLA and not be asked to apply for PIP otherwise those already in receipt of DLA will be sent a letter inviting them to apply for PIP. The changeover will happen gradually.

Personal Independence Payment

PIP is based on an assessment of individual need. It will not consider what impairment an individual has, labelling them simply on this basis. Instead it will consider how their impairment affects their life, considering their ability to carry out a range of everyday activities. To find out more check the National MS website here or have a look at their booklet. As MS fluctuates from day to day they suggested keeping a diary to help you complete the application form.

How to claim PIP

Phone the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to make a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim if you are in Great Britain.
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Someone else can call on your behalf, but you will need to be with them when they call. You can also write asking for a form to send the above information by post (this can delay the decision of your claim).

The Government have produced a PIP handbook to assist you with filling out your form. This information is what the assessors should use when dealing with your claim.

Attendance Allowance

If you are aged 65 or older, have care needs and you are not already receiving DLA or PIP you can claim Attendance Allowance.

Find out more about Attendance Allowance on the Government website.

You can also get claim packs from the Disability Benefits helpline.
Telephone: 0845 712 3456
Textphone: 0845 722 4433
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Carers Allowance

If you are receiving Attendance Allowance, the middle or high rate care component of D.L.A. or the daily living component of PIP, it is possible that someone can claim Carers Allowance in order to care for you. They must be over 16, spend at least 35 hours a week caring for you but they need not be related to you.

There is a limit on their earnings if they have a job and they cannot be in full time education.

The rules for eligibility are complicated. Find out more about Carers Allowance on the Government website.

Carer’s Allowance Unit can be contacted as follows:-
Telephone: 0845 608 4321
Textphone: 0845 604 5312
Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm
Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Other Benefits

This is not a complete list but other benefits you may wish to consider depending on your circumstances.

Income Support
Budgeting Loan
Disabled Students Allowance
Working Tax Credit
Universal Tax Credit

From your local authority you might also be able to claim:-
Housing Benefit – help with paying your rent
Council Tax Reduction – help with paying your council tax
Do check out that you are also claiming any relevant discounts against your council tax charge and you may be entitled to a disabled reduction depending on your circumstances.

Contact your local authority for further information:-

Gosport Borough Council or Fareham Council depending on where you live.

The benefits system is complex and always changing. The above details, on what we hope are the most relevant, are just some of those benefits we suggested you look into claiming.

If you are unsure or find the whole area daunting please do get advice from the CAB, Local Authority or Department of Work and pensions. As each persons circumstances are different it is difficult to detail a complete list of benefits relevant to everyone, but so many benefits go unclaimed I urge you to enquire and CLAIM. As they say, ‘every little helps’.

© Gosport and Fareham Multiple Sclerosis 2007 – 2023.