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Money & Benefits - Managing Finances

It's important to keep your money safe, be able to make the payments you need to make and that you have enough money to meet your needs.

Managing your money can help you avoid getting into debt or running out of money. It can help you feel in control and you may be able to save for the future.

The ability to manage money is essential for young people, especially as they transition into adulthood as it contributes greatly to their ability to live independently and to take control of their lives.

Budgeting

A budget is a 'plan' of how to spend your money. This helps you make sure that the money you have is divided in a way that will cover the things you need to spend it on. A budget can be done weekly or monthly or for whatever time period works for you.
Budgeting will help you:

  • Keep track of what you are spending
  • Avoid going overdrawn on your bank account by spending money that you don't have 
  • Decide whether you can afford to buy something that you would like
  • Deal with debt by planning repayments that you can manage 
  • Work out how much money you may have to save.

You can work out how much money you have coming in and going out using the Money Advice Service Budget Planner

Mental Capacity Act

Decision making and your rights

This section provides information on your rights if you are not able to make decisions about your  finances.  Being unable to make a decision is called ‘lacking capacity’.

The Mental Capacity Act is about making sure that people have the support they need to make as many decisions as possible.  Click here for more information on the Mental Capacity Act.  The Mental Capacity Act is also available in an Easy Read Guide from the downloads on the right of this page.

What is CAPACITY?

Capacity is defined if when making a decision you are able to:

  • Understand information
  • Remember it for a long time
  • Think about the information
  • Communicate your decision

A person’s ability to do this may be affected by things such as learning disability, dementia or mental health problems.  Just because a person has one of these conditions doesn’t necessarily mean they lack the capacity to make a specific decision.  There are 5 rules mentioned in the Mental Capacity Act that should always be followed:

  1. It is assumed that you have capacity to make  decisions yourself unless it’s proved otherwise
  2. Wherever possible, you should be helped to make your own decisions
  3. You should not be treated as lacking capacity just because you make unwise decisions
  4. If someone makes a decision on your behalf because you lack capacity, it must be in your best interests
  5. If you do lack capacity, treatment and care should be least restrictive of your basic rights and freedoms.

Independent Advocates

You can request an Independent Advocate who can support you to make decisions in certain situations.  More information can be found on NHS advocacy services page.

 

Banking Made Clearer Resource

Barclays Bank has developed a resource in partnership with the British Institute of Learning Disabilities. It's a useful reference guide to banking, covering many areas from paying money into a bank to using a cash machine.

Banking Made Clearer

Managing money training

Offered by MoneySuperMarket.com in association with The National Autistic Society, the Managing Money Module offers simple learning covering a wide range of money-related topics. It can be completed in one visit to the website or accessed section by section over as many visits as necessary.

The learning was created to assist people to recognise their strengths as well as the challenges they may experience with managing their money. It shares real-life experiences of autistic people about the sorts of difficulties they encounter, and how they successfully manage their money.

Financial help if you're disabled

There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions. The Financial Help if You're Disabled page on the government site gives a brief overview of each, leading to more in-depth guidance and how to apply at the end of each section.

In addition to the government site, you may find useful information/ links relating to money, money advice and debt helpful by visiting Whizz Kidz.

 

Disability and sickness benefits

Disability Living Allowance for children

Disability Living Allowance for children (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for children under 16 to help with the extra costs caused by long-term ill health or a disability.

Disability Living Allowance for adults

Personal Independence Payment is gradually replacing DLA for people aged 16 to 64 with long-term ill health or a disability.

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a tax-free benefit for people aged 16 to 64 to help with the extra costs caused by long term ill-health or a disability.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 or over who have a disability and need someone to help look after them.

Employment and Support Allowance

You may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you can't work because of illness or disability.

Carers

Carer's Allowance is extra money to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.

You could also get Carer's Credit so there won't be any gaps in your National Insurance record if you have to take on caring responsibilities.

For more information visit:

More information can be found by clicking on this link.

Vehicles and transport

Blue Badge parking scheme

The Blue Badge scheme provides a range of parking benefits for disabled people with severe walking difficulties who travel either as drivers or as passengers

Vehicle tax exemption

You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax. The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person's name or their nominated driver's name.

Vehicle tax reduction

You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.

The Mobility Scheme

The Mobility Scheme can help you with leasing a car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
VAT relief for vehicles

You may not have to pay VAT on having a vehicle adapted to suit your condition, or on the lease of a Motility vehicle

For more information:

www.gov.uk/vehicles-and-transport

Housing and homes

Direct Payments - arranging your own care and services

If you've been assessed by your local council as needing care and support services, you may want to choose Direct Payments. They allow you to buy in and arrange help yourself instead of receiving it directly from your local council.

Disabled Facilities Grants

Disabled Facilities Grants are local council grants. They help towards the cost of essential adaptations to your home to enable you to continue to live there.

www.ealing.gov.uk/improvementsandrepairs

You may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax bill if your home has certain features that are essential to you living there.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Housing Benefit is paid and Council Tax Reduction is offered to eligible people.

You can claim Housing Benefit if you are on a low income and paying rent.

For more information visit:

www.gov.uk/home-and-housing

Support if you are on a low income

Income Support

You can claim Income Support if you are:

  • Between 16 and 60
  • On a low income
  • Not working or working on average less than 16 hours a week

You may qualify for the following disability premiums:

  • Disability premium
  • Severe disability premium
  • Enhanced disability premium

You will also automatically qualify for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction and may receive help towards health costs, such as prescriptions.

Working Tax Credit

If you're in work but on low pay, you can apply for Working Tax Credit to top-up your earnings. You may get extra if someone in your household is disabled.

Jobseeker's Allowance

If you're looking for work and get income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, you may also qualify for disability premiums.

Blind Person's Allowance

The Blind Person's Allowance allows you to receive an amount of income without having to pay tax. It's added to your personal tax allowance.
For more information www.gov.uk/on-a-low-salary

Television license discount

You can get 50% off the cost of your TV licence if either:

  • You are registered blind or severely sight impaired
  • You live with someone who is registered blind or severely sight impaired

If the person who is registered blind is not the current licence holder for your address, you'll need to transfer the licence to their name.

For more information

www.gov.uk/television-licence-discount

VAT relief for disabled people

If you're disabled or have a long-term illness, you won't be charged VAT on products designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use. To get the product VAT free your disability has to qualify.

For more information

www.gov.uk/vat-relief

More information, advice and support

Contact Ealing

Contact provides support, information and advice to families caring for children and young people aged 0-25, with any disability or additional need, regardless of diagnosis.

020 8571 6381

www.contact.org.uk

ealing@contact.org.uk     

More information on Contact can be found here.

Ealing Benefits Service

Get help applying for financial help and benefits - this includes help paying for rent and adaptations for disabilities around the home.

020 88825 7000
Open: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

Ealing Carers Centre

EalingCarers Service provides information, advice and signposting for unpaid carers across Ealing. The service is supported by HillingdonCarers.

Ealing Carers Centre   
Sycamore Lodge
1 Edgecote Close
Acton                                     
W3 8PH                               
020 3137 6194

Email: info@carerstrusthillingdon.org.uk 

www.carerstrustthames.org.uk

Connexions Youth Service

If you are 13-19 years old, or up to 25 years old if you have a disability or learning difficulty, then you can talk to an Ealing Connexions adviser to help you plan and prepare for your future. Our experienced advisers are based in schools and youth centres (Ealing Westside). They can give you information, advice and guidance to help you choose the right course, apprenticeship, training or employment option for you. Advisers can also help you access benefit schemes.

020 8825 8573

Email: Connexionsinfo@ealing.gov.uk

www.youngealing.co.uk/.../connexions

Ealing Specialist Advice Service (ESAS)

Ealing Specialist Advice Service will offer free, confidential advice to carers or adults with additional needs in Ealing. ESAS can arrange advice appointments via telephone, text, email or by visiting the office.

020 8579 8429
Text Only:07837 186 733   


Email: info@ealingsas.org.uk

www.ealingsas.org.uk/     

Job Centre Plus

Advice on: Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, reporting changes in circumstance, crisis/budgeting loans, community care grants, cold weather payment, job seeking (including online access), National Insurance number applications.

www.jobcentreguide.co.uk/jobcentre-plus-guide

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