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Money and Benefits

Money and Benefits

If you are on a low income, have an illness or disability, unemployed or are a carer, you may be entitled to claim for extra money from the Department for Work and Pensions to help you with your living costs.

This page has more information about Personal Budgets.

You can find out what you might be able to claim for on the websites below:

There are many independent organisations that can give you advice about benefits. Here are some of them

Advice UK - a registered charity. There is a benefits calculator on their website, which can help you find out what you might be entitled to.

Contact - a charity that works with families of children who have an additional need and/or disability. You can also use their free helpline 0808 808 3555, where an adviser will be able to help you explore what is available to you.

Citizens Advice - a network that offers confidential advice online, over the phone and in person for free. They are independent and totally impartial.

Supportline - offers confidential support to children, young people and adults by phone, email and post.

Disability rights UK - provides a range of information and resources online, including benefits advice.

Shelter - provides information about benefits and housing rights in England.

Benefits information | Newcastle City Council - provide support with PIP, DLA and other benefits.

North East Law Centre ( - can support with appeals.


What happens when your child with SEND approaches 16


The process

  • Usually, about 6 months before child turns 16, DWP contact parents/carers in writing and ask who is going to manage their benefits.
  • Parents can request to be made ‘Appointee’, if it’s appropriate.
  • Involves a home visit by DWP to determine if young person has capacity to manage their own benefits.
  • Will need to provide bank account details. May need to set up a suitable bank account.
  • If approved, the parent will be left with a sheet confirming ‘Appointeeship’.

Who needs one

A young person may need an Appointee if they:

  • Have no (or limited) concept of money or of its value
  • Are vulnerable to exploitation – e.g. would give all of his/her money to ‘friends’
  • Have difficulties with managing small amounts of change such as bus fares, or with budgeting
  • Come across like a younger child, or have a specific difficulty – such as learning disability, ADHD, Autism. For example, Rebecca has ADHD, she is very impulsive, she has no sense of money or the value of things, she would give all her money to people who she thinks are her ‘friends’, this makes her vulnerable.

What it means

  • Parent or carer then becomes responsible for managing the benefits of that young person
  • It does not have to be 'for life'
  • Another trusted person can taken on the role, if preferred
  • There are specific responsibilities attached to becoming an appointee, so need to be fully aware of these
Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly in arrears.

You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.

If you already get other benefits

Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits:

Child Tax Credit Housing Benefit Income Support income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is a digital service, claims are made and maintained online. For more information, or to make a claim, please visit the GOV.UK website - Universal Credit.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work.

ESA gives you money to help with living costs if you’re unable to work or support to get back into work if you’re able to.

You can apply if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed via the GOV.UK website - ESA.

Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled people.

You can only apply for DLA if you’re under 16. You can apply for:

If you already get DLA, your claim might end. You’ll get a letter telling you when this will happen and how you can apply for PIP.

If you do have a carer, they could get Carer’s Allowance if you have substantial caring needs.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long term physical or mental health condition or disability.

The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself. You’ll be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get.

For more information, please visit the GOV.UK website - PIP.

Child Tax Credit

You can only make a claim for Child Tax Credit if you already get Working Tax Credit.

If you cannot apply for Child Tax Credit, you can apply for Universal Credit instead.

You might be able to apply for Pension Credit if you and your partner are State Pension age or over.

The amount you can get depends on how many children you’ve got and whether you’re:

You can only claim Child Tax Credit for children you’re responsible for.

Child Tax Credit will not affect your Child Benefit.

For more information, or to make a claim, please visit the GOV.UK website - Child tax credit.

Money Advice

Personal Budgets

Education, Social Care and Health offer Personal Budgets in slightly different ways due to differences in national guidance and have different rules about who is able to get one. In general this means that in:

Education - Children and Young People in Education who are aged 0-25 years who have an EHC Plan and receive individual funding to meet their high needs are entitled to have a Personal Budget, this is called Newcastle Personal Budgets Policy for Children and Young People. If they are at school or college and want to use their Personal Budget in the education setting they need to reach agreement with the schools teaching staff.

Social Care - Children and Young People are eligible when they need support beyond targeted and universal services to meet the Children and Young People’s Plan priorities of being “Safe, Equal and Achieving” and their families require additional funding to get a reasonable short break. A Social Care Personal Budget(sometimes called an Individual Budget) – are available to children who have complex needs who require additional funding.

Health - From October 2014 families of children eligible for NHS Children’s Continuing Care as defined by the National Framework for Children and Young People’s Continuing Care will have a “right to have” a Personal Health Budget.

NHS England has also published guidance on Direct Payments in Personal Health Budgets In March 2014 governing the use of direct payments in relation to Personal Health Budgets “Guidance on direct payments for health care understanding the regulations”. The pdf can be downloaded at:

Travel - Personal Travel Budget are for children who receive home to school transport.

What are the benefits to families and available choices?

It is important that parents and young people feel able to suggest ways to use their child’s Budget that are personal to them and the particular family circumstances, as long as it is meeting the agreed outcomes. How a young person can use a personal budget depends on what kind of budget it is, so for example you would not use a Personal Health Budget to purchase teaching assistant support in school. People have used a range of personal budgets to provide:

  • Support in the home, whether it’s equipment or help with personal and domestic activities
  • Equipment to help communication or learning
  • Support for the child to join in with local clubs or activities
  • Sports or cultural activities
  • Short breaks
  • Employing personal assistants
  • Someone to go with you on a daytrip or short break e.g. so you have more time for brothers and sisters
  • Work experience or a work-based learning opportunity
Newcastle Bursary Scheme for 16-19 year olds

16 to 19 Bursary Funds are designed to support pupils to remain in education. To be eligible you must meet specific eligibility criteria and you will need to agree to standards of attendance and behaviour with your school in order to receive the money.

In Newcastle most of our secondary schools/academies have agreed a joint scheme called the Newcastle Schools 16-19 Bursary Scheme. Newcastle City Council look after the scheme on their behalf and manage any applications. Schools/academies that are part of the Scheme will have further information on the Scheme, if required.

Access to bank accounts

Why having a bank account is important

Having a bank account is important for a number of reasons:

  • Paying bills by direct debit can cost less, even if bills are normally paid on time
  • Some cheque cashing agencies can charge as much as 9% of a cheque’s value, as well as an additional fee for the transaction
  • Many employers will only pay wages directly into a bank account.

However, bank accounts may not be suitable for everyone. Charges can be applied if payments are missed, or there is not enough money in an account to cover a payment due.

Please remember, information about the different products listed is not an endorsement of any particular bank, or a recommendation about the suitability of products for someone’s specific needs.

Basic bank accounts are the simplest type of accounts available. They are aimed at people who may not be able to access mainstream current accounts, or people who do not want an overdraft facility.

A basic bank account usually allows people to:

  • Have their wages or salary, benefits, pensions and tax credits paid directly into their account
  • Pay bills by standing order or direct debit
  • Check online statements online

Basic bank accounts generally don’t offer overdraft facilities or cheque books, and only some banks will offer debit cards with this type of account. Most high street banks offer some form of basic bank account.

In January 2016 nine major bank and building societies launched fee- free basic bank accounts. These accounts are designed for people who don’t already have a bank account, or can’t use their current account due to financial difficulties.

The banks offering fee free basic accounts are:

Please remember, information about the different products listed is not an endorsement of any particular bank, or a recommendation about the suitability of products for someone’s specific needs.

Current accounts

Current bank accounts generally offer more facilities than basic bank accounts. This could include things such as cheque books or overdrafts. Some banks may charge customers for these facilities. Banks and building societies offer a range of current accounts.

Jam Jar accounts

Jam jar’ accounts are a fairly new product. This type of account allows money to be divided into different sub accounts, for example a set amount of money can be transferred to a sub account and used to pay bills, and another folder can be set up to cover travel and groceries and so on. The advantages of a ‘jam jar’ account are that some of the worries linked to managing money are taken away and money set aside to pay priority bills can’t be spent accidentally.

The main drawback of this type of account is they are not widely available yet, and can be expensive.

Post Office accounts

Post Office Card accounts (provided by Bank of Ireland) are useful for people who do not have a bank account but need a way of receiving benefits, pensions or Tax Credits.

To open a bank or post office account identification is needed to verify an individual's identity and their current UK address. The type of identification accepted may differ between banks.

For queries relating to the support available to promote financial inclusion, contact the Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit at Newcastle City Council: Email: Phone: 0191 277 1707.

Childcare Funding Arrangements

For information about funding childcare please see our Early Years team page here Childcare and early years | Newcastle City Council.

Grants and Discounts

The Newcastle Children and Disabilities team ensure that all families with a disabled child will be offered information, advice and support to access appropriate mainstream and community services. We also work with children where their disability is impacting on their lives. You can ask us for an assessment of your child or your needs as a parent or carer.

Disabled Facilities Grants are a way of helping disabled and older people to live independently in their own homes. We provide a range of adaptations to help disabled and older people to live in their home safely and with dignity. Go to our Care and Repair website for more information.

Newcastle City Council Energy Services can support to Newcastle's residents to:

Money issues

As well as making sure you are getting the correct benefits, it is also important to make sure you manage your money and avoid any difficulties with debt. There are many ways this can be done. The Newcastle city Council’s website has a special Debt and money advice pages which can help.

More help and information with money

Newcastle City Council website has a lot of information on benefits and debt and money advice.

The Government website also has a useful page: Help if you have a disabled child


There is a dedicated page about Support for people aged 16-25 to find appropriate accommodation (

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit provides help towards rent for people on low incomes.

If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and are finding it difficult to pay your rent, you can apply for additional help through the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) scheme.

Further information can be found on the Newcastle City Council - housing benefit.

Housing in Newcastle

You can find information on housing advice and homelessness, council and other affordable housing, private rented, housing development, and housing plans, policy and performance on the Newcastle City Council - housing.

You can find out some general information and advice about renting privately on Shelter's web pages. Here you can find out about rental agreements, renting from a landlord or a lettings agency, rental deposits and private tenants' (and landlords') rights. There are also hints and tips on looking for and viewing properties to rent.

If you need housing advice, are at risk of homelessness or are homeless please contact the Housing Advice Centre (HAC) on 0191 277 1711, or email The telephone service is available Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 12 noon and 1 - 4.30pm.

You can also visit the centre on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am to 12 noon and 1 - 4pm, and Wednesday 1 - 4pm

Housing Advice Centre 112 - 114 Pilgrim Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6SQ