Disability Advice & Information in Peterborough

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SSAFA Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (Forces Help) provide support for the serving men and women in today’s Armed Forces and for those who have served – even if it was only for a single day. They also care for the needs of their families and dependants.

Local 01733 314267

email info@ssafa.org.uk

Tel: 0845 1300 975

The Anglian Water Assistance Fund

We all need a little help from time to time, sometimes not having enough money to pay your bills can be a challenge, so if you’re finding it hard, call our helpline

0800 169 3630 and we’ll work with you to come up with a payment plan



DEBT Advice

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a national debt counselling charity with a network of 72 centres based in local churches. You do NOT need to be a Christian to use this service. After you call CAP, a Debt Advisor and Support Worker from the local CAP Centre will visit you in your own home. A realistic budget is then worked out at CAP HQ by prioritising your essential bills, negotiating affordable payments with each creditor and stopping unfair interest and charges where possible.

The local Debt Advisor will then visit you again to explain the budget and the payments you will need to make. A CAP Account is then set up for you. This acts like a simple bank account. You will need to make one weekly or monthly payment into your account to cover all of your bills and debts. CAP will then distribute this on your behalf. You can also make savings in your CAP Account.

Tel 01733327026


If you are in severe debt then they can walk you through insolvency, like petitioning for bankruptcy. They can help you to fill out the forms and even attend court with you. You will use your CAP Account to pay your bills and debt repayments and you will be supported by a team at CAP HQ until you are dept free. You may keep your CAP Account even after you are debt free. Tel: 01274 760720

National Debtline is a national telephone helpline for people with debt problems in England, Wales and Scotland. The service is free, confidential and independent. They are committed to answering your call and then discussing your debt problems with you and the options available to you. The specialist advice that they give over the telephone is backed up with written self-help materials which they can send out to you for free. If your circumstances meet certain criteria, they can assist in setting up a Debt Management Plan for you, at no cost.

0808 808 4000

Welfare Benefits

Finding help in Peterborough

The area of welfare benefits is always going to be a difficult advice topic to navigate. The benefit laws are both complex and complicated. DIAL Peterborough would always advocate seeking specialist advice before applying for any benefits. The agencies below can offer some help, phone for details:

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Is given to children up to the age of 16 years .

In the claim form you need to describe your difficulties with personal care and getting around. We strongly advise contacting one of the agencies listed above for help with filling in the form . The claim form will take around 2 hours to complete.

PIP Personal Independence Payment  helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to State Pension Age

As of April 2019 you could get between £23:20 to £148.85 a week to help with the extra costs caused by your condition. How much you get is not based on your condition, but how your condition affects you.

You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of help you get. Your award will be regularly reassessed to make sure you’re getting the right support.

Attendance Allowance (AA) This is a benefit for people who have reached state benefit age or over and who do not already receive DLA or Personal Independence Allowance. It is based upon the personal care needs that you have. It doesn’t matter if you do not actually get any help with personal care, as it is the help you need not the help you get. Attendance Allowance does not have a separate mobility component.

In the claim form you need to describe your difficulties with personal care. We strongly advise contacting one of the agencies listed above for help with the form.The claim form will take around one hour to complete.

The above  is not for help with housework, gardening or shopping, however if Attendance Allowance is awarded you can spend the money as you choose. The benefit is not based on your income or national insurance contributions, is not taxable and will never harm any benefits you already receive.

Forms can be obtained from Benefit Enquiry Line 0800 7310122

NB If you are awarded AA, DLA  or PIP we recommend that you have a full benefits check as you or your family/carer may be entitled to additional benefits

Statutory Sick Pay

If you are employed and are off work through sickness you will get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer, (you may be entitled to a greater amount of sick pay under the terms of your employment contract.) The age limit for claiming is state pension age.

SSP can be paid for a maximum of 28 weeks. If you are still incapable of work after this time, you will have to switch to another benefit such as Incapacity Benefit (or Employment and Support Allowance from October 2008).

Incapacity Benefit (IB) / Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Incapacity benefit is only available on existing claims and is gradually being phased out.

If you can’t work because of illness or disability you may be able to get Incapacity Benefit (IB), a weekly payment for people who become incapable of work while under State Pension age.

If you are employed, you cannot claim new style employment support allowance until any Statutory Sick Pay you receive from your employer stops. When you need to claim  new style employment support allowance ask your employer for an SSP1 claim form.

If you have insufficient national insurance contributions to receive new style employment support allowance or wish to claim income based top up  you may be able to claim Universal Credit .

Jobcentre Plus telephone claim line Old style ESA and Incapacity benefit 08001690310

New style ESA 08003285644


From October 2008 the new Employment and Support Allowance replaces IB for new claimants. A new test, the Work Capability Assessment will be applied to all those people claiming the new allowance. It will replace the current Personal Capability Assessment, which is weighted more towards a person’s physical disability and bases itself around assessing people’s incapability for work.

The Work Capability Assessment will look at people’s physical and mental ability, such as learning disabilities and other similar conditions.

It will assess what an individual can do – rather than can’t do. Individuals with health conditions will be given support and employment advice to enable them to return to work where possible.

This measure is part of The Welfare Reform Act 2007.

Carers Allowance is a payment for carers who spend at least 35 hours per week looking someone who gets Attendance Allowance or the middle or high rate of care component of Disability Living Allowance  or standard daily living component of Personal Independence Payment. It can be claimed from the age of 16. A wage limit applies to this benefit. Carers Allowance (CA) can affect both your own benefits and that of the person you are looking after, always seek independent advice before claiming. Pensioners are strongly advised to seek advice as they could miss out on underlying entitlements.

DIAL/Disability Peterborough 01733 265551


Income Support provides financial help for people between 16 and state pension age who are on a low income who are not in full-time paid work and who are in one of the groups of people who can claim Income Support. It can help you with day-to-day living expenses. Income Support can also be a passport to other benefits including Council Tax and certain Health Benefits. Capital limits do apply.

It is not paid to unemployed people who have to be available for and actively seeking work (they may be able to get Jobseeker’s Allowance instead).

Pension Credit If you are of sate pension age, you may be able to get Pension Credit.This comprises of a Guarantee Credit, calculated in a similar way to Income Support and it includes an extra element called the Savings Credit (for people of state pension age) Your income is taken into consideration when calculating your eligibility for the Pension Credit. Only certain types of income are counted (such as basic state pension, personal/occupational pension, certain benefits such as carers allowance and earnings from a job).

Income from the attendance allowance, disability allowance, housing benefit, Personal Independence Payment and council tax benefit are specifically excluded. It’s still worth claiming your entitlement for the Pension Credit even if you think it’s likely to be fairly insignificant amount because it can help you claim for various other benefits. Additionally you may qualify for a greater amount if you are a carer or have disabilities. DIAL Peterborough can carry out a benefits check for you. Alternatively contact Pension Credit directly on telephone 0800991234 (claims)

08007310469 (enquiry line)

Council Tax Benefit helps pay towards or covers your council tax bill, whether you rent or own your home, or live rent-free. People on low income who pay council tax may be entitled to help. The introduction of Pension Credit means many more pensioners now qualify for Council Tax Benefit for the first time. But you do not have to be receiving Pension Credit or other benefits to be eligible.

The council will look at the money you and your partner have coming in as well as your savings. The council will also look at your other circumstances such as your age and whether anyone else lives with you. With this information the council will work out if you qualify for Council Tax Benefit. If you can get Council Tax Benefit, this will not affect the amount of money you receive in other benefits.

Housing Benefit is a benefit for people on a low income to help them pay their rent. You may be able to get Housing Benefit if you are on other benefits, work part-time or work full-time on a low income. You cannot get Housing Benefit to help with the costs of a mortgage or home loan. If you are an owner-occupier, you may be able to get help with your mortgage interest through Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Pension Credit.

To claim telephone Peterborough City Council on 01733 452241

Disability Reduction Scheme You can get the disability reduction on your council tax bill if you, or anyone else living in your home, is “substantially and permanently disabled” and needs extra space or has adaptations in your home because of this.

Your home must contain either:

  • A room other than a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory used predominantly to meet the needs of a disabled person
  • An additional kitchen or bathroom for the use of a disabled person
  • Extra space inside the property so that a wheelchair can be used.

You should claim a reduction if you think you are entitled – contact your Peterborough City Council Tax section to make a claim Tel: 01733 452241

Social Fund offers help to people on certain benefits or a low income to pay for one-off expenses. The Social Fund offers two types of payments:

Regulated payments – these are payments made in specific circumstances and they must be paid if you meet all the eligibility criteria. The regulated payments are:

Funeral payments – help for people getting certain benefits (including Income Support, Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance) who are responsible for paying for the funeral of a close friend or relative

Winter fuel payments- lump sum payment to help people over retirement age to meet extra heating costs each winter

Cold weather payments – weekly payment for people in receipt of specific benefits during periods of extremely cold weather

Sure Start Maternity Grant – lump sum payment for families in receipt of specific benefits around the time of the birth or adoption of their child

Discretionary payments – these are loans and grants that can be applied for to help meet larger expenses that can’t be met through weekly benefits or for help in an emergency. Each payment has eligibility criteria that must be met (e.g. which benefits you must be getting and how long you have been getting them for) but once they are met, whether money is awarded and how much is at the discretion of the DWP. The discretionary payments are:

Community Care Grants – these are grants (i.e. do not have to be paid back) for people getting Pension Credit, Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. The purpose of the grant is to help people to stay in the community rather than move to residential care, to set up home after being homeless, to ease pressures on their family or to visit someone who is ill or in prison

Budgeting Loans – these are interest-free loans for people getting Pension Credit, Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. The purpose of these loans is to help people to be able to meet larger expenses e.g. furniture,that they would otherwise find it hard to save up for

Crisis Loans – these can be paid to anyone who has no resources to meet their immediate needs in an emergency e.g. if your weekly benefit money is stolen

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus office on 08456031358 for more information about Social Fund payments and how to claim them. We also advise you seek independent advice from one of the Peterborough Advice Agencies before completing an application.

Tax Credits give financial help to you if you have dependent children or are in work but on a low income. You must be over age 16 and living in the United Kingdom (or the United Kingdom must be your main home) to get them. The help for children is called child tax credit (CTC) and the help for those in work is called working tax credit (WTC). HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are responsible for administering tax credits

Tel: 0845 3003900

Child Tax Credit You can get CTC if you or your partner has a dependent child or young person and you have a low enough income. Partner means that you are either married, have a civil partner or are living with someone as part of a couple. You do not have to be working to get CTC Tel: 0845 3003900

Working Tax Credit You can claim working tax credit if you are working (or will be starting work within 7 days of claiming WTC) and on a low enough income and are working and have a physical or mental disability which puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job. Tel: 0845 3003900

Tax allowances anyone who is registered as blind with their local authority will automatically qualify for blind person’s allowance. You will need to make a claim for the allowance, (£1,800 for 2008/09), either by completing the relevant box on your tax return or repayment claim, or by contacting your tax office. You can also transfer any surplus blind person’s allowance to your husband or wife or civil partner to reduce his or her tax Tel: 0845 3021479

War Disabled Pensions Several different types of pensions exists, they are for people who become disabled during service in the forces. It is paid by the War Pensions Office. The pensions have no age limits, are not National Insurance based and care not means tested. They may affect some means tested benefits – seek advice.

Veterans Agency Helpline 0800 169 2277

SSAFA 01733 314267

Winter Fuel Payments This is a lump sum payment if you are over retirement age in the week beginning 17th September each year.

The lump sums are around £200 (as going to print) for people aged 60 to 79, or around £300 for people over 80 years old.

You should automatically receive a payment each year if you get state pension or other social security benefit. If you need to make a claim or require further information Tel: 08459 151515

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is the main benefit and is paid to compensate people who have become disabled from a ‘loss of physical or mental faculty’ caused by an industrial accident or prescribed disease. Your employer does not have to be at fault in any way for you to get benefit. You can claim whether or not you are incapable of work or have had any drop in earnings IIDB is tax free and paid on top of any earnings or other non-means-tested benefits you receive.

For information and claim forms contact:

Job Centre Plus 01733 297600 or 08456031358

Pneumoconiosis/ Mesothelioma (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 The 1979 Act provides one-off lump sum compensation for people with (or their dependants if they have died) certain dust-related diseases including asbestosis, diffuse pleural thickening and pneumoconiosis. You must be unable to claim damages from the employers who caused the disease, because they have ceased trading.
You should normally be in receipt of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in respect of one of the above diseases. The person with the dust related disease or dependants must not have brought a court action or received compensation from an employer in respect of the disease.

From October 2008 the scheme will also cover people whose exposure to asbestos was not as a result of their work for an employer, for example:

they came into contact with asbestos from a relative (by washing or beating contaminated clothes)
they were exposed to asbestos in the environment (lived near a factory that used asbestos)
their exposure to asbestos was whilst self employed
Their exposure to asbestos cannot be specified but occurred in the UK
There will be no time limit for claims in the first year of the scheme but after that claims must be made within 12 months of diagnosis. If the person with asbestosis has died the dependants may be able to make a claim, claim forms must be received within 12 months of the date of death. Tel: 0800 279 2322 for information or application form.

Going into hospital Most benefits can be reduced or lost when you go into hospital. Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance can be paid at full rate for the first 28 days. The situation with other benefits is complex. It is very important that you inform the office that provides your benefit of the date of your admission and discharge. Failure to inform the benefits agency can result in recoverable over payments.

Going into residential care The welfare benefits situation regarding residential care is very complex. If you have contact with a Social Worker then they will put you in touch with the Financial Assessment Officers at Peterborough City Council who will do a complete financial check for you including benefits advice Tel: 01733 746131.

If you are self funding in a Residential Home you will be able to keep your Attendance allowance or Disability Allowance (it will stop after 4 weeks if the Local Authority or Health are paying the fees). We strongly recommend that you have a financial and benefits check as you may be able to start claiming when your savings drop to a certain level.