There are a number of different budgets, benefits and support payments that you can access to help you live independently.

It's a complex area and processes and systems are constantly changing. We try to kep this list as up to date as possible but if you find anything missing please contact our team at

  1. Benefits
  2. Direct Payments
  3. Grants
  4. Individual Budgets
  5. Personal Budgets
  6. Managing Money

1. Benefits

Benefit Guides
Guides on different benefits by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Carers UK - Benefits & Tax Credits
Carers UK is an organisation that supports people who care for disabled, sick or elderly relatives, children, friends and partners. Their website includes information about benefits and tax credits.

Disabled Children Parents’ Guide: Social Care, Housing and Health
This guide has been prepared for parents of disabled children who want to know how to get help for their child’s social care, housing and health needs.

Disability Living Allowance for deaf children and young people: What is DLA?
Updated information about DLA and how to claim it.

Disability Rights Handbook: 41st edition, 2016-7
Written in plain English, the Disability Rights Handbook, contains information about social security benefits, tax credits and related services for disabled people. It is useful for parents and carers as well as professional advisers.

Directgov - Employment and Support Allowance
The government's Directgov website includes information about the Employment and Support Allowance, which is a benefit for people who cannot work because of illness or disability.

Directgov - Financial support
The government's Directgov website includes information about the financial support available to disabled people.

From child to adult: a guide to disability, transition and family finance - part 1
From child to adult: a guide to disability, transition and family finance - part 2
This is a free transition booklet, published by Working Families, to help figure out how family finances are affected when a disabled child becomes an adult, and when it is most advantageous for a young person to start claiming their own benefits. The booklet includes sections for parents and carers and disabled young people.

Mencap - Employment and Support Allowance
Mencap have an easy read guide for people with learning disabilities about the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

National Deaf Children's Society guides to filling out Disability Living Allowance claim forms
Guide to claiming for DLA which reflects the new (post Jan 2012) form that is now being sent out.

Welfare Reform Act 2012
On 8 March 2012 the Welfare Reform Act received Royal Assent. The Act legislates for the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years.

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2. Direct Payments

A guide to receiving direct payments from your local council: A route to independent living
This is a guide, by the Department of Health, on how to receive direct payments from your local council.

A Parent's Guide to Direct Payments
The guide is for people with parental responsibility for disabled children who are considering using direct payments to purchase part or all of the services required by their child.

Carers UK - Direct payments quick guide
Carers UK is an organisation that supports people who care for disabled, sick or elderly relatives, children, friends and partners. Their website includes information about direct payments.

Directgov - Direct payments for disabled children
This is the Government's webpage on Direct payments for disabled children.

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3. Grants

3H Grant Programme Holidays
Every year, 3H runs a programme offering grants to assist disabled people and their families, and carers, on low income, to organise a modest holiday for themselves. The grants are given for the accommodation part of the holiday, which must be taken in the UK.

Access to Elected Office Fund
The Access to Elected Office Fund offers individual grants of between £250 and £20,000 to disabled people who want to be selected as candidates for an election, or who are standing for election.

Children Today Grants
Children Today is the charity that raises funds to provide specialised equipment for children and young people with disabilities throughout the UK.

Community Care - List of grant giving charities
Community Care have a list of charities which give grants to people with long-term disabililties and chronic health conditions.

Contact a Family
Contact a Family is a UK charity for families with disabled children. They offer information on specific conditions and rare disorders.

Disability Grants
A directory of grants for disabled people and their families.

Family Fund
Family Fund give grants to help for things that make life easier and more enjoyable for the disabled child, young person and their family.

Newlife Foundation
Newlife Foundation offers grants for essential medical equipment.

Nihal Armstrong Trust
The Nihal Armstrong Trust provides children (18 years and under) with cerebral palsy essential pieces of equipment, communication aids or specific services that their local authority does not provide.

The True Colours Trust - Individual Grants UK
The True Colours Trust have a small grants programme for young people between the ages of 18 to 26 who have a disability and/or complex health care need.

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4. Individual Budgets

Personalisation: a rough guide
This guide aims to tell the story so far about the personalisation of adult social care services. It is intended to be a ‘rough guide’, exploring what personalisation is, where the idea came from and placing the transformation of adult social care in the wider public service reform agenda.

Personalised Transition
The Centre for Welfare Reform, in association with ibk initiatives, has published an evaluation of a new and radical policy innovation in Sheffield which gives young people with disabilities and their families a totally new level of control over their life after school. The evaluation includes a chapter on individual budgets.

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5. Personal Budgets

Personal health budgets
Information about personal budgets in the NHS and the Department of Health's pilot programme.

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6. Managing Money

Easy read information about money and banks.

The Money Advice Service 
Free and impartial money advice, set up by government.

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