Entitlements and Grants for Parent Carers and children with additional needs.




Did you know It costs up to three times more to raise a child with severe additional needs and disabilities than it does to raise a child without disabilities? For many families, the cost of living crisis has caused an increasingly significant financial strain on families. Here are some charities and entitlements below that may help you and your family.

Grant’s & Funding


Caudwell Children

Caudwell Children is a national charity, that funds essential equipment such as powered wheelchairs, specialised buggies, therapy tricycles, sensory equipment, specialised car seats and harnesses, sports equipment and more.

They Provide 70% to 80% of the total cost of equipment.

Eligibility criteria: Children aged 0-18 years (up to 25 years for sports equipment) with a chronic illness or disability. Household income must be less than £45,000 per year before tax (excluding benefits). Must be living legally in the UK.

Apply here:https://www.caudwellchildren.com/equipment

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Happy Days Children’s Charity

Happy days children’s charity work with local communities across the UK to provide vital respite breaks for individuals, families and groups who support children with a wide range of additional needs. 

They Fund holidays and day trips, such as zoo’s, theatres and theme parks for young people with additional needs and their families, as well as day trips and activity holidays for groups.

Eligibility criteria: Children aged 3–17 years with learning difficulties, physical or mental disabilities, and with acute, chronic or life-limiting illnesses. As well as, young people who have been abused or neglected, witnessed domestic violence, been bereaved and young carers who provide carer for a family member

Apply here: Download an application form www.happydayscharity.org/applications

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Merlin’s Magic Wand

Provides complimentary one-day tickets to a Merlin attraction for the child and their immediate family. Can also help with travel costs, but not overnight accommodation.

This can be applied for by parents, guardians or organisations and allow families to visit their chosen Merlin attraction for free. They provide days our to children who need them most. 

Eligibility criteria: Seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged children and young people aged 2-18 years. Must not have received tickets through the charity previously. You will need to provide documentation which states your child’s condition and date of birth.

Apply here: http://apply.merlinsmagicwand.org. 

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Sunny Days Fund

Provides grants for white goods, sensory equipment, laptops, software and computer, clothing, medical equipment and more. 

They also offers week-long breaks at their two holiday homes. That are based in Clacton-on-Sea and Essex.

Eligibility criteria: Children under 18 years with a range of conditions, such as Leukaemia, Cerebral Palsy, vision/hearing impairment, autism, Down syndrome, terminal and life-limiting conditions. You will need to provide supporting evidence from a professional.

Apply here: http://www.sunnydaysfund.org.uk/Grant.shtml

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This charity offers financial support for necessary equipment, including beds, buggies, wheelchairs, seating systems, communication aids, and more. Additionally, they provide emergency equipment loans, a free loan service for specialized toys, and comfort capsules for children who have received a terminal diagnosis.

Eligibility criteria: Disabled children and terminally ill children under 19, who are permanently resident in the UK. Your application must be supported by a professional involved in your child’s care, such as an Occupational Therapist or Social Worker.

Apply here: https://newlifecharity.co.uk/equipment-grants/ 

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Family Fund 

Family fund are the UK’s largest provider of grants for families with children who have additional needs and disabilities

They give grants to families for a variety of things for disabled children such as, family  breaks and holidays, sensory equipment, clothing, kitchen appliances, computers, adaptions for the home, and much more! 

Eligibility criteria: Disabled or seriously ill children aged 0-17 years.Applicants are much more likely to get accepted if parents are eligible for one of the following: Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based JSA or ESA, housing benefit, pension credit or income support. However, If you don’t receive any of these benefits you can still apply, but you will need to give some extra information about your household income.

Apply here: ttps://www.familyfund.org.uk/

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The Child Brian Injury Trust 

They provide Up to £125 towards a social activities for siblings and children with a Acute brain injuries. Social activities such as dance and music lessons and family breaks. 

The grant can also be used for equipment and items that make life more comfortable for families. Such as sensory and mobility equipment.

Eligibility criteria:  Available to any family that are supported by the Child Brain Injury Trust to help with reducing isolation and enabling families to participate in social activities. 

Apply here: https://childbraininjurytrust.org.uk

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Children Today 

Children today are a UK based charity who provide funding for disabled children, towards adapted equipment such as: adapted car seats; adapted buggies; adapted trikes; specialist seating systems; manual, powered and sports wheelchairs; wheelchair powerpacks; walking aids; portable hoists; tough furniture; posturepedic sleep equipment; weighted blankets and sensory equipment.

Eligibility criteria : Anyone living in the UK with a disability between the age of 0-25 can apply for a piece of adapted equipment from Children Today. The applicant must be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance. Parents/guardians can apply on behalf of the applicant. they also ask that applicants are in receipt of DLA before applying and will need supporting evidence from any of the below proffessioanals:

  • Occupational therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Hospital Consultant
  • Suitable member of SENCO team

Apply here: https://www.childrentoday.org.uk

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Variety, The Children’s charity 

Variety, the children’s charity are UK-based charity that award grants to support children and young people under the age of 19 who have a recognised disability or long-term health condition. The grants can go towards a variety of things such a specialist equipment including, hoists, beds, car seats, sensory and play equipment, assistive and medical technologies. They also fund wheelchairs, such as manual, powered and sports wheelchairs for any purpose, provided they are not available through your local authority wheelchair services.

Eligibility Criteria: Child/ young person must be aged 18 or under, have a recognised disability or long-term health condition and are a permanent resident in the UK.  You will also need A letter of support from a relevant healthcare professional (such as an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or paediatrician)

Apply here: https://www.variety.org.uk/what-we-do/equipment-grants

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Cash for Kids 

Cash for Kids is a grant-giving charity helping the children that need it most across the UK. Their grants can be spent on a variety of things such as, specialist equipment, Specialist service provision, Speech, language or music therapy, Mental health, Trauma and bereavement counselling, Short UK-based respite breaks. 

They fundraise all year round and distribute grants at least twice a year. Their grants support children from birth up to and including 18 years of age who are vulnerable, come from disadvantaged backgrounds or are living with an illness or disability. Their grant applications are not open all year round, therefore, you would need to regularly check their website. 

The value of a grant is typically from £1,000 to £3,000 but they state they would happily consider applications for larger amounts.

Eligibility: children from birth up to and including 18 years of age who are vulnerable, come from disadvantaged backgrounds or are living with an illness or disability

Apply here : https://cashforkids.org.uk/grants

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Whizz Kids 

Whizz kids provides high-quality, personalised wheelchairs for young people in the UK who need them to be fully mobile, when they don’t meet the NHS criteria for this type of equipment. E.g wheelchairs, manual and powered options, trikes, buggies and more Their Wheelchairs are tailored specifically for each child/ young persons individuals needs. They have a team of experienced occupational therapists, physiotherapists and engineers who thoroughly assess each young person who applies to ensure they get the right wheelchair for their needs. 

Eligibility Criteria: Your child/ Young person must be under 18 years old and have a physical disability that permanently affects their mobility and participation. you must have also already approached your local NHS wheelchair service and found that the mobility equipment that your child needs is not available/provided. 

Apply here:  https://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/families/application-process


Benefits & entitlements



Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a crucial benefit intended for children under 16 with disabilities or conditions. It provides financial support to help cover the additional costs associated with their disability.

Parents can apply for DLA on behalf of their child from as early as three months old or from birth if the child has a terminal illness.

Disability Living Allowance and Child Disability Payment have two parts: care and mobility.

Care component:

– If your child needs personal care at certain times of the day, but not all day, they might qualify for the low rate care component.

– The middle rate of care is given to children who need regular care or supervision during the day, or some care/supervision at night.

– The high rate of care is paid if they need care or supervision throughout the day and night.

– To be eligible, you need to show that your child’s needs are way more than those of healthy kids their age.

Mobility component:

  • The low rate mobility component is given if your child can walk but needs more help or supervision outside compared to a non-disabled child their age. E.g. they have no sense of danger, trip over often etc 
  • The high rate mobility component is paid if they have a hard time walking, can’t walk at all, are deaf or blind, or, in certain cases, if they have a severe mental impairment and show behavioral problems outside.

In the year 2023/24, the following rates are payable:

– Lower care: £26.90

– Middle care: £68.10

– Higher care: £101.75

– Lower mobility: £26.90

– Higher mobility: £71.00

Eligibility criteria:. Children with disabilities or illnesses may qualify for DLA, even without a formal diagnosis. The key factor is demonstrating that they require significantly more care or supervision compared to their peers without disabilities. Eligibility for DLA is determined based on the impact of the child’s condition on their daily life. Regardless of employment status, DLA is available to all parents. It is not means-tested, meaning income or savings do not affect eligibility.  

Your child needs to be 3 months or older to apply for the care component (unless they qualify under ‘special rules’). For the mobility component, they must be at least 3 years old.

Apply here: You can find contact details on the Disability benefits helpline page here and can also download their DLA claim form: https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/how-to-claim

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Carers Allowance

If you look after / care for someone you could be entitled to some extra money each week. 

Many people don’t think of themselves as a carer, but if you look after a partner, friend or relative such as a child or grandparent who would find it difficult to manage without your support, then you’re classed as a carer.

You don’t have to be related to the person to claim carers allowance, but you you do only get paid one lot of carers allowance, even if you care for more than one person. 

In 2023-2024, Carer’s Allowance is worth £76.75 per week and is usually paid every 4 weeks. Your savings and your National Insurance record won’t make a difference to your claim, however, you cannot earn over £139 a week after deductions. 

Your savings and your National Insurance record won’t make a difference to your claim, however, you can’t earn over £139 a week after deductions.

Carer’s Allowance is not taxable on its own, however, you’ll have to pay tax if you have other sources of taxable income that take you over the threshold for paying tax.

For example, if your earnings and carers allowance together add up to a combined income of over £12,570 (current taxable threshold in 2023/2024). You you would have to pay tax on your earnings. 


Eligibility Criteria: 

You must meet all of the following: 

  • You spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who’s ill or has a disability
  • aren’t in full-time education
  • You don’t earn more than £139 a week Gross income, after deductions. deductions include the following: 
  • Income Tax
  • National Insurance
  • 50% of any contributions to your pension
  • certain business expenses

Pension example: if you earn £160 a week (after tax and National Insurance have been deducted), you wouldn’t be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. However, if you paid £42 into a private or work pension, half of the £42 would be deducted from your earnings.

£160 – £21 (half what you paid into pension)= £139. This would mean you would meet this condition to claim Carer’s Allowance.

If you are in work and are paid monthly, your monthly earnings would be multiplied by 12 to calculate your yearly income and then divided by 52 to get a weekly figure.

Example: you earn £450 per year. 

£450 x 12 = £5,400

£5,400 / 52 = £103.84 weekly wage


How does Carer’s Allowance affect other benefits?

Carer’s Allowance can also affect other benefits you might be already getting – so you might be paid less in another benefit.

For example, if you receive universal credit, this may affect the amount you receive, as carers allowance counts as income. However, you could also qualify for extra Universal Credit because you’re a carer.

It can also affect the benefits of the person you’re caring for. For example, if they’re getting Severe Disability Premium – this might stop if you claim Carer’s Allowance.

Easy read document on carers allowance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1083145/an-introduction-to-carers-allowance-easy-read.pdf


Apply here: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim

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Carers credit


If you’re not entitled to carers allowance but look after someone for at least 20 hours per week, you could be entitled to carers credit.

Carer’s Credit is a benefit available in the UK for individuals who provide unpaid care for someone for at least 20 hours a week- who don’t already receive/aren’t entitled to carers allowance. It is designed to fill in gaps for national Insurance contributions.  

What are national insurance contributions and why are they important? 

In the UK, National Insurance is a system that funds various benefits I.e state Pension, healthcare etc. When you work and earn an income above a certain threshold, you’re required to pay something called ‘National Insurance contributions.’ 

These contributions are important because they help ensure that you qualify for certain benefits and entitlements in the future, such as the State Pension. The number of qualifying years of national insurance contributions you have, can affect the amount of State Pension you’ll receive when you reach the eligible age. 

Carer’s Credit is available so when you are acting for someone you don’t have ‘gaps’ in your national  insurance contributions- basically, it pays these contributions for you whilst you care for the person you’re caring for 

So although you do not get paid any extra money if you claim Carer’s Credit. This benefit helps to protect your pension rights. It is very useful if you are caring for someone but you’re not paying  any National Insurance contributions through work and if you are unable to claim  Carer’s Allowance.

You will already be getting Carer’s Credit if you get:

  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit for a child under the age of 12
  • Are a foster carer – you can apply for National Insurance credits instead

In the first two cases, you do not need to apply as the credits will be awarded automatically! 


  • aged 16 or over
  • under State Pension age
  • looking after at least one person for at least 20 hours a week

The person you’re looking after must get:

  • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or high rate OR
  • Personal Independence Payment – daily living component, at the standard or enhanced rate

If the person you care for doesn’t get any of these benefits, you might still be able to get Carer’s Credit by filling in something that called a “Care Certificate” as part of the orginal claim form. you would need to get a health or social care professional to sign it though.


Apply here: Download the Carer’s Credit claim form or contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit:

Telephone: 0345 608 4321
Textphone: 0345 604 

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