Top 6 Money Saving Tips For People With Disabilities.

The charity Scope discovered in a recent study that the 'Extra Costs' involved in being disabled can cost nearly £600 per month! This means that on average disabled people are more likely to have a considerably lower standard of living than others in society that earn the same wage and do the same job. We thought we would do some research into how we can make life easier and save money for people with disabilities.

 

Top 6 Money-saving Ideas.

1. Warm Home Discount Scheme.

You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2019 to 2020 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you - it's a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March. You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment. Follow this link for the Warm Home Discount Scheme or call the Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 731 0214 before¬†28 February 2020. Be aware not all suppliers are a part of this scheme. Here are the ones that are: Avro Energy, British Gas (inc Scottish Gas), Bulb, Co-operative Energy (inc GB Energy), E, EDF, E.on, Flow Energy, Green Network Energy, Green Star Energy, Npower (inc Powershop), Octopus Energy, Ovo Energy (inc Boost, Lumo and Spark Energy), Sainsbury's Energy, Scottish Power (inc Manweb), Shell Energy (formerly First Utility), SSE (inc Atlantic, Scottish Hydro, Southern Electric, SWALEC), Utilita, Utility Warehouse.

2. Are You Getting The Benefits You Are Entitled To?

Here are a few benefits some people may not be aware they are entitled to - Carer's Allowance - This can help support your main carer if they care for you for at least 35 hours a week (£66.15 per week) follow link Carer's Allowance Disability Living Allowance - The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:
  • is under 16
  • has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability
The DLA rate is between £23.20 and £148.85 per week and depends on the level of help the child needs. Follow this link for more info on the Disability Living Allowance Personal Independence Payments (PIP) can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long term ill-health or disability for people over 16 and have not yet reached state pension age. PIP can be worth £23.20 to £148.85 per week. Follow this link for more info on Personal Independence Payment (PIP)  Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you, for people at state pension age and over. Follow this link for more info on Attendance Allowance. Employment and Support Allowance - 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
  • support to get back into work if you're able to

You can apply for ESA if you're employed, self-employed or unemployed. ESA can be worth up to £111.65 per week. Follow this link for more info Employment and Support Allowance Also, check out the Governments Benefits calculator which will help you work out how much you may well be entitled to. Follow this link Benefits Calculator. Northern Ireland councils operate slightly differently, follow this link for their Disabled Facilities Grants.

 

3. Your Local Council May Offer Support for Specialised Equipment.

If your disability requires you to adapt your home environment it may be that your local council will help with this. So if you need to adapt your home because of a disability or old age, you can apply to the council for equipment or help. Follow this link Home Equipment For Your Home If You're Disabled.

 

4. Are You Eligible For VAT relief?

You are eligible for VAT-relief if;
  • You have any long term physical or mental impairment that curtails your ability to carry out everyday activities.
  • You have a condition that is categorised as Chronic illnesses. Diabetes.
  • You're terminally ill.
Follow this link for more info on VAT Relief For Disabled People
  • medical and surgical appliances.
  • invalid wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
  • equipment to aid the hard of hearing, and low-vision aids.
  • specialist beds, chair and stairlifts, rise and recline chairs and other lifting equipment and sanitary devices.
  • goods that have been designed solely for disabled people.
  • computer equipment designed solely for use by disabled people.
  • emergency alarm call systems.
  • boats adapted for use by a disabled person.
  • parts and accessories
  • you can hire or lease eligible goods VAT-free if you‚Äôre disabled.
Follow this link for full list Goods You Can Buy VAT-free Please note that VAT needs to be removed at the point of purchase and you can't reclaim VAT on items you've already purchased.

5. Save Money on Your Water Bill.

Does your disability require that you use a lot of water? Well in England and Wales there's a scheme called Watersure which can help you financially. The WaterSure scheme is available for certain customers with a water meter. It allows them to have their bills capped. This is to make sure that these customers don't cut back on how much water they use because they are worried about how they will pay their bills. You can apply for this via your water supplier, enter postcode here to check who your water supplier is. Follow this link for more info Watersure.

6. Council Tax Discount.

If you're disabled, there are a couple of different ways you may qualify for a reduction in council tax. People who are severely mentally impaired are not included when working out Council Tax. Check with your council if you're eligible for a discount which will reduce the Council Tax you pay. Follow this link Council Tax Discount. You also are not included if you're a live-in carer looking after someone who is not your partner, spouse, or child under 18. However, there are also other ways by which you can get your Council Tax reduced. The Disabled Band Reduction Scheme -You may be eligible for the scheme if you live in a larger property than you would need if you or another occupant were not disabled. Follow this link Council Tax Discount. Could you qualify for the 'severely mentally impaired discount'? this could save you £100s a year.  Check out this helpful guide from Money Supermarket who has been campaigning to raise awareness regarding this benefit since 2016. Follow this link Money Supermarket Guide to SMI Discounts and in some situations, the payment might be backdated too. Feel free to share any money-saving ideas in the comments section below to help the Spring Chicken Community.

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