The help and support I have received from the outreach worker from the local Citizens Advice has been invaluable. She has given me advice about what benefits to apply for and has come out here and helped me fill in forms. She has taken away a lot of the stress and worry.
- Gian, supporting her husband Tahar
Whether you have dementia or you support someone with the condition, there are a range of benefits you can apply for that can help with the extra costs of having dementia, or compensate you if you can no longer work. You should not feel embarrassed about applying for money that you are entitled to, and that can help you. This information applies to England and Wales. If you live in Northern Ireland or Scotland, check with your local agencies.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
The Personal Independence Payment started to replace Disability Living Allowance from 8th April 2013. It helps with the extra costs caused by long-term health conditions or disabilities. It can be paid to you if your care or mobility needs began before the age of 65. You must also apply before you reach 65.
You could get between £22.65 and £145.35 a week to help with your daily living and mobility costs. How much you receive is based on how your condition affects you. It is not means tested, but you will be assessed to work out the level of help you will get. For more information and how to claim visit the government's website. Disability Rights UK has produced a guide to PIP that you may also find useful.
Council tax reduction
You may be entitled to a reduction in, or exemption from, your council tax if you live alone and you receive PIP. Or if you live with someone with dementia, you may qualify for a 25% reduction in your council tax. You should contact your local council to discuss the matter with them.
Statutory sick pay (SSP)
You are entitled to statutory sick pay for up to 28 weeks, if you are too ill to work. You have to be earning £116 or more each week to be eligible. The payment is £92.05 per week and tax and National Insurance will be deducted. Your employer may also have a sick pay scheme. Check your employment contract. For more information on statutory sick pay, visit the government website. You might also find our section on Working & volunteering useful.
If your Statutory Sick Pay has ended, or you don't get SSP, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance. This has replaced Incapacity Benefit.
Child tax credit
If you have children and receive tax credit for them, keep the Tax Credits Helpline Tel 0345 300 3900 informed of any changes in your circumstances. If your income falls because you, or your partner, cannot work anymore, your child tax credit may go up.
Help to pay your mortgage
You may be able to get help towards paying the interest on your mortgage if you are getting certain income-related benefits, such as Employment and Support Allowance or Guaranteed Pension Credit. This help is paid as part of your benefit and is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). It is normally paid direct to your lender.
If you have had to give up work because you have dementia or care for someone with dementia, you may be eligible for income support if you have no income, or a low income. You must also have savings of less than £16,000. Other circumstances are taken into account but you will get a minimum of £57.90 a week.
Carer's Allowance & Carer's Credit
Carer’s Allowance is £64.60 a week. It helps you if you spend 35 hours a week or more caring for someone with substantial needs. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for. Carer’s Allowance is taxable. It can also affect your other benefits. Carer’s Credit is a way of protecting your state pension rights if you are looking after someone and not paying National Insurance contributions and are unable to claim Carer’s Allowance.
Managing benefits for someone else
You might need to manage benefits for a younger person with dementia. This is known as being an ‘appointee’. It can only happen if the person receiving the benefits is not mentally capable to do it themselves.
It is always best to ask what you are entitled to as there may be other benefits you can claim that you are not aware of. Some benefits can be back-dated. You may also want help in completing forms - organisations like Citizens Advice can help with this.
The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for administering benefits. For comprehensive information about benefits visit their website.
To find your local branch visit their website.
Turn2us is a charitable organisation which helps you to access money available to you through benefits, grants and other help.
A network of 144 centres offering information, advice and emotional support. Find your nearest one here.
Age UK runs more than 170 local services throughout England offering information, advice and advocacy. The Age UK family also includes Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI.
(The benefits figures listed on this page were checked for accuracy in November 2018)