Dear Editor, There are around 18,000 disabled children living in Birmingham and most are cared for at home by a family member.
Families with disabled children face enormous financial challenges and are more likely to be living in poverty than other families. Despite this, many are not claiming the benefits they are entitled to.
From 2010 the Government will contribute £100 every year to the Child Trust Fund accounts of disabled children, with severely disabled children receiving £200 per year. To benefit from these payments a child must receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and have been born on or after 1 September 2002. The first payments are due in April 2010 for those in receipt of DLA at any point in 2009-10.
DLA is the key benefit designed to meet the additional costs of raising a disabled child. Despite this, more than half of families with disabled children are not claiming a potential £109.50 per week. It is crucial that all families with disabled children who are eligible for DLA make a claim.
For those families whose children are seven and under in September you should make a claim now to ensure your child receives the significant annual payment to their Child Trust Fund.
Contact a Family, the charity that supports families with disabled children has a national freephone helpline – 0808 808 3555 – staffed by benefits experts. We would urge families to telephone the helpline for advice.
Chief Executive, Contact a Family, London.