Making Every Penny Count
With the cost of living crisis hitting hard, many families with disabled children are finding life unbearably tough. With every penny saved making a difference, below are some of the ways that can help.
If you apply in the autumn The Warm Home Discount could see £140 deducted from your energy bill if you meet the criteria and your energy supplier participates. In Scotland this will be Child Winter Heating Assistance, The Energy Payment Support Scheme in Ireland and the Winter Fuel Support Scheme in Wales. Your energy supplier can provide more details.
Many gas and electricity suppliers can support you if you cannot afford your gas or electric bill or owe them money, but you will need to speak with your supplier. The Charity Scope can also assist with this. For their help email Disability.energysupport@Scope.org.uk
If your child relies on electric powered equipment to stay out of hospital, it’s worth speaking to your energy supplier. You can also ask them to add you to the Priority Services Register. This provides you with extra support such as advance notice of any planned power cuts and priority support such as alternative heating or cooking sources in the event of an interruption in your energy supply. Visit the Ofgem site here to find out more.
For more information about how to save money on your energy bills visit the Energy Saving Trust here.
Travel and Parking
A Blue Badge can help with parking concessions for disabled children, click here to find out more about eligibility. There are even handy YouTube tutorials to help you fill in the form.
Children aged 5-15 with disabilities are also eligible for a disabled persons railcard which lets an adult travel with them for a third of the cost of most adult fared, while the child pays the normal child fare. Click here to find out more.
You may be entitled to free or discounted bus travel if you are a carer, but you will need contact your local council to see what is available. For contact details, click here.
You may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme if you are referred to hospital or other NHS site for specialist NHS treatments or tests by a doctor, dentist or other primary care professional. Find out more here.
Legally your water cannot be cut off and there is help available if you are on a low income, have debt or use lots of water due to a medical condition.
The Consumer Council for Water at www.ccwater.org.uk can let you know if your supplier offers a social tariff as well as top tips on saving money on your water bills. If you aren’t sure who supplies your water, click here.
Some providers offer more affordable rates for customers who receive certain benefits such as Universal Credit or Jobseekers Allowance. You can discover more about participating providers here.
Grants and Services
Local and national charities run a variety of free services for children with disabilities, including free subscriptions to unabridged audio books for children with sigh problems, dyslexia and other disabilities from national charity Calibre Audio. Click here to find out more.
There are also a variety of grants and discounts available to help with everything from computers to holidays and discounted days out at a variety of places, including theme parks here – just click the Find Your Grant for the section specifically for disabled children.