Money Matters

Allowances and Benefit

There are many different benefits available depending on your needs and your circumstances.

Confidential advice and information for people with disabilities and their carers, are available on a full range of social security benefits you may be entitled to claim.

These benefits include :

Attendance Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance.

Incapacity Benefit. Income Support.

Carers Allowance.

Tel:  Benefit Enquiry Line on  0800 88 22 00.


Form filling service 0800 44 11 44

Your local Council can also provide information on the following services :

Access for Disabled people,

Adaptations for Disabled people/ Grants.

Adaptation for Disabled people/Assessment.

Adaptation to public Buildings for disabled.

Disability equipment/ Telephone.

Disability parking/ Blue Badge scheme.

Disability/ Grants For Facilities.

Disabled people access to buildings.

Council Tax

You may be able to reduce your Council Tax bill if you or any other resident in your dwelling is substantially and permanently disabled and meets certain criteria.

The Phone number can be found on the back of your Council Tax bill

MS Society Insurance Services

Developed by the MS Society with the insurance company Heath Lambert, a wide range of insurance products and financial services for people with MS, their families and carers are offered.

Travel Insurance

For some people with MS, a trip abroad poses more potential problems than it would for other travellers. Arranging insurance cover must be a real priority.

For an instant quote 0800 7833 157

Please note Cover is not guaranteed and will depend upon individual circumstances.

Heath Lambert

Special schemes are available that will increase the level of income you may receive in retirement if you are suffering from certain serious illnesses. If you are approaching retirement please contact us to see if we can improve your financial security.

FREE QUOTELINE 0800 7833 157

Motor Insurance

If the premium for your motor insurance gave you a fright last time you renewed you’re not alone. Premiums have been steadily rising for the past year or so, while quotes can vary considerably up and down the country.

Despite that there are still excellent deals to be had. The problem is knowing where to find them. As a broker, we do all the work for you.

One call gets you quotes from a panel of leading insurers, so we shop around for you.

Insurance with MS in mind

For more information or a quote call us free on 0800 7833 157

NHS Prescription Charges

If you think you will have to pay for more than 5 prescription items in 4 months or 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a pre-payment certificate (PPC).

“There are certain criteria to entitle you to free prescription these are just a few”

People getting benefits:
– Income Support
– Jobseeker’s Allowance
– any other benefits

People getting Tax Credits:
– Working Families’ Tax Credit
– Disabled Person’s Tax Credit

People with a specific medical condition
People who need help to go out

If you want some friendly advice on prescription charges call and see your Doctor or Chemist.

Carers Allowance

The main welfare benefit for carers is Carer’s Allowance. (This used to be known as Invalid Care Allowance.) This is a weekly payment for carers of sick, disabled and elderly people.

Carer’s Allowance is taxable. If you get Carer’s Allowance you will be credited with class 1 National Insurance contributions which will protect your State Retirement Pension. You will also earn extra pension through the new State Second Pension for every complete tax year that you get Carer’s Allowance.

Who qualifies for Carer’s Allowance?

You can claim Carer’s Allowance if you are aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a person getting Attendance Allowance, or Disability Living Allowance (at the middle or highest rate for personal care), or Constant Attendance Allowance (at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension).

Can you get Carer’s Allowance?

To claim Carer’s Allowance you must:
Be caring for someone who is receiving one of the following benefits:
1. Attendance Allowance or
2. Disability Living Allowance at the higher or middle rate care component or
3. Constant Attendance Allowance (paid with War Pensions and Industrial Injuries Benefit)

and care for the person for 35 hours a week or more and be over 16 and not be in full-time education
and normally live in the UK and earn less than a set amount each week.

How to Apply?

You can now claim Carer’s Allowance online using our easy step-by-step form and send it to us electronically.

Just go to Carer’s Allowance e-service on and choose “Claim Carers Allowance”.

Then, on the “Carer’s Allowance claim / welcome” screen, choose ” I want to start a new claim form”. Depending on your answers, you will then only be taken to the parts of the form that apply to you. Throughout the form you will be presented with a number of “buttons” that will perform various functions. For example, if you enter your house number and postcode only, then press the “Generate address” button, your entire address will be completed automatically.

Carer’s Allowance Unit

Palatine House
Lancaster Road

General enquiries about Carer’s Allowance.
Phone 01253 85 61 23

Direct Payments Service

In 1996 the government passed the Community Care (Direct Payments) Act. This act allows the Social Services Department to make a cash payment directly to adults (aged 18 to 65) who have been assessed as being eligible to receive care services.

The Act was implemented in April 1997 and since that date it has enabled local authorities to offer this alternative to the community care service it provides. Further Regulations subsequently implemented enabled people over the age of 65 to be considered for Direct Payments and in 2001, the Carers and Disabled Children’s Act 2000 was implemented and extended the scheme to include young adults, parents of disabled children and carers.

Up until now, it has been left to the discretion of the local authority whether to offer Direct Payments as an alternative option to eligible people. However, from 8th April 2003, new Regulations have made it mandatory for all local authorities in England to offer this scheme.

(In Wales, the new Regulations have not yet been adopted and in Scotland, it is expected that Direct Payments will become a mandatory anyone eligible to receive a community care service by the end of 2003).

Direct payments enable people to take control over the service they receive, when and by whom they choose, giving greater control and self-determination to users.

Equal Opportunities

The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 came into force in England on the 1st April 2005 and in Wales on 18th April. The Act is the result of a Private Member’s Bill which was taken through Parliament by Dr Hywel Francis MP for Aberavon. Dr Francis attributes the success of the Bill to widespread support from carers and local carers groups.

‘I am proud to have sponsored the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 and to have worked with Carers UK and the Action for Carers and Employment (ACE National) partnership to achieve its successful passage through Parliament. Our next challenge is to support its effective implementation by local authorities and other agencies working with carers” – Dr Hywel Francis, MP for Aberavon

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is an entitlement for people aged 60 or over living in Great Britain. This could mean extra money for you every week.

Pension Credit guarantees everyone aged 60 and over an income of at least:

• £109.45 a week if you are single; or
• £167.05 a week if you have a partner.

Also, if you or your partner are aged 65 or over you may be rewarded for saving for your retirement, up to:
• £16.44 if you are single; or
• £21.51 a week if you have a partner.

If you apply, you may be able to get up to 12 months back-payments if you could have been entitled earlier.

The person who applies for Pension Credit must be at least 60; it does not matter if their partner is under 60. We use partner to mean a person you are married to or a person you live with as if you are married to them, or a civil partner or a person you live with as if you are civil partners.

Call the Pension Credit application line on

freephone 0800 99 1234
Lines are open Monday to Friday between 8am-8pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm.

Carers Break Fund

The Carers Break Fund is administered by CASS on behalf of the County Council. Grants of up to £200 can be given to carers who fulfil the criteria. If you think you might qualify contact CASS on 01785 606675 or email for an application form.