Working Age, Welfare & Disability Benefits

There are many different benefits that are available to people under State Pension Age or if they have a disability, ill health or long term condition. This page explains about some of those benefits, the eligibility criteria and how to claim

What is the Personal Independence Payment (PIP)? PIP is a non means tested benefit for those aged between 16 and 64 and is designed to help meet the costs of living with a long term condition or disability. You can get PIP whether you are working or not. It is slowly replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) but you can still continue to receive DLA if you were born on or before 8th April 1948 and have an existing claim. Am I eligible to claim PIP? Gov.uk defines the eligibility for PIP as below:
  • you must be aged 16 or over and be under State Pension Age
  • you must have a health condition or disability where you have difficulty with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months
  • you must have had a health condition or disability where you expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months (unless you are terminally ill with less than 6 months to live)
  • you must have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 out of the last 3 years and be in one of these countries when you apply.
How much could I get? There are 2 elements to PIP - Daily Living and Mobility.
  • Daily Living Weekly Standard Rate: £58.70
  • Daily Living Weekly Enhanced Rate: £87.65
  • Mobility Weekly Standard Rate: £23.20
  • Mobility Weekly Enhanced Rate: £61.20
You will need an assessment to determine the rate you would receive. You may also qualify for other financial help if you are in receipt of PIP. How do I claim? To apply for PIP you must first order a claim form by calling the PIP Claim Line on 0800 917 2222. Once you have received the form you can contact the Community Advice Hubs to book an appointment. You must call us as soon as you receive the form as there is a high demand for this service. Call us on 0121 709 7590.  The Community Advice Hubs can also check your eligibility to claim.
What is Employment Support Allowance (ESA)? ESA is a welfare benefit for those aged between 16 to 64 who are unable to be in employment due to illness or disability. Typically if you are in receipt of ESA you will be placed into either the work related activity group and the support group. If you are in the work related activity group you will be expected to look for work. ESA replaced Income Support, Severe Disability Allowance and Incapacity Benefit. There are two types of ESA - Contribution Based ESA and Income Related ESA. Am I eligible to claim Contribution Based ESA? Most of the new claims for ESA are for Contribution Based ESA and it is often referred to as 'New-Style' ESA. This is because Universal Credit is slowly replacing Income Related ESA claims. To be eligible for Contribution Based ESA the following points must apply to you:
  • you must have worked as an employee or have been self-employed
  • you must have paid enough NI contributions in the last 2-3 years
You cannot get contribution Based ESA if you are currently in receipt of Statutory Sick Pay or are in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium (or have been in the past month). You could also claim Universal Credit at the same time as being in receipt of Contribution Based ESA. Am I eligible to claim Income Related ESA? You may be eligible for Income Related ESA if you have not paid enough NI contributions in the last 2-3 years. However if you have savings or investments over £16,000 you cannot claim. How much could I get? How much you could get depends on your circumstances and at what stage your application is at. Contact the Community Advice Hubs Benefits Caseworkers to see how much you could claim - 0121 709 7590. Alternatively you could complete an online Benefits Check to see an estimate of what you may be entitled to. To complete an online Benefits Check click here. How do I claim? To apply for Contribution Based ESA/New Style ESA you can call the Universal Credit helpline (0800 328 5644 option 2) or you can download the form. To apply for Income Related ESA you can call your local Job Centre to apply by phone or you can download the form. You can also contact the Community Advice Hubs who can book you an appointment to complete either of these forms for you or they can support you to complete the form yourself. Call us on 0121 709 7590 or email admin@solihullcommunityhub.org.uk to book an appointment.
Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over State Pension age who need help with personal care or supervision because of illness or disability. It is a non-means tested benefit which means you are able to use it for whatever you wish to meet your needs and stay independent in your own home. It does not have to be spent on care. Quite often if you are awarded Attendance Allowance you may then become eligible to claim other benefits such as Pension Credit or Council Tax Reduction. To find out more about this benefit visit our Older People's Benefits page on our website.
What is Carers Allowance? Carers Allowance is a non means-tested benefit for people who spend a minimum of 35 hours per week caring for someone else. However the person you care for must be getting certain benefits in order for you to be eligible. It is important to note that if you claim Carers Allowance for someone then it could affect the amount of benefits they receive. In some instances they can lose the Severe Disability Premium from certain benefits. Am I eligible to claim Carers Allowance? You may be eligible for Carers Allowance if the person you care for is in receipt of one of the following:
  • Attendance Allowance
  • middle or higher rate care component of DLA
  • the daily living component of PIP (either the enhanced or standard rate)
  • Armed Forces Independent Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance that is paid with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or basic rate War Disablement Pension
You may also be eligible for Carers Allowance if you do or do not work but your weekly income must be no more than £123 per week and you do not need to live with the person you care for. You are not eligible for Carers Allowance if someone else is already claiming Carers Allowance for the person you care for.   How much could I get? The weekly rate is £66.15 However some claims don't result in the payment being made to you due to the benefit overlap rules but it may mean that you are entitled to a Carers Premium as part of the other benefits you may be in receipt of. How do I claim? There are a number of ways you can claim:
  • You can claim online at the Gov.uk website
  • you can contact the DWP for a paper form by calling 0800 731 0297
  • you can contact the Benefits Caseworkers at the Community Advice Hubs on 0121 709 7590 or email admin@solihullcommunityhub.org.uk to book an appointment.
What is Housing Benefit? Housing Benefit is a benefit which can help to pay for rent or housing costs if you are on a low income. However Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit. Am I eligible to claim Housing Benefit? You may be eligible for Housing Benefit if:
  • you have reached State Pension Age
  • you were homeless and have been placed in temporary accommodation by Solihull Council
  • you are receiving the Severe Disability Premium or should be receiving it
  • you are currently in receipt of housing benefit
  • you are on a low income
  • your capital and savings are below £16,000 unless you received Guaranteed Pension Credit.
Only one person per household can claim for Housing Benefit and you will not be eligible to claim if you are a full time student or live in the home of a close relative. How much could I get? The amount you could claim is dependent on Solihull Council as defined by the Local Housing Allowance Rate if you are a private tenant and the number of bedrooms you have if you are a council tenant. You cannot get Housing Benefit to help pay your mortgage or any housing loans you may have. How do I claim? If you are only claiming Housing Benefit then you need to apply online through Solihull Council. Our Hubs Advisors can help you to make the claim. Visit one of our Hubs or Contact Us for more information.
What is Universal Credit? Universal Credit is a new benefit designed to help you with your living costs. It is replacing all legacy benefits including: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income Based JSA, Income Related ESA and Working Tax Credit. However if you are already in receipt of one of the legacy benefits you cannot claim Universal Credit as well. If you are in a couple then a joint claim for Universal Credit must be made even if your partner is not eligible for Universal Credit. Am I eligible to claim Universal Credit? You cannot claim Universal Credit if you receive the Severe Disability Premium or are entitled to it. You can also not claim Universal Credit if you previously received the Severe Disability Premium or were entitled to it in the last month. You are eligible for Universal Credit if:
  • you are on a low income
  • you are not working
  • you are aged between 18 - 64
  • you and your partner have less than £16,000 in savings
  • you live in the UK
There are other eligibility criteria that is dependent on your circumstance (such as being in full time education). Visit the Gov.UK website for more information. How much could I get? Universal Credit is paid monthly and is made up of a standard allowance and any other amounts that apply to you. The amount you get will also be dependent on your earnings if you are in work and can vary month to month if your working hours vary. To find out how much you may be entitled to complete an online Benefits Check. How do I claim? Claims for Universal Credit are made online via the Gov.UK website. However if you are unable to use digital services then you may be able to apply over the phone. Contact the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644 The Citizens Advice Bureau in Solihull are part of the Help to Claim service if you need support with applying or support with your application up to your first payment. To contact them to book an appointment call 0300 330 9019
The Welfare Benefits Cap is a limit on the total amount of benefits a household can receive and affects most people aged between 16 and the State Pension Age. Gov.UK has a useful Benefits Cap Calculator to show an estimate of how much your benefits might be capped.

Benefit Checks

To find out whether you may be eligible for one or more benefits you can complete a Benefits Check. These are online resources which tell you which benefits you may be entitled to based on the information you put into them.  Also included on this page is the Benefits Cap Calculator which can estimate how the benefits you and your household receive may be affected by the Benefits Cap.

The Turn 2 Us site holds information about other financial support that may be available to you, such as grants and also has its own Benefits Calculator
Launch the Turn2Us Benefits Calculator
Gov.UK have produced a Benefits Cap Calculator which can tell you how your benefits, and those in your household, may be affected.
Launch the Benefits Cap Calculator

Useful Downloads & Websites

Listed here are downloadable versions of factsheets, guides and links to useful websites relating to Working Age, Disability and Welfare Benefits