Universal Credit - the government's new single benefit payment - ...more
Some of Edinburgh's most vulnerable residents are being subjected to ...more
The Scottish Government proposes to amend the Adults with Incapacity ...more
This month Citizen Advice Bureau and Trading Standards are working ...more24 Oct 2013
Training will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen This course ...more
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Q: Where can I find out about buying disability equipment?
A:UPDATE can provide information on companies in Scotland that manufacture, sell or hire specific disability aids and equipment. We can also provide information on other agencies that provide specialist advice on disability aids, such as the Disabled Living Centres and The Disabled Living Foundation.
Various websites can be used for finding or advertising second hand disability equipment*
Some other ideas:
*NB all URLs are provided in good faith. UPDATE cannot indorse or take responsibility for the content of these external sites. Always exercise caution when buying or selling online. Buying privately does not give you as many consumer rights as buying from a trader.
Q: When can I buy equipment without paying VAT?
A: Some goods and services that are bought specifically for use by a disabled person can be exempt from VAT. Goods and services that are exempt include equipment and appliances designed solely for use by disabled people, building work that adapts a house to be used by a disabled person, installing or adapting goods, medical and surgical appliances, or motor vehicles.
The goods are bought without the VAT added on, which means that a written declaration has to be made to the seller that the goods are to be used by a disabled person. Further information can be found in, "Notice 701/7 VAT reliefs for disabled people" which is on the HM Revenue and Customs web site www.hmrc.gov.uk or call HM Revenue and Customs disabled VAT relief helpline on 0845 302 0203, or the National Advice Services helpline for general enquiries on 0845 010 9000.
Q: Where can I find public toilets for disabled people?
A: The National Key Scheme, sometimes known as the RADAR Scheme, was developed because some public toilets designed for disabled people had to be locked to prevent damage and misuse. Radar publish the National Key Scheme Guide which lists over 6000 accessible toilets fitted with the NKS lock throughout the UK, available to order online at www.radar.org.uk. The Scheme has been adopted by local authorities and other toilet providers throughout the UK and is widely recognised by disabled people. Keys should be available from your local authority.
Q: How do I apply for / renew a Blue Badge?
A: Contact either your local authority or the blue badge advice line (0207 944 2914 or 0161 367 0009; email: email@example.comFind your Local Authority: www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/DevolvedAdministrations/DG_4003604
Q: Who do I contact to claim DLA?; who do I contact to claim ESA?; how do I appeal the DWP/ Government’s decision?
A: Contact the DLA helpline telephone: 08457 123 456 textphone: 08457 22 44 33; Contact the ESA helpline telephone 0800 055 6688, textphone 0800 023 4888;
To appeal first write to the DWP, then contact the Independent Tribunals Service on 0141 354 8400.
Q: I receive Disability Living Allowance and my carer wants to claim Carer’s Allowance. Will this affect my rate of DLA?
A: No. Your rate of DLA is not affected whether you have a carer who claims Carers Allowance or not. To make a claim for Carers Allowance please call 0845 608 4321.
Q: How do I apply for a Motability vehicle?
A: You must first be receiving the high rate of the mobility component of Disabled Living Allowance (DLA). Contact Motability on 0845 456 4566.
Q: Who may drive my Motability vehicle?
A: When you purchase a vehicle through the Motability scheme you will be asked to designate two drivers who will be insured to drive the car. One could be you and the other a friend, carer or family member. Or you may designate two others as drivers if you wish, although this means you may not drive the vehicle yourself. The designated drivers can use the car whenever you wish - you do not need to be actually present in the car when it's used.
However, the journey must benefit the disabled person in some way. This could mean shopping on your behalf, picking up medication or going to the post office for you. The drivers that you designate may use the car to travel to and from their work - as long as you benefit from the subsequent salary or wages - e.g. the driver is your spouse and they pay bills, rent or for groceries. However, you must give your consent to the driver and control must remain with you.
Q: How do I apply for a disabled home adaptation?
A: Contact your Local Authority’s ‘Home Adaptations and Grants’ team. To find your Local Authority please visit: www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/DevolvedAdministrations/DG_4003604
Q: I currently receive DLA. What will the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) mean to me?
A: From 8 April 2013 the Government is introducing a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for eligible working age people aged 16 to 64. Disability Living Allowance will end for everyone of working age even if they have an indefinite period award.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is based on an assessment of individual need. The new assessment will focus on an individual’s ability to carry out a range of key activities necessary to everyday life. Information will be gathered from the individual, as well as healthcare and other professionals who work with and support them. Most people will also be asked to a face to face consultation with a trained independent assessor as part of the claim process.
A: New claims:
From April 2013, PIP will be phased in for new claims, starting with controlled start areas in parts of the north-west and north-east of England. During this period new claimants in all other parts of the country will continue to claim DLA as now. From June 2013, new claims for PIP will be taken from all parts of the country.
There is no automatic transfer from DLA to PIP. Between October 2013 and March 2016 the Government will write to claimants already getting DLA to invite them to make a claim for PIP. They will be individually assessed against the new entitlement criteria. The peak period of reassessments will start in October 2015. Those with a 'lifetime' or 'indefinite' DLA award will be reassessed from October 2015 at the earliest.
A: No. Entitlement for the new benefit will not be based on what conditions or disabilities you have but on how these affect you.
There is no automatic transfer from DLA to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If you are already getting DLA you will need to make a claim for the new benefit when invited. The Government will write to you to let you know when you can make a claim for PIP and how to do that. This stage will begin in October 2013 and all current DLA claimants of working age will have been contacted about reassessment by March 2016.
Q: What is Personal Independence Payment made up of?
A: Personal Independence Payment will have a Daily Living component and a Mobility component. Awards will be made up of one or both of these components. Each component will have two rates – standard and enhanced. The rates for PIP will be set at the same rates as DLA:
A: At the moment there are no plans to replace DLA for those under the age of 16.
Q: What is Universal Credit?
A: Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. It will be launched in 2013 and will replace:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Income Support; Child Tax Credits; Working Tax Credits; Housing Benefit.
Q: Will I be entitled to Universal Credit?
A: To claim Universal credit, out of work claimants, depending on their circumstances, must look for work, or take steps towards it. This may include preparing a CV, attending training courses, applying for suggested vacancies or registering with a recruitment agency. In most cases they must also be available and willing to immediately take up work and attend periodic interviews to discuss plans and opportunities for returning to work (immediately or in the future). If a claimant refuses to accept their claimant commitment, they will not be entitled to Universal Credit.
For some out of work claimants, this will not be the case. For example, there are groups who will continue to get support and not be expected to work or prepare for work over a sustained period. Examples of such groups are:
This list is not exhaustive. Full details of groups who will continue to be supported can be found on the DWP website at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/universal-credit-faqs.pdf
A: Universal Credit will go live nationally in October 2013. However, from April 2013 a Universal Credit ‘Pathfinder’ programme will take place in Tameside, Oldham, Wigan and Warrington. Universal Credit will start to take new claims from unemployed people in October 2013. For people in work this process will begin in April 2014.The remainder of current claims will be moved to Universal Credit from 2014, with the process being complete by 2017.
A: From April 2013, new 'under occupancy rules' will be introduced for working age tenants renting in the social sector. This is commonly referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’. The changes will not apply to those over Pension Credit age. The under occupancy reductions mean that people will lose:
A: From April 2013, the new size criteria rules allow:
Adults - one bedroom for each adult or couple living as part of a household.
Children - one bedroom for any two children aged under 16 of the same gender; one bedroom for any two children aged under 10 regardless of gender.
Generally there will be no exceptions, however, following a court decision in May 2012, families with children unable to share a bedroom because of a severe disability should be entitled to claim Housing Benefit for an extra room. Under such circumstances, each case would be decided by the local authority, based on an assessment of the individual circumstances of the claimant and their family. For more information, see UPDATE news item New bedroom tax protection for disabled children - DWP drops Supreme Court appeal .
Carers - Some claimants who need regular overnight care will be allowed a spare bedroom. To qualify for this spare bedroom, the carer must not normally live with the claimant, and the claimant must be in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit (the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate; Attendance Allowance; or the Daily Living Component of Personal Independence Payment).
The under occupancy rules will not apply to:
The 'under occupancy' rules will apply in these cases, unless the claimant is in one of the above exempt groups. If there is a reason that an extra room is necessary your local authority may be able to help you with the extra rent through the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) fund.
From April 2013, local authorities will receive £30m extra central government funding specifically for DHPs aimed at two groups. The DWP has issued guidance to all local authorities emphasising that Discretionary Housing Payments remain available for priority groups including the needs of people whose homes have had significant disability adaptations and those with longterm medical conditions that create difficulties in sharing a bedroom.