There are several different allowances and benefits available to people who need help due to illness or disability.
A parent or guardian can claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for a child under the age of 16 who needs help looking after themselves or getting about.
It has two parts – one covering care and the other covering mobility.
Depending on if you need help during the day, the night or both, and the extent of your mobility needs, there are different rates of allowance that might be available.
For people aged over 16, Disability Living Allowance is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Like DLA, this is also based on an assessment of your daily care and mobility needs, with different support rates.
For people of pension age, you should apply for Attendance Allowance instead of PIP.
If your needs stem from an industrial injury, either an accident or condition developed while at work, then you may be able to apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
Regardless of your circumstances, you might want to consider getting advice from an independent service about what options are available to you. In some cases, accessing specific allowances or benefits may make you eligible for additional support.
Citizens Advice Newcastle can help you with finding out what benefits are available to you, challenging a benefits decision and more. Visit the Citizens Advice Gateshead to find out more, send an enquiry or use their live chat option.
InformationNOW also offers advice, as well as a host of links to charitable and 3rd sector organisations that can help.
Support at home
There might be adaptations you can make to your home or equipment you can get that help you daily. This could be relatively minor things like handrails or easy-to-use level taps, through more significant changes such as widening doorways or installing a downstairs shower room.
Your GP can refer older people in need of occupational therapy or equipment to be assessed, as well as for physiotherapy through the Community Response and Rehabilitation Team.
District Nurses can also be a good source of information and advice.
Support getting out and about
Blue Badges make it easier for people who have difficulty walking distances to park closer to the services they need.
Older or disabled people can also access reduced cost or free public transport. If you meet any of the criteria, you can apply for a concessionary bus pass through Gateshead Council.
To learn more about these options, and others like discounted railcards, taxi schemes, Motability and Shopmobility, visit InformationNOW.