This blog comes from Marsha Heward, Trinity’s Welfare Rights Advisor:

What benefits are people with a life-limiting illness eligible for?

With the cost of living set to continue to rise, all of us could benefit from a little additional support at the best of times. People with life-limiting illnesses can often find themselves with increased outgoings and needs and may also experience a reduction in their income if they are unable to work or need to reduce their working hours.

I passionately believe that all people living with a life-limiting illness should be aware of the financial support that they are entitled to and be supported to access it. And it’s my job at Trinity to do that.

Which Royal Trinity Hospice patients are eligible for support via disability benefit?

All patients under Trinity’s care are eligible to apply for disability benefit, no matter what their financial status is, as the support is based solely on their health condition. The only exception is if they have ‘no recourse to public funds’ (see below).

The non-means tested benefits that patients are eligible for are:

Attendance allowance: for those over pensionable age with a physical or mental disability. The highest weekly rate is currently £89.60 (it will go up to £92.40 in April 2022). This allowance can be applied by downloading an application form from the government website or by calling the helpline 0800 731 0122 to request a form. The are ‘special rules’ that will speed up the process for patients with a prognosis of less than six months.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP): for those aged 16 and over and below pensionable age. The highest weekly rate for both Daily Living and Mobility is £152.15 in total (from April 2022 it will rise to £156.90). Claims can be submitted by phone on 0800 971 2222. Paper forms can also be completed but this takes longer as a letter has to be sent requesting a paper form.

Blue badges: Blue Badges help people with disabilities or health conditions park close to their destination. Some local authorities also have their own disabled parking scheme alongside the Blue Badge. The Blue Badge goes wherever the holder goes so they are not required to have their own car. Click here to apply for a blue badge online

What benefits can I access if I am a Royal Trinity Hospice patient with "no recourse to public funds"?

If you have “no recourse to public funds”, you may still be entitled to access support. If you are a Trinity patient, please do get in touch with me and we can work together to see what help might be available.

What support is available to carers of people with life-limiting illnesses?

If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits, you may be eligible for carer’s allowance, however this can affect the other benefits that the person you care for gets. You will also have to pay tax on carer's allowance if your income is over the personal allowance. Find out more at: www.gov.uk/carers-allowance 

Where can I find more information on financial benefits and support for people with a life-limiting illness or who are terminally ill?

Additional details on benefits for people who are terminally ill can be found on the government website at www.gov.uk/terminal-illness-benefits.

If you are of working age and your income has reduced as a result of your illness, you may also be eligible to apply for additional benefits.

If you are a Trinity patient, I can help you with this and any other queries relating to the information above. Contact 020 7787 1062 for more information or to be put in touch.